What can you say about a movie that spawned the genre psycho-biddy?!! Bette Davis and Joan Crawford star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?- a horror thriller full of sibling rivalry, mind games and violence.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is the over-the-top story of 2 feuding sisters who are also both actors. As children, sister Jane(Davis)enjoyed extreme popularity while sister Blanche(Crawford) stood in her shadow. Jane was not only adored be her fans but also by her father, who spoilt her rotten. As adults the tables turn. Blanche becomes famous as Jane’s celebrity wanes. Eventually they both retire and share a house. Fame has destroyed both of them in different ways. Blanche is disabled (confined to a wheelchair) and spends most of the time in her bedroom reliving the glory days by watching old movies of herself. Jane is a grotesque caricature of herself. She drinks a lot and terrorizes her disabled sister. She’s cruel, violent and sadistic to Blanche, who because of her disability is a prisoner in her own home. Davis is brilliant as the sister who goes ape shit and makes Blanche’s life a living hell. Crawford is equally as powerful as the sibling who will try anything to get away from her tormentor who’s falling farther and farther into madness.
The poster for the movie had the tagline ‘ Sister, sister, oh so fair, why is there blood all over your hair?’ and was accompanied by ‘things you should know about this motion picture before buying a ticket’
1. If you’re long-standing fans of Miss Davis and Miss Crawford, we warn you this is quite unlike anything they’ve ever done
2. You are urged to see it from the beginning.
3. Be prepared for the macabre and the terrifying.
4. We ask your pledge to keep the shocking climax a secret.
5. When the tension begins to build, remember it’s just a movie
Bette Davis received her 10th Oscar nomination for her role and the success of the movie spawned a renewed interest in both of their careers. Davis went on to star in such genre movie as Dead Ringer and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte while Crawford starred in Berserk and Strait-Jacket. These 2 women are my pick for day 19 of women in horror because they were both superb in this movie and they used their offscreen competition to fuel a great psycho-horror. Professionals!