What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich. It stars Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono and Maidie Norman. The film is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Henry Farrell. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design, Black and White.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) is an aging child star left to care for her wheelchair-bound sister Blanche (Joan Crawford), also a former child actress. Stuck living together in a mansion in old Hollywood, Blanche plots to get even with Jane for the car crash that left her crippled years earlier. But Jane is desperate to keep Blanche imprisoned as she plans a new rise to fame, and tries to hide Blanche's existence from doctors, visitors and neighbors while she devises a way to get rid of her sister.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Bette Davis as Jane Hudson
- Joan Crawford as Blanche Hudson
- Victor Buono as Edwin Flagg
- Maidie Norman as Elvira Stitt
- Anna Lee as Mrs. Bates
- B.D. Merrill as Liza Bates
- Marjorie Bennett as Dehlia Flagg
- Dave Willock as Ray Hudson
- Julie Allred as young Jane
- Gina Gillespie as young Blanche
- Debbie Burton as young Jane's singing voice
Reception[edit | edit source]
Critical response[edit | edit source]
The film received positive reviews and elicited mixed responses over the Davis/Crawford combination. In his review in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther observed, "[Davis and Crawford] do get off some amusing and eventually blood-chilling displays of screaming sororal hatred and general monstrousness ... The feeble attempts that Mr. Aldrich has made to suggest the irony of two once idolized and wealthy females living in such depravity, and the pathos of their deep-seated envy having brought them to this, wash out very quickly under the flood of sheer grotesquerie."
The film maintains a 91% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 46 reviews, indicating critical acclaim.