Anyone see this tonight? How many times have you seen it? Would you watch it again?
I find it excruciating, as brilliant as it is. Especially when Victor Buono comes on the scene.
I love it just as much as ever. Victor Buono does a remarkable job of holding his own against two then-living legends.
I find the whole Bueno subplot drags the movie to a screeching halt. I'd love it if his part in the movie was on the cutting room floor.
I was horrified at the poor quality of the broadcast.
Lately I have been delighted with the superb quality of the restorations of black & white films. TCM consistently presents films that are decades older than I, but new to me: films that I might have passed by earlier in life, in a less flattering format, as well as films that I have enjoyed in various versions over the years and now find fresh and rewarding with the revelation of details long hidden in murk.
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" is, of course, a film that I have seen many, many times. I do not own a Blu-Ray version, but the copy I have is pretty damned good.
In between screenings of WEHTBJ, I have always discovered new (to me) movies that starred Miss Davis or Miss Crawford during more celebrated periods of their respective careers. Each new discovery makes each subsequent viewing of Baby Jane that much more wonderful.
I also wonder how many people are being exposed to this movie for the first time...will it resonate for them?
A dear friend who has spent a lot of time as Baby Jane insists that he is often approached by strangers who gush that they LOVED his performance, but never saw the movie, and now that they HAVE seen the movie, they love him even MORE.
I really thought that this Halloween-time showing, the first since TCM launched TCM-HD, would be the best ever.
So, WHAT'S WITH THE SHITTY RESOLUTION, ROBERT?
I couldn't watch, it was on at the same time as 'Scattering Dad'.
I don't know about R2, but TCM's Ben Hader (or whatever his name is) had the nerve to call Buono "Bueno" twice during his introduction to this film. TCM really annoys me sometimes; I don't think they have any knowledge or appreciation for their material.
Why did they use Victor Buono as a second choice to Peter Lawford? He was so completely different. I guess Lawford would have been more believable as a "romantic interest" (or maybe not, considering Jane's mental state).
One of the top movies, ever.
Buono was perfect.
I love the ending, still in denial....Such a theme!
The movie would have been better if Crawford's character had been more devious and cunning. And the soppy revelation at the end is completely unsatisfying.
A little girl in Vaudeville used to kill this song. But then she killed her movie star sister, so I don't guess anyone knows who Baby Jane Hudson is these days...
R9 we don't know if she dies at the end of the movie
[quote]A dear friend who has spent a lot of time as Baby Jane...
I didn't understand the revelation at the end. If Blanche was driving, why was she the one crippled and not the person the car ran into (Jane)?
R12, she didn't run into her, she missed and hit the fence, smashed the car, and crippled herself.
Thanks R13, it was kind of all a blur to me.
Great movie - watched it last night for the 5th or 6th time. Davis should have won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance. Crawford and Buono also give solid performances.
You know we've got rats in the cellar?
I was watching a "Perry Mason" a couple of weeks ago with Victor Buono hamming/camping it up. I wonder what it was like when those two tubby queens (Burr and Buono) got together.
[quote]we don't know if she dies at the end of the movie
I think she dies after her revelation when she rolls over on her side with her mouth agape and her eyes wide open.
To me, the unanswered question in this movie is why does a crippled person who is in charge of her own household choose to live in a second floor bedroom with no method of unassisted escape in case of fire, earthquake, or anything? Why leave herself permanently at the mercy of a sweeping staircase let alone a crazy sister?
Because otherwise there wouldn't be a movie, r17.
Why couldn't Bette and Joan both be nominated for this movie? I thought each played off the other well. It was like watching a masterful game of chess.
R3, it was just a bad print that TCM showed.
1962 was really one of the best years for Best Actress:
Anne Bancroft, Miracle Worker,
Katharine Hepburn, Long Day's Journey,
Geraldine Page, Sweet Bird of Youth,
Lee Remick, Days of Wine and Roses,
Bette Davis, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
so it's not surprising Davis didn't want that year. If the Academy had been wise enough in 1950 to give a third Oscar to her for All About Eve, the loss this year wouldn't have been so bad.
I feel Joan's performance in this film was very under-rated.
Her movement as a crippled person was very believable, particularly when she crawls down the stairs to try and phone for help.
The look on Davis' face when she waits for Crawford's reaction while standing outside of Crawford's bedroom is what movies are all about.
"TCM really annoys me sometimes; I don't think they have any knowledge or appreciation for their material"
Huh? They have more appreciation for their material than anyone else.
In numerous interviews on talk shows, Bette always said the movie was made in just three weeks.
The obvious question is why didn't Blache wait until Jane left the house, then drag herself down the stairs and out the front door and scream for help in the front yard? Of course, there wouldn't have been a movie if that happened.
Fantastic movie that still holds up, and Davis and Crawford were superb. I think Davis should have won the Oscar for her fearless performance. NO ACTRESS in 1962 would've allowed themselves to look that hideous on-camera except for Davis.
Also, the behind-the-scenes bitchfest and upstaging between Davis and Crawford is so entertaining to read about. Those two really hated each other!
[quote]NO ACTRESS in 1962 would've allowed themselves to look that hideous on-camera except for Davis.
What did she have to lose? It's not as though she had a beautiful and glamorous image to uphold.
[quote]I was horrified at the poor quality of the broadcast.
[quote]I do not own a Blu-Ray version, but the copy I have is pretty damned good.
Why watch the this horrifying broadcast when you could watch your own, superior copy of the film?
Makes absolutely no sense.
Why didn't Joan lobby for a cameo role for Christina, like Bette got for B. D.?
"The obvious question is why didn't Blache wait until Jane left the house, then drag herself down the stairs and out the front door and scream for help in the front yard? Of course, there wouldn't have been a movie if that happened."
Many thought the same about those three girls in Ohio who were kept captive for years in that house.
We see Blanche's car stopped about five feet in front of the fence/gate, and then we see the aftermath of an accident.
That car must have had a hell of an engine to be able to accelerate enough to cause serious injuries when it hit the fence/gate/whatever.
[quote]I find the whole Bueno subplot drags the movie to a screeching halt. I'd love it if his part in the movie was on the cutting room floor.
I'm fine with him, but I've always thought the whole opening with the little girls on the vaudeville circuit was dull compared to the rest of the movie -- and completely unnecessary.
R32 I really liked the opening segment. It gave us a good idea of the namby-pamby world that Jane had come from. Plus it had good ironic/comic value.
[quote]why didn't Blache wait until Jane left the house, then drag herself down the stairs and out the front door and scream for help in the front yard?
Yes, or why not call down to the neighbor who was always out there. And when she finally got on the phone she really should have just called the police. But as you say, there would have been no movie otherwise.
I just re-watched it last week and wondered why she didn't holler out to the neighbor from the window. But that's one of those dramatic tension increasing choices. Like why people in scare flicks always walk in to dark houses.
I really enjoy Crawford's reaction when she's on the phone and realizes Davis has returned and is standing in the doorway listening.
Since I've been watching it since childhood, I'm going to guess I've seen it maybe 30 times. Certainly at least 20, and I'm sure to watch it again a few more times.
The movie parallels Sunset Boulevard, with Bette as a crazier, more pathetic Norma.
Cannot watch the film on dvd without listening to the commentary. I think it's one of the best on dvd. Charles Bush (Die Mommie Die) and another guy who does a drag character called Lipsinka, have a fine time with the film.
I love when Marjorie Bennett calls Jane ... "This is Mr. Flagg's sekatery speakin'"
Brilliant movie....love the small roles played by BD, Bette's real daughter, as the neighbor's daughter, the actress playing young Blanche who wore her hair in braids just like little Rhoda in The Bad Seed and of course Buono's mother. Amazing it was shot in a few weeks. The score is fun too!
Here's what the house looks like today. It's located in the absolutely lovely Hancock Park neighborhood in LA.
It was supposed to be about three sisters in that house, but they dropped one of the sisters and rewrote two days into filming. And it wasn't due to my drinking!
Too bad youtube took down the videos of numbers from the musical version done in Houston about 20 years ago- it had to be seen to be believed!!!!! There was a number called "Sisters" where Baby Jane dances with Blanche in her wheelchair- and the lyrics.....oy vey!
Hal Hackaday-lyricist of flops
r40 is Hancock Park where Hattie McDaniel was the first black resident?
Hattie McDaniel lived in West Adams.
r44 Nat King Cole lived in Hancock Park, and he may very well have been the first black resident. Hancock Park is one of the loveliest neighborhoods in LA, it's immediately south of Hollywood proper, and the southern border is Wilshire. Larchmont Village is within walking distance. HP is one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA, and many of the houses are from the 20's and 30s. No prefabricated bullshit or Persian Palaces. Just gorgeous, stately houses from a time when people really knew how to build beautiful houses.
[quote]I'm fine with him, but I've always thought the whole opening with the little girls on the vaudeville circuit was dull compared to the rest of the movie -- and completely unnecessary.
I love the mother's speech--"You're the lucky one, Blanche..."
Gina Gillespie as little Blanche really did look like Joan Crawford.
My very own Baby Jane doll!
[quote]the musical version done in Houston about 20 years ago- it had to be seen to be believed!!!!! There was a number called "Sisters" where Baby Jane dances with Blanche in her wheelchair..
How original. In another life, my drag partner and I did the same number over 25 years ago with this version...
"The movie would have been better if Crawford's character had been more devious and cunning. And the soppy revelation at the end is completely unsatisfying."
Such nonsense. The film's greatest coup is the revelation at the end. And completely credible. It lends a dimension to Baby Jane's character that makes her absolutely tragic.
Was that the actual interior of the house that was filmed? If so, it was quite a contrast to the modern-looking interior of the neighbors.