Film Box Retrospective: ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’ with Kathleen Ellison

March 14, 2013

I watched this classic recently and I just couldn’t help myself, I had to write a review. I’m sure you might have heard of this crazy story, but you really need to see it. Who doesn’t love movies filled with insanity, torture, murder, and weird dolls. This 1962 thriller is directed by Robert Aldrich, and stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

In this classic of sibling rivalry the aged Hudson sisters live together in mansion. ‘Baby’ Jane Hudson (Davis) was always the more famous sister as a child, but when Blanche (Crawford) got older and into film, she quickly overshadowed Jane. Now, years later, Blanche is confined to a wheelchair and the resentment and jealousy from the past is slowly driving Jane into madness causing her to torment her sister.

This movie is astounding and sinister. The music and the cinematography create this tone of immense suspense and creepiness. The scenes when Jane hallucinates are shot to perfection. I think one of the most amazing aspects of this film is that in reality the two actresses, Crawford and Davis, supposedly despised each other.

Despite their believed rivalry, the two actresses go beyond amazing in this film. Bette Davis took her role to extremes, with overacting and over the top makeup which solidified her role perfectly. She is completely convincing in her portrayal of a woman gradually going insane. Meanwhile Crawford subtle methods really work in her role as the victim.

This thrilling drama really grabs you and keeps you on edge. The interaction and change in the characters create a fast pace and engaging plot. I can’t describe adequately how incredibly eerie this movie is. You have to watch it just to see Bette Davis dress up as a little girl and sing creepily.

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Posted in: A&E

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