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Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte

Good lord Bette Davis looks 85 in this movie!!

Lilly, the gossiping neighbor, has been in a ton of movies. As a character actor.

This movie creeps me out and not because of the story, it's the old fashion feel and look- can't put my finger on it

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 6110/27/2013

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane is probably the better film but I enjoy this one more for some reason.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 108/16/2011

What do you think I asked you here for........COMPANY??!???!

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 208/16/2011

LOVE this film OP. Haven't seen it in ages. %0D %0D

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 308/16/2011

Public relations.... well it sounds pretty dirty to me!

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 408/16/2011

The first time I saw this I burst out laughing during the beginning sequence, when the carefully shadowed "young" Charlotte screams in Bette Davis' elderly screech.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 508/16/2011

It's really such a hamfest - not one of the lead actors has a shred of subtlety in their acting. De Havilland is so amusing with her patrician great-lady speech patterns.%0D %0D And Agnes Moorehead's imitation of a slatternly stereotypical Black maid is just draw dropping - it's brilliant and awful at the same time. No white actress would ever get away with something like that now.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 608/16/2011

R6 - being from the area where the film was based/filmed, I think, (not certain but THINK)that Moorehead was going for gritty Cajun/hardboiled southern wash woman. I doubt she was attempting to channel a black maid, instead trying to reach for the gritty, backroad worker woman. I say that because I see that type in the character she plays.%0D %0D Still, your'e right. It's a massive ham fest and R5's recollection of Bette Davis being cloaked in shadow as she tries to scream like a frightened young southern belle made me spit laugh.%0D %0D

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 708/16/2011

What's goin on up there you dont want me to know?...A campfest. Geeeeett off of my property!!!!!!!....and the reading is....What...........do you think I asked you here for.................COMPANY?????

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 808/16/2011

You're probably right about Moorehead, R7. But her performance certainly comes off like Hattie McDaniel on the rag, intentional or not.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 908/16/2011

Love the slapping scene in the car.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1008/16/2011

Joan Crawford was suppose to play the De Havilland role but dropped out because of Bette Davis crazy antics on the set.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1108/16/2011

Thank God, r11 - de Havilland is SO much better playing against her sweet grand dame persona than Crawford ever would have been.%0D %0D Mary Astor came out of retirement at Davis' request for her last film performance.%0D %0D And I love Moorehead.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1208/16/2011

I used to love this movie as a kid.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1308/16/2011

Love this movie too, OP. Creeped me out when I first saw it as a kid and still does.%0D %0D Everytime I'd here the music box, I'd get freaked.%0D %0D The relationship between father and daughter always hinted of something really awful and incestuous.%0D %0D Remove the southern veneer and it is basically a gothic psychological horror story.%0D %0D (Haven't seen it in years, so might be talking out of my ass at the moment)

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1408/16/2011

The only thing I feel cheated of with DeHavilland replacing Crawford was that slapping scene. But Davis probably would have never played the scene.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1508/16/2011

I enjoy this so much more than Baby Jane which, to me, goes on for far too long and can do without the whole Victor Buono subplot. The only thing I really don't like about Charlotte is DeHavilland's sickeningly sweet voice. Grates on my every last nerve.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1608/16/2011

One of my FAVORITE films. Love deHavilland. At least there's a real actress as a lead and a real actress as a supporting character. Then there's Carol Burnett....er....Bette Davis.

From where I stand I could spit in yuh eye, with no trouble 'tall!!!!!!!

And Mary Astor crooning the 'ruined finery' speech. I'll rewatch this before the week is out.

It's too long and that horrible theme song makes me retch. Love the double and triple cross plotline. This is WAY better than Baby Jane.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1708/16/2011

Perhaps it's sacrilege but I found "Baby Jane" leaden compared to "Charlotte." I much prefer the latter.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1808/16/2011

The ending is sad and rather silly. The serene smiling and good bye waving between Charlotte and the town folk as she's being whisked away to an institution. Her home can now be demolished for the new highway. Poor duped Charlotte could never catch a break for trying.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 1908/16/2011

I've always loved this film more than Baby Jane, and frankly, Olivia is much much more entertaining than Joan would have been. The motifs are all wonderful; the sound of the music box, the dripping Spanish Moss, the cemetery shrouded in darkness...it's so gothic and multi-layered. And the performances by Davis, Buono, Dern, Astor, Cotton and Moorehead are all deliciously juicy. All those fantastic stars together in a great film.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2008/16/2011

This was the last film Bette Davis received an Oscar nomination for. %0D %0D 1964 also had Davis starring in "Dead Ringer," a laugh-out-loud campfest where she played murderous twins, and both twins were wearing that horrible wig Davis was so fond of wearing in the 1960s, both in films and in her private life.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2108/16/2011

You MUST see Ms.Davis in the much more realistic and creepy as hell 1965 British film "The Nanny." Not campy, just creepy:

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2208/16/2011

I haven't seen [italic]the Nanny[/italic] since I was a kid, but it scared me back then.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2308/16/2011

You're a vile, sorry little bitch!

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2408/16/2011

Bette Davis was not nominated for an Oscar for this. Her 10th and last nomination was for Baby Jane.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2508/16/2011

I thought that Bette's performance in "The Nanny" was underrated certainly one of the few "subdued" performances she gave in her later years and stands the test of time better than her performances in "Jane" or "Charlotte" which both can be easily dismissed as hamfisted-which I think is true more of the latter than the former. Still Bette does manage some truly poignant moments in "Charlotte".

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2608/16/2011

bump this broad

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2708/16/2011

No love for Miss Patti Paige singing the title tune?%0D %0D Wasn't the song even nominated for an Oscar? What won that year?

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2808/16/2011

[quote]No love for Miss Patti Paige singing the title tune?%0D %0D No. Unfortunately, she sang, "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlit" instead of "Charlotte."%0D %0D

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 2908/16/2011

I loved the Mad Magazine parody of this called "Hack, Hack, Sweet Hasbeen"!

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3008/16/2011

Davis spits out her lines in "Dead Ringer" without inflection. If you didn't know who she was, you'd guess that she was an amateur in a vanity production. Something must have gone terribly wrong in her life.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3108/16/2011

[quote]I loved the Mad Magazine parody of this called "Hack, Hack, Sweet Hasbeen"!%0D %0D Joseph Cotten was called Bufferin in that strip!

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3208/16/2011

I love Bette Davis, but she did not age well. At. All. Yes, she drank and smoked like a fiend, but so did every other actress of her generation and they didn't age at the rate Davis did. Stanwyck, Dietrich and Hepburn still kept their looks well into their older years. By the 1960s, when Bette was only in her 50s, she looked much older than she really was.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3308/16/2011

I've always preferred "Charlotte" to "Baby Jane." The difference for me is De Haviland. In "Baby Jane" Crawford is just there, but De Haviland actually makes something of her character. As a friend of mine once pointed out, she is "the dark side of Miss Melanie." Davis is wonderful in an over the top way, and Moorehead so strange and spooky that you have to love her.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3408/16/2011

Agnes Moorehead walked away with every scene she ever played. She was probably the only actress who could take a scene away from La Davis.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3508/16/2011

I thought Agnes M was really overacting and played the character as an loud bafoon and i rooting for her demise. No subtly at all.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3608/16/2011

Mary Astor should have won a Suppoting Oscar for her subtle, layered performance which stood in stark relief to what her co-stars were doing acting-wise. And I have to say that Davis' final scene reading the letter is one of the finest and most moving pieces of silent acting ever committed to film. There is a good reason why there was a song called, "Bette Davis Eyes."

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3708/16/2011

"Baby Jane" is a pretty layered work...."Charlotte" is Grand Guignol of the highest order. They shouldn't be compared. That being said, I love both and my favorite moment is when the insurance investigator tells Davis that she is his favorite mystery and she asks him, like a 3-year-old, "Did you ever solve me?"

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3808/17/2011

Here's Davis singing "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" on live TV. It doesn't have the jawdropping garish camp living-color factor of her go-go version of "Baby Jane," but it's worth seeing. That voice was GONE.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 3908/17/2011

Crawford was terrific in Baby Jane because she was so subdued. She was wise to let Bette go full tilt mad during the whole picture. Makes the ending a hundred times more interesting when Crawford reveals the secret.

Charlotte was a good film, but if Crawford had been in it, then it would have been a great film. The disposing of the body scene alone. There was always more to the text with Davis and Crawford.

It really comes out in Baby Jane when Davis shouting "big fat movie star, rotten stinkin' actress" and when Crawford cuts right into Bette with "you are disgusting."

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4008/17/2011

Funny clip, R39. Bette Davis insisted she could sing, and apparently people were too intimidated of her to tell her she couldn't. She sang a number of times in her career, even recording an album.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4108/17/2011

LOL at Olivia: "I think she sings it ... most effectively."

"Effectively because she's playing an ancient crone who's lost her mind, and Bette sounds just like that," is what she was thinking.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4208/17/2011

Apart from Davis ageing so badly, so did Mary Astor - who was fabulous with Bette in The Great Lie, in 1941 - but by Charlotte in '64 poor old Mary as Jewel Mayhew was very old indeed. Bette was a frump in the 50s - Crawford looked a lot better in her 50s camp extravaganzas.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4308/17/2011

Crawford's 50s camp extravaganzas should be taught in schools.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4408/17/2011

Mary Astor was a major film star a generation before Davis, deHavilland hit their stride. Wasn't she even an ingenue star in silents before Lucille LeSeur arrived in Hollywood?

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4508/17/2011

Mary Astor was of another generation. Her first big hit was "Beau Brummel", playing leading lady opposite John Barrymore, 1924. She was one of the few stars that made the transition from silent films to talking pictures.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4608/17/2011

Mary Astor would have been the bigest female star of the early 30s had her diary and affair with George S Kaufman never been exposed.%0D %0D LB Mayer obviously always had a thing for her and re-established Mary as The Ideal Mother in many of MGM's films of the 1940s.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4708/17/2011

[quote]This movie creeps me out and not because of the story, it's the old fashion feel and look- can't put my finger on it.

There is something retardataire about the film, beyond its intentional look backward.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4808/17/2011

I'm also one who agrees that De Havilland coming in to play Miriam was an improvement. %0D %0D If Crawford had done the role with that hard mask-like face she had by then, you would have known right away that Miriam was up to no good, whereas De Havilland keeps you guessing for a while. %0D %0D Both this and BABY JANE are really too long. And of course, certain elements of CHARLOTTE are direct steals from DIABOLIQUE.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 4908/17/2011

"I love Bette Davis, but she did not age well." I think we would agree with this - she was a poster model for the dangers of excessive drinking and smoking. And, yet, I was lucky enough to meet her right after the release the Nanny and I was surprised, shocked even, at how genuinely pretty she was - even then. She was wearing next to no makeup and was, frankly, dressed in a very frumpy, unglamorous manner, but she looked great. Also, contrary to her reputation, she was absolutely sweet and kind to me - unlike Katherine Hepburn, who was discussed a recent thread. I met her a couple of years previously and she was quite nasty to me.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5008/17/2011

Was Miriam Hopkins considered once Joan left the production? That would have insured fireworks, especially with Miriam getting to slap Bette back after the Old Acquaintance incident.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5108/17/2011

[quote]Mary Astor came out of retirement at Davis' request for her last film performance.%0D %0D She was not retired.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5208/17/2011

"She was living in abject mizzzery!"

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5308/17/2011

"Come out John Mayhugh, you smirking Judas!"

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5408/17/2011

I interviewed De Haviland. She told me that Bette was so virulent in the scene where she slaps her character when rehearsing with the double, that Olivia asked the director to shoot to the scene with the double.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5508/17/2011

Not a very good movie--the plot is creaky and implausible. The actors are giving it their all, but Bette is the weakest link in the cast. She's awful, but then so is her part. It would have been a lot better if the Charlotte character had caught on mid-way to the shenanigans and fought back. (Likewise for Baby Jane. Imagine it if Blanche Hudson had been written as having a battle of wits with Jane---the latter is victim for 99% of the film...)

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5608/17/2011

[quote]---the latter is victim for 99% of the film%0D %0D I meant Blanche, not that anyone is paying attention to this nonsense I'm writing.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5708/17/2011

Miriam Hopkins would also have been too old and over-the-hill to be considered for Olivia's part by 1964 - her previous roles being small parts in The Heiress (with Olivia) and the aunt in The Children's Hour, also for Wyler. She also appeared in a soft porn "Fanny Hill" - so Miriam's star had certainly dimmed by then. She did get a part in the all star "The Chase" though in 1966.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5808/18/2011

Stanwyck could have played the Crawford-Havilland part, but she would have blown Davis off the screen.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 5908/18/2011

Watching this now on HDNet -- Bette is actually sort of pretty in a dissipated way.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 6010/27/2013

I think R56 got it right back in 2011. There is nothing really going on in either WEHTBJ or Charlotte aside from a victim being chased through a funhouse. The camp value in Davis' performance in the former make it watchable. Charlotte is unpleasant and grim.

Davis is horrible in Charlotte. I think she's entertaining in Jane, but nowhere near her peak--she's telegraphing the audience in a lot of the scenes.

by 1964 is sooo long agoreply 6110/27/2013
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