Review Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

Discussion in 'Cult Films' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller- horror film - film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, about an aging actress who holds her paraplegic sister captive in an old Hollywood mansion. The screenplay by Lukas Heller is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Henry Farrell. Upon the film's release, it was met with widespread critical and box office acclaim and was later nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design, Black and White.

    The intensely bitter Hollywood rivalry between the film's two stars, Davis and Crawford, was heavily important to the film's initial success. This in part led to the revitalization of the then-waning careers of the two stars. In the years after release, critics continued to acclaim the film for its psychologically driven black comedy, camp, and creation of the psycho-biddy subgenre. The film's then unheard of and controversial plot meant that it originally received an X rating in the UK. Because of the appeal of the film's stars, Dave Itzkoff in The New York Times has identified it as being a "cult classic". In 2003, the character of Baby Jane Hudson was ranked #44 on the American Film Institute's list of the 50 Best Villains of American Cinema.

    Remade as a tv movie in 1991, with Lynn Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave...

    https://www.imdforums.com/threads/whatever-happened-to-baby-jane-1991.1354/#post-7725

     
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    #1 Doctor Omega, Mar 12, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    I think I was way too young when I first saw this - still going to kiddy dancing classes and regarding trips to the beach as big treats, (you can see some of the problems right there) - freaked out by the feathered friends in particular; might have been roundabout then I stopped complaining that I didn't have a sister. And it was many, many years before I saw it again - total masterpiece!
     
  3. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter Very Active Member

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    Are you watching the Feud show on FX? I caught it last night and they showing it about some of the antics they were both doing to each other during the filming. I was laughing about the weight belt during the dragging scene.
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    Sadly no - I don't have quite that level of telly tech (yet). But I'm planning to track it down eventually - sounds very promising with those 2 leads and the actual history of their relationship - hope you continue to enjoy it in the meantime.
     
  5. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter Very Active Member

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    From what I seen it is pretty good. I might watch it, maybe/maybe not. I try not to get addicted to a tv show and watch regularly. There's a few I like to watch, but my main problem is trying to remember when they are on.
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    I sympathise!
    That's why I mostly watch on download on my computer for now, whenever I can settle in for a good catch-up on stuff.
     
  7. I_dont_care

    I_dont_care New Member

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    I love this film. I've yet to see Aldrich's follow up, "
    Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte". I wonder if it's any good?
     
  8. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    Ages since I saw it - it is good but it's not Baby Jane. It's like trying to compare apples with other, slightly less appley apples.
     
  9. Elliot Thomas

    Elliot Thomas Member

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    Very overheated (I think that's probably the point) but engrossing; Bette gives her best turn in years. She cuts a strikingly macabre figure as the eponymous 1920s child star who spends her declining years dreaming of fame whilst also tormenting her invalid sister (Crawford) who’d stolen her thunder by becoming a leading light in the 1930s.
    The film works brilliantly at reflecting the tumultuous real-life rivalry between the two leading ladies and you can sense this in the story as the chemistry between them crackles. Newcomer Victor Buono is also very impressive in an off-beat role as a confidence trickster. Highly influential film.
     
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