- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Epic Battle of the Fading Stars!
This is probably my favorite Bette Davis film. I've seen it at least 50 times or more since it was released. It scared me as a kid, but I became fascinated with the two stars and watched all their old movies on TV. I don't usually watch it all the way through anymore, but I did a few nights ago. Despite Davis' outrageous and compelling performance, I kept thinking just how good Crawford was in contrast. No make-up, no costumes to speak of and she really pulls it off. Of course, you can't take your eyes off Davis, and she gets all the great lines of dialogue. It's Drag Queen Heaven! Victor Buono is sweaty and creepy as Edwin Flagg and Marjorie Bennett as his doting mother is also great. Interesting trivia: Bennett played the mother of the bride in June Bride.
When this film came out the critics panned it. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and Victor ,sadly over looked, should all have received an Oscar.
- Karen Ellis
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford together, such talent! 5/5 from me.
either they knowingly made a story to look like a b movie or they really lucked out.. maybe both.
whatever happened to baby jane?
Bette should definitely have won the academy award for best actress that year but I guess the portrayal of evil never wins over the portrayal of good. GOD BLESS YOU BETTE XXX
Bette Versus Joan One Last Time
Two grande actresses, Bette and Joan, have their final screen showdown as--what else--retired show biz siblings. Bette's character achieves success early in vaudeville as Baby Jane Hudson, while Joan achieves success later in life as film actress Blanche Hudson. A touch of Norma Desmond/Sunset Boulevard here--Bette as a delusional has-been who actually believes her career can be resurrected. Joan as the sister confined to a wheelchair as a result of a horrific car accident. In the drive-way. Supposedly run over by Baby Jane. Baby Jane takes it hard upon learning Blanche plans to sell their old stately mansion. She begins a systematic torture of Blanche that amounts to elder abuse in today's terms. Viewers who saw this film 50 years ago were frightened by the hair-raising dinner entrees given to Blanche: Her dead pet bird served up on a tray of tomatoes and the rat well-done. What doesn't hold up is Blanche's inability to bring attention to her imprisonment. For instance, her neighbor is outside below her window cutting flowers. Instead of screaming like a maniac for help, she writes a complicated note on a typewriter, balls it up, and throws it out the window. Of course, Baby Jane finds it. Duh. When the affected Victor Buono visits the house as a loony piano accompanist for Blanche, she could have screamed and yelled for help. She doesn't. Then the dumbest thing ever is Blanche's explanation to Baby Jane in the final beach scene that SHE--Blanche--caused her own paralysis in the car accident by trying to run over Baby Jane. Huh? A lifetime of jealousy and hatred boils down to demented Baby Jane waltzing on the beach while Blanche lies dying in a blanket. For all their competition, both Bette and Joan are good here. And if you want to know where The Joker's (Batman) make-up originated, take a good look at Bette Davis here. Nowhere near as frightening today, but worth viewing.
Oh, Baby!& answer for K.S.
- Hauntess A. Clichae
The entire cast- from Julie Allred to Victor Buono were to be commended for enacting the dismindful fallout that impurifies the souls of many movie-making participants who succumb to power through imagery while their army of ordinary admirers look on- 1st in awe, then with horror. In answer to the correction of my Caberet review (Stab or Pay 6/30/16) the American press relied on British news reporting for goings-on in Eorope at the time of the Titanic and Britain had allied with France against Gernany which slant influenced American thought in that same direction.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane ?
Bette Davis did a phenomenal job as Baby Jane Hudson. Her makeup alone must have taken an artist a while. I wish community theater could get the script, but there is not one for a play. How sad. It would be fun to do!
Over The Top
- Tom Ponti
When I saw this movie, when it first came out, I was more impressed with Crawford's performance than that of Bette Davis. The role of Jane is more showy and allows an actress to go over the top, which Davis did. Some people consider screaming camp good acting, whereas IMO, one can be more forceful and convincing in the subtle, yet powerful performance of Crawford gave. To each is own!
retire when its time to retire
Two actresses with a record most actresses today would die for, should have quit after making this film. Playing parts that were commensurate with their true age, they could have made up for their last film roles in the decade before this film was made. They refused to surrender to their true age. Its bad enough when non-celebrities refuse, but when the public is reminded that they too are getting older, its painful. The final scenes on the beach are unforgettable as a metaphor for the end of their careers.
The Maid from Hell
- Fred C. Wilson III
I just love this movie! I make it a point to watch it every time its' on TCM. The raw hatred between lead actors Joan Crawford and Bette Davis is so refreshing! But in my opinon the really scary character isn't Bette or Joan but Elvira the maid from Hell. She's the one who frightens me. (LOL!)
RE: Sympathy for the director
Betty Davis and Joan Crawford in the sane film. This director was coming out in a body bag. It is entertaining, though. But I can't help hoping that the crew at least got combat pay for working on this production.
Scary movie in more ways than one.....
- Patty Carr
First of all, my review of the movie is, of course, excellent acting, directing, and a movie that was/is able to scare the heck out of me like Psycho, Cape Fear, and so and and so forth, so many...But for me, the most ironic and SCARY part of watching this movie is having flashbacks of the time when living in Phoenix the movie was on, and I was home alone with my two children, then 7 and 9 years of age, while..........an intruder/potential rapist one could say, was hiding in my closet. I was barbecuing in the front of the house and distinctly heard the kitchen door open and shut, and assumed it was my husband.....I told my son to go see what he wanted on the grill, he went, came back, and stated nobody was there, to my astonishment. So, I foolishly dismissed it as "must be hearing things," ....there he was hiding all the while the movie was on while my kids and I were watching it....well, when the movie ended approximately close to 1 a.m., my kids went to bed and I went in my bedroom to get my nightgown out, suddenly the closet door slid open quietely (I did not turn the light on, felt no need to...yeah, right,..) and, the fight was on, the terror was on, suddenly all the things my father had taught me and all the things I learned while in the military came into focus, as he had a knife and had full intention to use it; however, without going into detail, I was able to "outfox" him and instantly dash to the right as he was running behind me.....I ran under the street light and froze in terror. I had a gut-feeling that he did not want to be exposed under a bright street light.....I will not go on with all the details police, hearing him leap over the 6-foot fence in back yard, etcetera. God and my Guardian Angel were with me and over and over in my mind I would call out to my Guardian Angel.....I will end the story, but....I have to say.....through the years, everytime the Baby Jane movie comes on...It brings it all back. ....Patty
What ever happened to baby jane
Love this movie. Bette Davis is hillarios in what ever happened to baby jane
Anne Bancroft Won?
The fact that Bette Davis did not win the Oscar for her towering and tour de force performance as Jane Hudson is a travesty. Bancroft was good in the Miracle Worker, but she played it like a thousand times on Broadway. Davis avoids caricature in a finally honed performance that could have gone over the top but doesn't. It is a monumental performance- Anne Bancroft's was not. Whether or not Joan Crawford lobbied against Bette is beside the point- Bette deserved the Academy Award. My God, is that woman missed!!! And, speaking of Joan, she was grand in the film, critics notwithstanding. Bette's daughter, B.D., however, is so bad that she's good. No talent passed down there! Baby Jane is always a treat to watch - TCM was smart to name it as an "essential".
One Heart Stopping Movie
- Author, Eddie S.
This movie is extremely sad but at the same time one of the greatest movies I ever seen and therefore I watch it every single time I see it run on TCM. Bette and Joan made a great team in this movie. The sad part is no one ever knew what happen to Baby Jane as the title says because of the way the movie ended, A movie I can watch over and over and over. Thanks TCM.
Great film and film pairing.This and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte are great.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
- Dashiell Barnes
A perfectly creepy & scary comeback vehicle Crawford & Davis. The latter earned her final Oscar nomination as a crazed as a washed-up child star, Buono was nominated for his supporting work, but Crawford's performance should not be overlooked. The story falls into campy melodrama, but manages to remain suspenseful throughout. This offbeat horror film, directed with glee by Aldrich allows, offer's audiences to see the legendary Crawford & Davis spew venom on each other. I give it a 4/5.
Nothing like family
When I first saw this film as a child, it terrified me, but I couldn't understand why. Very little blood, no monsters or aliens, no shootouts. I saw the film later as an adult and realized that the extreme pathos of 'Baby Jane' was what scared me, and, I found out, a lot of other people who were abused by siblings.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Yes, Bette definitely gave an amazing performance in Baby Jane and definitely could have won the Best Actress Oscar. It's a very strong, fearless, commanding performance, and it dominates the film...which is also why Joan's performance was perfect, I think. (Many people here said Joan's acting was bad or "boring" - but it had to be played low-key - which it was - to complement Bette's over-the-top performance. In this case, over-the-top isn't bad, it's great because Bette was essentially playing an insane person, so it fit the character) But Bette defintely had the showier role, by far, so Joan made the best of her low-key role and I think played it just as it should have been played. I wouldn't nominate Joan for an Oscar here, but it's not the kind of role for an Oscar performance. It's a supporting, good-girl performance, for Bette's scenery-chewing bad-girl lead role. (But of course in the end it turns out Blanche was secretly a bad girl too.) Plus, let's face it, Joan and Bette couldn't stand each other, but had to work together - Joan knowing every second that Bette had such a showy role and was making it even more showy and clownish with that white makeup. So with the anger and insecurity that must have been boiling beneath the surface, Joan gave an amazingly strong performance for a "calm" supporting role. (While Bette could more easily fuel her anger into her crazy scary "bitch" role.)
From a Joan fan...
- Jarrod McDonald
I think Joan definitely has the better role in this film. Why? Because this character has a huge struggle in the story. Look at the scenes where she tries to get the neighbor's attention through the window...or when she tries to get down to the phone to call for help...and when she tries to prevent her sister from killing the maid. The conflicts and struggles are more clearly defined as hers. Bette's role, meanwhile, goes nowhere dramatically. She's much more one-note...she arrived at insanity long ago, and there are very few struggles and obstacles like money and doctors are easily overcome. So, what we have is Bette doing this big song and dance in front of the camera, while Joan acts her butt off in the background. The only problem I have with the script is that once the maid dies, Blanche sort of disappears from the story. Sure, we see Jane take her down to the beach, but even at the end, the police are more prominently featured than Blanche. I think Joan's lack of screen time in the film's final ten or fifteen minutes causes viewers to forget all the great stuff that came earlier in the picture, and so Bette tends to get more of the credit. But what I take from this picture is just how strong Joan is in this part, how as an actress she probably could see through Bette and maybe even felt sorry for such an overgrown child. Then, there's that wonderfully soft and feminine voice of Joan's. You really notice how beautiful it is when she dubs over much huskier Bette (who probably was not able to successfully imitate her).
Great Film...with 2 great ACTRESS'
it seems like the bette davis "fan club" have left most of the reviews. it's amazing that intelligent people don't seem to realize how great crawford was in this. most of joan's scenes, she had no one to play off and she handles them brilliantly. check out the scene where she manages to get down the stairs or when victor bruono finds her in the room half tied up. though i love both actress' joan's acting is much more natural in later years than davis'. both actress' careers were on the skids and this film brought them back in the spotlight and into low budget and fun "scream queen" films. it would be nice to see people celebrating the two great performances of two legends in this film. and as far as i'm concerned back then they all were stars.
Joan Holds Her Own...
If this film was released today, not only would BD have received an Oscar nomination in a lead role, but JC would have been nominated for her supporting lead role as well. Joan and house keeper, beautifully played by Maidie Norman, played their roles straight giving this movie its foothold in reality while letting BD and Victor Hugo play it over the top, thus giving this movie its Gothic edge while keeping the story genuine. Aldrich, it is said, wanted Maidie to play her part campy poor uneducated housecleaner. But Maidie refused and played her part as a strong, moral woman Maidie's straight portrayal, along with Joan's, played it right. Joan knew she would have to deliver a great performance to keep up with Bette and her larger, more expressive part and Joan delivered. When all is said and done, all the cards are out on the table, the viewers still hold sympathy for both sisters, and considering the circumstances, that is what is called damn good acting on Joan's part. I look forward to the next time I get to see these two divas dual. If Joan had only finished Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - it has been said Joan had Bette running nervous but Joan got tired of the games Bette was paying on the set and fein illness to get out of the picture.
Bette Davis Nominated for 4 Awards
I agree with others here that the adult Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) is one of the great classic roles of the 1960's. Davis'stunning performance, that goes well beyond the pale even for her, garnered her 4 major award nominations in the Best Actress category. This motion picture has become a classic melodrama because it consists of one of Bette Davis' greatest roles as a psychotic. The rest of the cast, poor as their performances were, couldn't spoil the film. In particular, the role of Blanche Hudson, Jane's sister, should have been cast with a far stronger character actor who could equal Bette Davis' performance.Later, Vanessa Redgrave played Blanche Hudson in a modernized version with her sister Lynn Redgrave playing Jane. Redgrave's Blanche comes across as the one that could have been a much better match for Davis' Jane. Maybe one day modern technology could mix the 2 films with Davis & Redgrave as the Hudson sisters.
Bette Davis' Tour de Force Melodrama
Jane Hudson was made into one of the most memorable melodramatic film characters. Because of Miss Davis' extraordinary performance this film's become a classic. She nearly had to carry the film by herself since something wasn't right with the rest of the cast. The rest of the performers are not in the same acting stratosphere as Bette Davis and it shows. That makes this film's classic status all the more amazing since it is based primarily upon the performance of one major actor.
Bette Davis lays the exaggerated vengenceof Jane Hudson on thick. So think that her performance earns an Oscar nomination and took this film to the stature of a classic that's real fun to watch. Having seen the remake by the Redgrave sisters, Vanessa's Blanche Hudson is the one I prefer. Other than that, I'm a fan of this film.
Bravura Oscar Nomination Bette Davis Film
Not even one of the weakest supporting cast's performances, all the way around, could do any damage to the bravura performance by Bette Davis when she played Jane Hudson. This film has become a classic as a result of Bette Davis' remarkable in character role as an adult who was a childhood star but never grew up enough to get over losing her star status. To make her life miserable, her evil sister, Blanche, who's pretending to be a victim of an accident that left her paralyzed, has always claimed that Jane drove their car into her. That's a lie. But nobody but Blanche knows it. She allows her sister to be mistreated by their community as if Jane's the villain. All the while Blanche is playing the victimized martyr. Jane expresses her resentment in elaborate ways. If this film had stronger supportng performances it would have been a major classic instead of a minor one.
Really Fun Film!
This Bette Davis classic is one of the most fun to watch. Our first lady of cinema goes out on a limb for the role of Jane Hudson. She should have won the Oscar for Best Actress. Crawford's supporting performance as Blanche Hudson is pretty lame. Davis overcomes that problem with the casting by sticking to her great acting methods. (If you want to see Blanche portrayed by a great woman actor, watch the Redgraves' version called, "Whatever Happened To...?," with the great character actor Vanessa Redgrave giving her all bring out the better Blanche by far).
Tour de force Bette Davis Parody
As Jane Hudson, Bette Davis puts on a parody exaggerating the plight of a once famous child star who seems to have never gotten beyond that stage of life. Her sister, Blanche Hudson, played by Joan Crawford, has allowed the world of her own fans and neighbors to believe that Jane caused an accident that left Blanche paralyzed. Jane has been persecuted for her sisters accident. All the while Blanche demanded that Jane wait on and answer her every beckoned call. Davis' tour de force performance earned her another Oscar nomination as the leading actress. Crawford's supporting performance leaves much to be desired. Still the film's a classic melodrama that Davis pulls off as a delightful parody.
Bette Davis Exceeds Herself
As the adult Jane Hudson, Bette Davis achieves creating another classic performance. She has to go into the mind of a psychotic former child star who's been mentally abused by her sister, Blanche (Joan Crawford), due to sibling rivalry. Davis' leading performance is ever so memorable. Crawford's supporting one is average, at best. It was an unwise move to cast Davis and Crawford in the same film. Davis was a master character actor. Crawford was a movie star. The contrast in their performances is so stark that following Crawford's mis-steps in this film her career never recovers. Nevertheless, due to Davis' tour de force leading performance this film is a classic.
Genius, talent & spitfire: Bette Davis
Bette Davis IS who makes this film work so well. Playing the role of Jane Hudson,Miss Davis absolutely nails her character. What a character to go into!: an adult psychotic who's delusional enough to believe she can revive her childhood act, dressed up like a baby doll. Her creepy sap of a sister, Blanche (Joan Crawford), has played a filthy rivalrous trick on Jane by pretending that Jane caused her paralysis. Crawford's lack of a solid performance punctuates what genius, talent & heart went into Bette Davis'. Crawford's the supporting actress; Davis is the lead. The film wouldn't have worked had their roles been reversed. The film's a Bette Davis classic.
A triumph for Bette Davis
- robert ryan
In Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Davis once againproves what she can do with even half way decentmaterial. She takes this seemingly stock thriller and by sheer talent and force of personality turns it into an intense study of the effects of guilt and trauma on an already fragile psyche.What could have easily have become an over the top exercise in camp horror, insteadbecomes a compelling story of two sisters trapped in a prison of their own making -one by deceit- one by guilt. Cheers to Davis, ALdrich and Crawford for makinga cult classic that has withstood the test of time, and is worthy of becoming part of TCM'S collection!
I think it's automatic when someone mentions "Baby Jane" for them to think of Bette Davis dressed like a baby doll as a middle-aged crazy woman. Davis' performance made such a profound impression upon audiences and actors that it was difficult to imagine anyone ever surpassing her character. There was a problem with the film because Jane Hudson's sister, Blanche, was played by a method actor instead of a character actor, Joan Crawford. Her performance didn't work in this type of film which required going very intensely into character. Crawford could do that so that performances were quite unbalanced. For Bette Davis, however, playing Jane Hudson is one of her great classic performances.
Why beat around the bush? Joan Crawford's portrayal of Blanche Hudson is horrible. Bette Davis' portrayal of Jane Hudson is classic. Had it not been for that serious problem, "Baby Jane" could have been far better. In fact, when the Redgrave sisters remade and modernized a version of this film as a movie for TV, Vanessa Redgrave's Blanche made Joan Crawford's look very amatuerish.
A Great Bette Davis Classic Peformance
How Bette Davis could become so many different characters still amazes me. Doing Jane Hudson was a real stretch. It's like this role was made for Bette Davis because who else could have been Jane as well as Davis? Crawford's role is to be a prop for Davis. So this is Davis' tour de force performance. Crawford's hardly much of a supporting character. Davis acts at a completely different level that Crawford was capable of. That's never more clear that in this film.
Davis' Multi-Awarded Classic Performance
Award records speak better than I can:(1962) Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar Nomination for: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Jane Hudson (Bette Davis);(Bette Davis Won 1963)Most Cooperative Actress Golden Apple Award;(Bette Davis Won 1963)Top Female Dramatic Performance Golden Laurel Award for: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; (1963)Best Motion Picture Actress, Drama Golden Globe Nomination for: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Bette Davis);(1964)Best Foreign Actress BAFTA Nomination for: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? USA (Bette Davis).
Grown Up Jane
Bette Davis nomination for yet another Best Actress Oscar for her startling performance as Jane Hudson speaks volumes about the caliber of her depiction. Lynn Redgrave, a great actor, played Jane in the television movie remake with her famous sister, Vanessa Redgrave (arguably the greatest living British actress). Even with the acting ability of Lynn Redgrave and with her sister, a much better actor playing her sister, Blanche Hudson, this performance by Bette Davis couldn't be surpassed. Joan Crawford, as Blanche, is already too far gone to do anywhere close to a decent job of playing her role. That is this film's weakness: the supporting cast. In every other sense this is a classic horror film of Bete Davis'.
Bette Davis' triumphant crazy character
I wonder many times how difficult it was for Bette Davis to play the part of Jane Hudson. It's not like she could have gone somewhere to hang around women like Jane to study them! Davis had to completely invent Jane from her own imagination. Davis had to test the mettle of her finest tuned acting techniques to pull this character out of herself. I'm awed by how she did so. The AFI was as well since she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress (again). Crawford (Blanche) proved to be hardly more than a prop to be used by Jane. Certainly they didn't do much performance dialogue interaction. Too bad the rest of the cast was so lame. Davis carries this film by herself.
I probably shouldn't admit what I know around half of the fans of this film have thought. I'm going to say it anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Joan Crawford (a semblance of Blanche) having the tar beat, kicked and scared out of her. That Bette Davis (an Oscar nominated Jane) got the opportunity of a lifetime to do it makes it all the more amusing. Davis goes all out to play the role of a deranged former child star who's still partly living in the past. Crawford may as well have pulled those sheets over her head to hide her face for the awful performance she got away with. But, that's what makes the film super. Davis is performing at an Oscar worthy level while roughing Crawford up but good. Crawford's performance is a pitiful as her real and off screen character. I confess. I find it quite entertaining!
Bette Davis' Tour De Force Performance
Bette Davis played in a few horror films,but not many. This is one of her best performances in the genre, second only to "Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte." She had to go all out to play Jane Hudson, especially since the rest of the cast didn't come close to being the same level of actor as Davis. Joan Crawford was supposed to have been a strong supporting character, Blanche Hudson. Her performance is paled by Davis'. Then,when the Redgrave sisters, both fine actors, played the leads in the remake for TV, Vanessa Redgrave's Blanche so outplayed Crawford's that the new Blanchebecame the prefered one, as well as made it more obvious how badly Crawford had buggled her role. By then her acting career was reduced to being used for her name and camp value. It didn't matter because Davis' performance carries the film, it's such a classic one.
What happens to has-beens
Rather than reviewing this film on the surface, I'd rather globalize. This is a psychological study of sorts of what can happen by becoming 'star-struck' as much as stuck in the past. Jane's (Bette Davis) been driven into a state of outraged vengence because of a severe trauma she experienced as a youth. Her sister, Blanche (Joan Crawford) has become stunted in a state of victimhood out of a sense of guilt associated with her sister's trauma. What seems isn't. It seems that Jane's tormenting Blanche. But, it's Blanche who's been tormenting Jane all along. Davis gives an Oscar worthy performance. Crawford's career had already been reduced to a kind of circus side show attraction, or a prop with a name for directors to deploy.
Bette Davis classic
Having seen both this film and "Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte," I can see how both are considered Bette Davis classics.But, the latter is superior to this one for a primary reason: the rest of the cast doesn't deliver good enough acting. "Sweet Charlotte's" cast is made up of actors who deliver top knotch performances. That's not the cast in this film. Bette Davis' performance is indeed one of her finest of the few she did in the horror genre. Joan Crawford's performance is sorely lacking, even though, by then, most of her films were horrors (and horrible). The remake's Blanche is acted far better.
By the end of this film it's crystal clear what happened to Jane Hudson. Unless I spoil the film's end I cannot reveal what transpired. I doubt that Bette Davis' performance in the lead role as Jane will ever be matched or surpassed. Davis made this character her own. It is like Barbra Streisand making a certain song hers. No one else who performs it will ever overcome the match made between the original performer and the performance. The same cannot be said for Blanche's role because Vanessa Redgrave has already taken possession of Blanche in the same way Davis owns Jane.
What if every time people felt impulses to treat others with malice they did so? Kind of like the Id was taking over. What if guilt over a life long hidden lie that harmed someone else turned a person into a victim? The results would be the two characters, Jane & Blanche Hudson, in this film. Since so much brooha was made up over Joan Crawford's jealousy of Bette Davis' more successful acting career, the studio system exploited that hype. Bette Davis' powerhouse performance makes this film work. The rest of the characters could've stood having better actors.
Old Woman at 54yo According to Warner?
Change in how women actors are treated have stopped limiting their acting careers by ageism. "...Baby Jane" is a classic Bette Davis film that earned her another Best Actress Oscar nomination. While it's a blast watching Jane give Blanche what she deserved, Crawford's performance doesn't come close to matching Davis'. Thus, the film is somewhat compromised by casting errors. Davis' performance had to carry the film & does. That's why it's a classic. Crawford could only be a victim on & off screen. There's a kind of justice in watching her being treated as one, or perhaps, as she mistreated others. Davis goes all out for her choice part.
Oscar-Worthy Davis Performance
"Playing Jane Hudson" would have been a super title for book by Bette Davis. How she got into Baby Jane's character & stayed there throughout the film is way beyond my imaginings. It's too bad that the rest of the cast gave such lame performances. Joan Crawford's was critical & yet her performance was so ghastly that I couldn't sympathsize with her at all. Maybe, like another reviewer noted, once I'd seen Vanessa Redgrave's Blanche, hers was so well played that it makes Crawford's seem worse. But the acting genius of Bette Davis carries the entire film. She deserved the Oscar for which she was nominated & knew it, too.
Bette Davis: Robbed Best Actress Oscar
In this, Bette Davis' defining role of the 1960's, she plays, Jane Hudson, a former child starlette who's stuck at that age of emotional development after experiencing a series of traumatizing events. Unfortunately, Joan Crawford was cast as her sister, Blanche, a paraplegic as a result of an accident that Jane has historically been accused of causing. The problem with Crawford's performance is, as usual, she plays herself: the eternal victim who cannot be sympathized with. Davis turns in a convincing performance as an adult who acts like a righteously resentful child.
Great Lead, Poor Support
As Jane Hudson, Bette Davis turns in an Oscar-worthy performance, yet again. In fact, Davis was robbed of that Oscar thanks to the back-stabbing lobbying by Joan Crawford. It wasn't enough that Miss Crawford turned in a lousy supporting performance. She had to do more damage because that's the kind of movie star she was. She had to have center stage or no one else could. Next to Miss Davis, Miss crawford couldn't carry her own part in this film and it shows. After watching a real actor, Vanessa Redgrave, play Blanche Hudson, Miss Crawford's seems quite lame.
In want of a better supporting cast
Bette Davis turns in an oscar-worthy performance. Unfortuantely, the supporting cast is so far beneath her acting ability that the film doesn't rise to the level of "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte." Joan Crawford's performance is particularly lame. There's no other notable performance. Davis' Jane carries the entire film. Jane's stuck in a child-like mind due to a trauma when she & her sister, Blanche, were young starlettes. Due to untruthful rumors that Jane deliberately paralyzed Blanche, Jane believes them and becomes psychotic acting out her angst on Blanche.
Davis' Jane & Redgrave's Blanche
The only hacked acting in this film is Crawford's. Fortunately, Bette Davis gives an Oscar-nominated and worthy performance that makes the film sensational. Now that we've seen the Redgrave sisters' version, Vanessa Redgrave's Blanche makes Crawford's seems that much worse! It's satisfying to know that Crawford's Blanche, who plays the victim (which Crawford doesn't have to do since that's what she passed as), has performed an act of tyrannical mind control over her sister. With Crawford in that part, that's no surprise. With V. Redgrave in it, it is.
One-Way Rivalry Wasn't Mutual
Joan Crawford certainly thought of Bette Davis as a rival, with plenty of good reason: Crawford could touch Davis as an actor. Bette Davis didn't consider Crawford her rival. Davis detested Crawford's pretentiousness, didn't respect sleazing her way into parts, believed her victim act was harmful to women & didn't like her notorious inhumaneness to more people than her children. So when Davis had was offered the part of "Baby Jane" she jumped at the chance with nothing to fear career wise. Crawford jealously lobbied against Davis' 3rd Oscar for that performance.
Art Imitates Life
- Bruce Reber
Davis and Crawford's real life rivalry plays itself out in this campy Neo-Gothic chiller. They are essentially playing themselves; 2 aging actresses past their prime with Crawford the disabled former film star being victimized by her whacked-out boozing former child star sister (Davis). Although I doubt their real-life rivalry was this intense (some say it was), after her experiences working with Davis in Baby Jane, Crawford backed out of starring with her in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte because she couldn't go through it again. I have seen Baby Jane several times and my favorite scene has to be at the end when Jane has totally lost it and goes into her dance on the beach. It would have been interesting to see Baby Jane with the roles reversed - Davis as Blanche and Crawford as Jane.It would have been a way different film I'm sure. Show it again soon TCM.
dead rats for dinner?
This is my all time favorite movie I love Joan Crawford and Betty Davis. IN the movie they were both brilliant. IF there is anyone out there that wants to chat about movies please give me a shout. I love horror .
AN ALL TIME FAVORITE
I ALWAYS HAVE AND WILL ENJOY THIS MOVIE. I SAW IT AS A TEEN. THE ONLY OTHER TWO I RATE THIS HIGHLY IS THE GETAWAY WITH STEVE MCQUEEN AND SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS.
I've written a letter to Daddy.
Joan and Bette, Two of the best, Loved this movie, I've watched it more times than I can count.Not sure which one I love the most. Can't wait to see it again.I can never get enough of Joan Crawford or Bette Davis.
One of my all time favorites
Loved this movie in my teens and can't wait to see it again on TCM. I've also pre-orded the two disc special edition release coming soon! I can't wait. I'll be hosting a 'Baby Jane' night for friends who have never seent he movie before. Can you imagine?
I'm so excited.
I cannot wait to watch this movie. My sister and I watched this film years ago, ever since I have been waiting for it to premiere on TCM. Thank you to everyone at TCM for doing a great job. Robert Osbourne is my favorite I think he's so sexy. I love the little intros he does before and after each movie.