What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is a psychological thriller film released in 1962, directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The film tells the story of Jane, a former child star who becomes a recluse and takes care of her disabled sister, Blanche. As the two sisters become entangled in a web of jealousy and madness, the film explores themes of fame, aging, and the dark side of show business.
The Making of a Masterpiece
The film, based on the novel written by Henry Farrell, was a collaboration between director Robert Aldrich and screenwriter Lukas Heller. It was a risky project for both the director and the lead actresses, as it challenged the traditional roles assigned to older women in Hollywood.
Bette Davis was renowned for her powerful performances, but playing the grotesque and mentally unstable character of Baby Jane was a departure from her usual roles. Joan Crawford, on the other hand, was known for her glamorous persona, and taking on the role of Blanche, a disabled and vulnerable character, was a bold move.
The film was shot in black and white, which added to its eerie atmosphere and timeless appeal. The set design and cinematography enhanced the tension and claustrophobia of the story, creating a visually stunning and emotionally charged experience for the audience.
The Legacy of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
Upon its release, the film received mixed reviews from critics but was praised for the performances of Davis and Crawford. It became a box office success and has since gained a cult following. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is now considered a classic in the psychological thriller genre.
The film’s impact is still visible in contemporary pop culture. It has influenced countless filmmakers and inspired remakes, parodies, and homages. The iconic image of Bette Davis as Baby Jane, with her creepy makeup and faded glamor, has become an enduring symbol of madness and obsession.
The Real-Life Feud: Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford
One of the reasons behind the film’s enduring popularity is the real-life rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The two legendary actresses had a long-standing feud, fueled by jealousy and professional competition.
This tension on set reportedly added to the intensity of their performances and elevated the film to another level. The bitter animosity between Davis and Crawford became the stuff of Hollywood legend, and it is rumored that their off-screen interactions were as volatile as their on-screen characters.
A Timeless Tale of Darkness
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane continues to captivate audiences with its exploration of the human psyche and its depiction of obsession and madness. The film reminds us that behind the glamour and fame lies a world of darkness and despair.
As we delve into the depths of Baby Jane’s disturbed mind, we are reminded of the fragility of sanity and the consequences of unchecked ambition. The film serves as a cautionary tale, warning us about the dangers of obsessing over the past and the destructive power of jealousy.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane remains a timeless classic that continues to intrigue and disturb audiences to this day. Its blend of psychological suspense, exceptional performances, and a behind-the-scenes feud has solidified its place in cinematic history.
Whether you are a fan of classic films, a lover of psychological thrillers, or simply curious about the mystique surrounding Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is a must-watch for all cinephiles. Prepare to be enthralled, disturbed, and ultimately mesmerized by this haunting piece of cinematic art.
1. Who directed the film “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
The film “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was directed by Robert Aldrich.
2. When was the film released?
The film was released on October 31, 1962.
3. Who were the lead actors in the film?
The lead actors in the film were Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
4. What is the plot of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
The film tells the story of two aging sisters, Baby Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson, who used to be child stars. Baby Jane, who is now mentally unstable, holds Blanche captive in their decaying Hollywood mansion.
5. Is the film based on a novel?
Yes, the film is based on a novel of the same name written by Henry Farrell.
6. Did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford have a difficult relationship on set?
Yes, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had a notoriously difficult relationship on set, with rumors of feuds and conflicts between the two actresses.
7. Did the film receive positive reviews?
Yes, the film received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success.
8. Was “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” nominated for any Academy Awards?
Yes, the film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Bette Davis.
9. Has the film gained a cult following over the years?
Yes, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” has gained a cult following over the years and is considered a classic in the psychological horror genre.
10. Are there any notable behind-the-scenes stories or trivia about the film?
Yes, there are several notable behind-the-scenes stories and trivia about the film, such as Bette Davis placing rocks in her pockets to appear heavier and the intense rivalry between Davis and Crawford.