What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

  • 12
  • Robert Aldrich (1962)
  • US
  • 128 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This innovative and much imitated chiller set the trend for ageing Hollywood divas to revive their careers by playing unhinged maniacs - but no one beats Bette Davis or Joan Crawford in the snarl-and-shriek department. Here, the former queens of Hollywood play actress sisters divided by age-old Tinseltown resentments, with Davis's grotesquely made-up former child star "Baby" Jane Hudson torturing her paralysed sister Blanche (Crawford). The on-screen fireworks were reportedly fuelled by off-screen hatred, but the chemistry between the stars is unquestionably hair-raising and upped the Gothic stakes to camp shock levels. On a more serious note, this Grand Guignol-style Sunset Blvd deals with the frightening decay of illusions by cleverly incorporating both actresses' earlier work into the psychodrama.

Plot Summary

Gothic drama starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Former movie star sisters "Baby Jane" and Blanche Hudson live alone in a decaying Hollywood mansion. Blanche, now confined to a wheelchair, is at the mercy of the increasingly demented and sadistic Jane.

Cast and crew

Cast

Jane Hudson
Bette Davis
Blanche Hudson
Joan Crawford
Edwin Flagg
Victor Buono
Mrs Bates
Anna Lee
Elvira Stitt
Maidie Norman
Della Flagg
Marjorie Bennett
Liza Bates
Barbara D Merrill
Ray Hudson
Dave Willock
Cora Hudson
Ann Barton
Young Jane
Julie Allred
Young Blanche
Gina Gillespie

Crew

Director
Robert Aldrich

Other Information

Language: 
English
Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Park Circus
Guidance: 
Contains violence.
Available on video and DVD
Released 14 Dec 2012
Certificate 12
Categories
Drama