The working-class twin sister of a callous, wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes her identity. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.
Aged, wealthy Charlotte Hollis has lived as a recluse in the crumbling family plantation mansion in Hollisport, Louisiana since her father Sam Hollis' death thirty-six years ago. The only people who regularly see her are her hard-as-nails but seemingly loyal housekeeper, Velma Crowther, and her longtime friend and physician, Dr. Drew Bayliss. She has lived there most of her life except for a short stint in London thirty-seven years ago following the vicious murder of her married lover, John Mayhew, at the plantation's summer house while Sam was hosting one of his legendary grand balls in the mansion. She and John had planned to run off together that night, but instead he was bludgeoned to death, his head and right hand severed from his body. Nobody was ever convicted for his murder, but most people believe Charlotte did it after John changed his mind about running off with her. They also believe that Charlotte, whom they haven't seen in years, is a crazy old woman. Conversely, ...Written by
Well, I loved Bette Davis' performances, as a rule. But I'm willing to bet that even NON fans of Davis would appreciate her tour in this particular movie. Following two years after "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" is nevertheless four times the film of its more noted predecessor. The reasons for this are four=fold. The script, though occasionally unintentionally funny, is still crisper, more believable and contains a more satisfying ending. Next, Davis' is more balanced by the performances of DeHavilland, Cotton, a more mature Victor Buono, and the great Agnes Morehead. Thirdly, we have a better set and setting, more attuned to the genre. Finally, the cinematography is several notches better, in my opinion. Adding it all up, you have an exceptionally fine example of that unique genre, the gothic melodrama. In this movie, the genre is virtually defined! If asked to name an example to a "top twenty" or "top fifty" movie list, "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" would definitely make the cut.
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