Monday, October 16, 2017

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Who's In It: Bette Davis (Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Burnt Offerings, Return from Witch Mountain, The Watcher in the Woods), Joan Crawford (The Unknown, I Saw What You Did, Berserk, Trog), and Victor Buono (Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Wild Wild West, Batman, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Man from Atlantis).

What It's About: A former child star (Davis) attempts a comeback while also persecuting her housebound sister (Crawford).

How It Is: Wow. I was really disappointed in this classic. Davis gives a great, disturbing performance and there are some tense scenes, but there are also a dozen ways that Blanche (Crawford) could have gotten herself out of that situation.

It works as a character study of these two sisters. And the complicated, ambiguous relationship between Jane (Davis) and the man she hires as musical accompanist to her comeback (Buono) is fascinating. But it's an unconvincing thriller and not really a horror movie at all.

Rating: 2 out of 5 sadistic sisters


Caffeinated Joe said...

Oh, I am surprised. I like this one. I think Crawford's character kind of punishes herself for what she did and accepts the treatment her sister gives. That is until it goes to far and her life is on the line.

But I do agree... the scene when she is at the window. Oy. She could have yelled. That should have been shot differently.

Michael May said...

Yeah. That window scene is where it lost me.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how it compares with the Redgrave version - I haven't seen either in decades.

Michael May said...

Dang. Now I wanna see the Redgrave one to see if they fix what I don't like about this one.


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