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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Robert Aldrich (1962)

128min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
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.

Summary

Former child star Jane Hudson fails to launch an adult career, while her younger sister Blanche becomes a successful actress. Decades later, Blanche is in a wheelchair and an embittered Jane keeps her a virtual prisoner in their home, carrying out a campaign of sadistic abuse while dreaming hopelessly of a comeback. Robert Aldrich's drama, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Cast & Crew

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
Director Robert Aldrich
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Other Information

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

Drama

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