25 October 2014

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
134 min.
Directed by Robert Aldrich.
With Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Anna Lee, Marjorie Bennett, Maidie Norman, Barbara Merrill, Robert Cornthwaite.
Based on the novel by Henry Farrell published in 1960, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? re-ignited the careers of two of the big screen's greatest divas.

And in the process kickstarted the cinematic subtrend known as grand guignol.

Living in a decrepit old Los Angeles mansion with her sister Blanche (Crawford), Baby Jane Hudson (Davis) dreams only of the past.

She longs to rekindle the glorious embers of her vaudeville child star days.

Jane can still perform a rousing rendition of her signature classic "I've Written a Letter to Daddy" from her heyday.

Maybe it's possible...maybe Jane can stage a Hollywood career comeback the likes of which has never been seen before...

Dammit it all, if only her handicapped invalid sister Blanche wouldn't keep bringing her down!

Will the now quite-garish Jane be able to recapture a bit of celebrity...or will something need to be 'done' about her sister?

Punctuated by a palpable air of hysteria, with solid pacing and good performances from all (Buono is delightful here).

Two notable studio megastars from the past, Davis and Crawford truly electrified their latter day careers with this classic Aldrich thriller...and launched an entire slew of older actress exploitation horrors of the '60s.

A crusty, violent mess...and a must see!

Remade in 1991 as a TV movie starring real life sisters Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave.

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