Year of Release: 1962
Starring: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
Director: Robert Aldrich
Sibling rivalry is something that we all are accustomed to. We fight over trivial things, don’t talk to each other for days, weeks or years and finally we make up with an awkward sorry that we don’t really mean. “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?” takes it to a terrifying level and comes out with horrific results.
Two sisters with different destinies. One that was meant to be and one that wasn’t. Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) was once a child star whose stardom equaled that of Shirley Temple. She was a crowd puller and her father’s favourite. Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford) was the spectator in the shadows. Many years later the tables have turned and Blanche is the one in the limelight and Jane is sidelined. Until a car accident leaves Blanche paralyzed.
Jane now starts taking care of her sister. But not once does she show any sympathy for Blanche. Jane starts behaving oddly and this worries Blanche. Why is she behaving like this? Is this due to the accident? Is it the fall from stardom? Or both? Watch it to find out.
Bette Davis is the star through and through. No doubt this is her movie. Her cruelty, hysterics and madness are what steal the show. Joan Crawford matches up to her as the harassed and helpless sister. The pace is a little slow but it’s worth the watch. Some scenes are very engaging and keep you at the edge of your seat whereas some make you get up and go make a foot-long sub. It’s a mix of suspense and drama and is hard to differentiate. There are times when you can predict the outcome as the suspense has been used umpteen times in today’s movies. But still, this 1962 perspective matches up to and sometimes surpasses the thrills of the current trend.