7.6/10
12,360
143 user 50 critic

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 January 1965 (USA)
Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,971 ( 4,485)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
Dead Ringer (1964)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Paul Henreid
Stars: Bette Davis, Karl Malden, Peter Lawford
The Nanny (1965)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

There's just something not quite right when Bette Davis stars as an English nanny. And is her 10-year-old charge an emotionally disturbed murderer or just an insolent brat?

Director: Seth Holt
Stars: Bette Davis, Wendy Craig, Jill Bennett
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a twenty-year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three sons who work in the family construction business help their overbearing mother celebrate her anniversary to her late husband.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Bette Davis, Sheila Hancock, Jack Hedley
Dark Victory (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
The Star (1952)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A washed-up movie queen finds romance, but still desires a comeback.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden, Natalie Wood
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) overcomes court intrigue to win favor with Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Edit

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:

Hush, Hush, sweet Charlotte, Charlotte, don't you cry, Chop, Chop, sweet Charlotte, a faithless man must die. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Miriam Deering (Olivia de Havilland) is preparing to close up the house in anticipation of moving out, she is packing a box which is stenciled "Sam Strangis Storage & Transfer, Baton Rouge, LA.". Sam Strangis was the Assistant Director on this movie. See more »

Goofs

Shots of Bette Davis (shot in heavy shadows) and an obviously much younger double are unsuccessfully cut together in the opening prologue sequence. See more »

Quotes

Jewel Mayhew: Who was it said, "this long disease, my life"?
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 »


Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Grand Southern Gothic
29 March 2011 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

What an entertaining movie! It's the Southern setting that gives the film its potent flavor, with that overwrought plantation house, the Southern accents, the small town gossip, antebellum attitudes, and the music at the party in 1927. The script's dialogue also reflects this Southern tint. Mournfully reflecting on the past, Sam Hollis (Victor Buono) says near the beginning: "My daddy sat out there on that veranda; let this whole place slide to dust; when he died there was nothing but debts and dirt; I touched that dirt and made it blossom".

The story's theme is a preoccupation with the past, with ghosts not properly buried, and with family secrets, repression, and subterfuge. Charlotte (Bette Davis) is a pitiful woman because she is not rational. Like her daddy, she can't let go of the past. Living all alone in that big house with just her housekeeper Velma (Agnes Moorehead), Charlotte obsesses about bygone days. But if her own delusions contribute to her misery, she at least has the presence of mind to understand that those who come to visit her may not have her best interests in mind, hence the story's conflict as she attempts to fight back.

All of the major roles are ideally cast. I would not have made a single change in casting. Acting trends a tad melodramatic at times, but that's part of the fun. Agnes Moorehead gives one of the great supporting performances of all time. And Olivia de Havilland, with her vocal inflections, shrewd smile and stylish behavior, adds elegance that contrasts nicely with the shabby and humorously uncultured Velma.

B&W cinematography also contributes to the film's high quality. Dramatic lighting, interesting overhead camera angles, lots of interior shadows, and quick zoom-ins all add visual interest.

Plot structure is okay, but the runtime is a bit lengthy. I wish they had edited out some of the campy scenes in the second half.

"Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte" is a grand movie, with grand actors and grand moments. The story contains mystery, spine-tingling suspense, and it veritably drips with Southern angst. Though the film is a tad campy in a few spots and is a bit long, nevertheless it's wonderfully entertaining.


30 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 143 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed