What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

( 8 )

Overview

As a child, "Baby Jane" Hudson was the toast of vaudeville. As an adult, however, Baby Jane was overshadowed by her more talented sister Blanche, who became a top movie star. Then, one night in the early 1930s, came The Accident, which crippled Blanche for life and which was blamed on a drunken, jealous Jane. Flash-forward to 1962: Jane Bette Davis, decked out in garish chalk-white makeup, still lives with the invalid Blanche Joan Crawford in their decaying LA mansion. When Jane isn't tormenting the helpless ...
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Overview

As a child, "Baby Jane" Hudson was the toast of vaudeville. As an adult, however, Baby Jane was overshadowed by her more talented sister Blanche, who became a top movie star. Then, one night in the early 1930s, came The Accident, which crippled Blanche for life and which was blamed on a drunken, jealous Jane. Flash-forward to 1962: Jane Bette Davis, decked out in garish chalk-white makeup, still lives with the invalid Blanche Joan Crawford in their decaying LA mansion. When Jane isn't tormenting the helpless Blanche by serving her dead rats for breakfast, she is plotting and planning her show-biz comeback. Convinced that her days are numbered if she remains in the house with her addlepated sister, Blanche desperately tries to get away, but all avenues of escape are cut off by the deranged Jane. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? sparked a trend towards casting venerable Hollywood female stars in such grotesque grand guignol melodramas as Lady in a Cage 1964 and Hush ... Hush Sweet Charlotte 1965. In addition to revitalizing the careers of Davis and Crawford, whose real-life mutual animosity came through loud and clear, the film made a star of sorts of 24-year-old character actor Victor Buono, cast as a porcine mama's-boy musical composer. Lukas Heller's screenplay was based on the novel by Henry Farrell.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Commentary by Charles Busch and John Epperson; Three Documentary Profiles: Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition ; All About Bette (Hosted by Jodie Foster) and Film Profile: Joan Crawford; Behind the scenes with Baby Jane; The Andy Williams Show (1962) excerpt featuring Bette Davis)
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2012
  • UPC: 883929255481
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Anniversary Edition
  • Time: 2:13:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,496

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
Wesley Addy Director
William Aldrich
Ernest Anderson
Debbie Burton Voice Only
Russ Conway
Maxine Cooper
Robert Cornthwaite Dr. Shelby
Michael Fox
Bert Freed Producer
Don Ross
James Seay
John Shay
Jon Shepodd
Peter Virgo Jr.
Bobs Watson
Technical Credits
Robert Aldrich Director, Producer
Tom Connors Asst. Director
Frank De Vol 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?
1. 1917: Vaudeville Star [6:38]
2. 1935: Movie Washout [4:12]
3. The Accident (Credits) [2:57]
4. Mrs. Bates' Memories [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 Revisted [3:53]
10. Lunch Is Served [4:04]
11. Long-Shot Letter [8:09]
12. "Y'Aren't 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, Once 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?
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 And 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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Menu

Disc #1 -- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
   Play
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary By Charles Busch And John Epperson
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages
         English
         Français
      Subtitles
         English
         Français
         Español
         Subtitles: Off
Disc #2 -- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
   Special Features
      Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition
      Behind The Scenes With Baby Jane
      Excerpt From 12/2/1962 Broadcast Of The Andy Williams Show
      All About Bette
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sheer Artistry

    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!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Film is far better than its camp reputation would indicate., June 11, 2005

    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]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Betty Davis is an Icon of an actress

    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!!!

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews