7.6/10
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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 January 1965 (USA)
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0:54 | Trailer
An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Henry Farrell (screenplay), Lukas Heller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Bette Davis, Gena Rowlands, Ford Rainey
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Charlotte
Olivia de Havilland ... Miriam
Joseph Cotten ... Drew
Agnes Moorehead ... Velma
Cecil Kellaway ... Harry
Victor Buono ... Big Sam
Mary Astor ... Jewel
Wesley Addy ... Sheriff
William Campbell ... Paul Marchand
Bruce Dern ... John Mayhew
Frank Ferguson ... Editor
George Kennedy ... Foreman
Dave Willock ... Taxi Driver
Michel Petit Michel Petit ... Gang Leader (as Michael Petit)
John Megna ... New Boy
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The years will soon erase a lover's lies...the blood on his face! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,235,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The casting of Olivia de Haviland to replace Joan Crawford, and the re-shoots that required, inflated this film's budget to over $2.235 million, about twice what had been spent to produce Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Charlotte was originally budgeted at $1.5 million. See more »

Goofs

Driving back from dumping off Dr. Drew's body, Miriam pulls the car over to yell at Charlotte. She initially slaps Charlotte several times, causing Charlotte to snap her head back and forth from the strikes. Each time Charlotte turns her head to her right, it is revealed to be a stand-in for Bette Davis. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte: They've told you I'm crazy.
Harry Willis: Everyone say you are. Are you?
Charlotte: I used to be positive I wasn't. But just lately... at night... it - it seems as if... I really don't know anymore.
Harry Willis: [Chuckles] If it comes to that, how does anyone know?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1927 See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to heavily edit the opening cleaver murder, and some cut prints have also been shown on Channel 4 TV. Video and DVD releases are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Night, Ladies
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by the band at the party when Charlotte appears
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memorable Characters, Song
7 October 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's tough to beat this for a good, deep cast: Bette Davsi, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorhead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, Mary Astor and Bruce Dern.

My favorite character in here was played by Moorhead. She was excellent as the eccentric (but very perceptive) housekeeper. I wish Kellaway's role had been bigger. It was interesting, too, to see such a young Dern. Davis looked really grotesque, but that was the idea. Kudos for her to not care about her looks.

Speaking of looks, the best feature in here might have been the cinematography. I have not seen this on DVD but I'd like to and wonder if it looks tremendous. It sure looked good on VHS. And that theme song! It is played throughout the movie and once you hear it, as I first did in the theater over 40 years ago, you never forget it.

My lone complaint is the length of the film. At 133 minutes, I think it would have been a lot tighter and better at about 110. However, even though there were definite lulls in the story, they were never that long in length.


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