What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

5.0 8
Director: Robert Aldrich

Cast: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono


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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? gets a well-deserved special-edition treatment from Warner Bros. on this two-disc set. It has received a new letterboxed, anamorphic video transfer that is a noticeable improvement on the previous DVD of this title; the film's rich black-and-white cinematography is much sharper here and benefits from a higher level of contrast…  See more details below


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? gets a well-deserved special-edition treatment from Warner Bros. on this two-disc set. It has received a new letterboxed, anamorphic video transfer that is a noticeable improvement on the previous DVD of this title; the film's rich black-and-white cinematography is much sharper here and benefits from a higher level of contrast that shows off its fine details. The audio portion of the disc sticks to the original mono soundtrack; thankfully, this is a well-mixed track that offers nice, crisp sound. Plenty of extras are also included for the film's fans. On the first disc are a theatrical trailer and a commentary by filmmaker Charles Busch and film historian John Epperson (alias Lypsinka). The commentary is a mixed bag; it offers some interesting information about Hollywood history and the camp appeal of the film but feels a little rushed and awkward. The second disc offers a variety of documentary featurettes. First up is "Bette And Joan: Blind Ambition," a retrospective exploration of the two stars' careers by a series of critics and film historians that was produced for this set. Also included is "All About Bette," a comprehensive television special hosted by Jodie Foster, and "A Film Portrait: Joan Crawford," a BBC documentary. Each of these specials offers plentiful information and insight into what made these two stars tick and the one-of-a-kind chemistry they brought to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? There is also a vintage making-of featurette about the film and an amusing clip of Bette Davis appearing on The Andy Williams Show to sing a ditty about the film. All in all, this two-disc edition of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is worth the time for the film's fan base.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Feisty director Robert Aldrich paired up two of Hollywood's greatest ice queens, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, a campy, gothic exercise in psychological terror. The public status of both actresses was in severe decline in real life, lending their characters an added element of eerie realism. The duo's hostility is palpable, and their reported on-set animosity only fuels the picture's shock value. As the crippled former star, Crawford basically plays it straight; it is Davis' scenery chewing that makes the picture worth seeing. Her demented, Academy Award-nominated performance is unforgettably courageous. Aldrich handles the eccentric material well, mixing the creepy with the humorous for an overall peculiar tone. Though Baby Jane has become a cult classic, it is still a skillfully made, well-performed nail-biter.

Product Details

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Warner Home Video
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Charles Busch and John Epperson (Lypinska); Three fabulous documentary profiles of the movie and its two immortal stars: "Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition"; "All About Bette," hosted by Jodie Foster; and "A Film Profile: Joan Crawford"; Vintage featurette "Behind the Scenes with Baby Jane"; The Andy Williams Show excerpt featuring Bette Davis

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bette Davis Jane Hudson
Joan Crawford Blanche Hudson
Victor Buono Edwin Flagg
Marjorie Bennett Mrs. Della Flagg
Anna Lee Mrs. Bates
Maide Norman Elvira Stitt
B.D. Merrill Liza Bates
Julie Allred Baby Jane Hudson
Gina Gillespie Blanche (younger)
Dave Willock Ray Hudson
Anne Barton Cora Hudson
William Aldrich Actor
Ernest Anderson Actor
Debbie Burton [singing]
Russ Conway Actor
Maxine Cooper Actor
Michael Fox Actor
Don Ross Actor
James Seay Actor
John Shay Actor
Jon Shepodd Actor
Peter Virgo Actor
Wesley Addy Director
Robert Cornthwaite Dr. Shelby
Bert Freed Producer
Bobs Watson Actor

Technical Credits
Robert Aldrich Director,Producer
Tom Connors Asst. Director
Frank deVol Score Composer
William Glasgow Art Director
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Lukas Heller Screenwriter
Kenneth Hyman Executive Producer
Norma Koch Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Luciano Editor
Jack Obringer Makeup
Alex Romero Choreography
George Sawley Set Decoration/Design
Don Steward Special Effects
Monty Westmore Makeup

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? [Two-Disc Special Edition]
1. 1917: Vaudeville Star [6:38]
2. 1935: Movie Washout [4:12]
3. The Accident (Credits) [2:57]
4. Mrs. Bates Memoires [3:32]
5. The Hudsons at Home [2:17]
6. Mrs. Bates Brings Flowers [4:04]
7. Fan Mail" The Bird Got Out" [5:01]
8. Calling Johnson's [4:04]
9. Old Song Revisited [3:53]
10. Lunch Is Served [4:04]
11. Long-Shot Letter [8:09]
12. "Y'rent Ever Gonna Leave It" [4:27]
13. Edwin Flagg [5:23]
14. Back Where We Started [2:05]
15. Elvira Gets a Day Off [2:25]
16. Rats in the Cellar [:02]
17. Two for Tea [2:35]
18. A Friend Blanche Won't Meet [6:24]
19. I've Written a Letter to Daddy [1:36]
20. It's a Deal [3:03]
21. Discovering Jane's Treachery [4:22]
22. Many Stairs, One Call [2:22]
23. Lashing Out at Blanche [4:40]
24. Lashing Out at Elvira [2:34]
25. Elvira Returns; Death Blow [1:37]
26. Scrapbook; Keeping Edwin Out [6:48]
27. Ride in the Night [3:32]
28. The Hudsons' Sad Story [4:23]
29. What Am I Going to Do? [1:34]
30. Police Escort for Edwin [5:06]
31. A Baby Jane Doll [1:15]
32. Trip to the Beach [5:50]
33. Daylight; Talk of Murder [2:23]
34. We Could've Been Friends? [2:53]
35. Drawing a Crowd [3:53]
Disc #2 -- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? [Two-Disc Special Edition]
1. Introduction [5:19]
2. Getting Started in Movies [4:12]
3. Bloopers [1:18]
4. Of Human Bondage, Dangerous [2:04]
5. Rebellion and Return [2:03]
6. The William Wyler Films [4:59]
7. Co-Stars and Other Affairs [4:01]
8. Scary and Strong [3:54]
9. Smoking [2:01]
10. War and Romantic Efforts [3:10]
11. Goodbye, Warner Bros. [3:17]
12. All About Eve anf Family [3:41]
13. Latter-Day Roles and Laurels [3:26]
14. The Hard Way: Bette Davis Eyes [3:34]
15. End Credits [1:01]

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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this movie she is just amazing to watch. In Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and every film she plays in you know you are going to get the (Best Acting) there is and when you leave the theater you will say (DAM) she is a great actress!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In all their years as the queens of Hollywood, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had never worked together in a film. Then, in 1962, producer-director Robert Aldrich gave them that opportunity. Davis and Crawford teamed for "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" But instead of providing them with a fitting swan song, it rather redirected the careers of these two indomitable film stars. The film is to the Sixties what Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) was to the Fifties: a Grand Guignol horror melodrama about Hollywood of the past and present. Lukas Heller's script was based on a novel by Henry Farrell. The dark, unsettling tale concerns 'Baby Jane' Hudson (Davis), a vaudeville child star circa 1917 who completely overshadows her dark-haired, brooding sister Blanche (Crawford). By 1935, the sisters' roles have reversed Blanche has become a top movie star, while Jane, her childhood charms vanished, gets film jobs only because of her sister's power. Jane is consumed with jealously, then devastated by guilt when she blames herself for a car wreck that leaves Blanche permanently crippled. The story then jumps to 1962. The aging Hudson sisters are now mutually dependent upon each other. Most of the action takes place in their decrepit house where the wheelchair-bound Blanche is tormented by Jane, who brings her dinner platters full of 'surprises'. The hostility grows from the earlier occurrence: the "accident" which left Blanche in a wheelchair grew directly out of Jane's obsession that Blanche's stardom in motion pictures overshadowed Jane's own fame in vaudeville. Producer-director Aldrich had been turned down by all the major studios when he peddled the Baby Jane property around Hollywood, so he made the low-budget movie independently. The film was shot twenty-one days on a budget of less than a million dollars, and director Aldrich made sure that, for publicity purposes, noted interviewers covered every single one of them. Warner Brothers finally agreed to distribute it after the press began to get excited about the casting. The New York Times had headlined: TNT POTENTIAL EXPLOSION SEEN IN PAIRING OF BETTE DAVIS AND JOAN CRAWFORD. When the film opened on Halloween in 1962, movie studio heads that had rejected the property were kicking themselves when the film turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year, making a fortune overnight (the first Hollywood film to recoup its cost in one weekend). Time Magazine called it "the year's scariest and most sophisticated thriller" and it was nominated for five Academy Awards including Bette Davis as Best Actress and Victor Buono as Best Supporting Actor in the role of Jane's pianist/suitor Edwin Flagg. At AFI's recent tribute to the Top 100 Thriller Movies of All Time, director Steven Spielberg called "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" his favorite 'Haunted House' movie the Hudson mansion acting as the haunted house and Baby Jane Hudson as the 'ghost' who haunts it. [filmfactsman]
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely brilliant film! I remember viewing this film many7 many years ago at the age of 5 and being terribly horrified. The two leading ladies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had a scream of a career in Hollywood and definitely leave to shame, today's actors and actresses. The film centres on the realities of dying performers and how difficult they find it , to relate to wider society. Baby Jane was a success as a child star but then her sister Blanche took the realm in her early twenties. This is a must see film!!!
livingstonBF More than 1 year ago
This movie is a classic! It's a real awesome movie, Bette Davis made a great alcoholic and the way she tortured Joan Crawford! A definite must see...These two ladies together were totally awesome...
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