8.1/10
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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 31 October 1962 (USA)
Trailer
5:12 | Trailer
A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Henry Farrell (from the novel by), Lukas Heller (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,598 ( 273)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Baby Jane Hudson
Joan Crawford ... Blanche Hudson
Victor Buono ... Edwin Flagg
Wesley Addy ... Marty Mc Donald
Julie Allred Julie Allred ... Baby Jane Hudson, in 1917
Anne Barton Anne Barton ... Cora Hudson (as Ann Barton)
Marjorie Bennett ... Dehlia Flagg
Bert Freed ... Ben Golden
Anna Lee ... Mrs. Bates
Maidie Norman ... Elvira Stitt
Dave Willock ... Ray Hudson
William Aldrich William Aldrich ... Lunch Counter Assistant at Beach
Russ Conway ... Police Officer
Maxine Cooper ... Bank Teller
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Shelby
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Storyline

In a tale that almost redefines sibling rivalry, faded actresses Blanche and 'Baby' Jane Hudson live together. Jane was by far the most famous when she performed with their father in vaudeville but as they got older, it was Blanche who became the finer actress, which Jane still resents. Blanche is now confined to a wheelchair and Jane is firmly in control. As time goes by, Jane exercises greater and greater control over her sister, intercepting her letters and ensuring that few if anyone from the outside has any contact with her. As Jane slowly loses her mind, she torments her sister going to ever greater extremes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Too late . . . too late . . . too late to call for help. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was a smash hit upon initial release, recouping its original budget in only 11 days, and eventually grossing $9 million. In adjusted 2017 dollars, this would be equivalent to $72,596,920.53. See more »

Goofs

When Jane is preparing to dump Elvira's body and is interrupted by her female neighbor who has just driven up in the dark, it is clear before the cut that the person who actually drives the car onto the driveway was a male stage hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Toy Salesman: Want to see it again little girl? It shouldn't frighten you.
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Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros. logo does not appear at the beginning of this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original British release was cut in two places: in Reel Four, where Jane kicks Blanche only once instead of multiple times, and Reel Six, which eliminated some shots of Blanche tied up to the bed and writhing. Both cuts were mandated by the BBFC in order to receive an "X" certificate. Subsequent reissues restored the footage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chappaqua (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played by band in the 1917 prologue
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User Reviews

 
A compelling movie; Davis and Crawford tear each other apart
21 June 2006 | by LoneWolfAndCubSee all my reviews

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? might seem dated, but it is still an extremely riveting watch. I literally could not look away, as soon as the movie started, I couldn't stop until it had finished. Not a lot of movies can do that to me. The acting is extremely good, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are just so good as the main focus of the movie. The chilling score is suits the movie and the camera-work reminds me a lot of Hitchcock.

The story focuses on two sisters, Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford) who was crippled in an accident awhile ago and "Baby" Jane Hudson (Bette Davis). Jane used to be a big child star, she even had a doll brand after her. Now, though, she is no longer recognised while her sister has recently become very famous. They live in an old mansion, with Blanche confined to her room upstairs while Jane gets madder and more cruel by the day.

Bette Davis gives the star performance here, some may call it over-acting but it is far from. She really makes Jane as mad, cruel and sad as possible. Joan Crawford is equally good in a very different role. She is much more timid then Jane and quite scared. The supporting cast are all good as well, especially Victor Buono as Victor Flagg, an odd pianist that befriends Jane. The black and white really are used to full effect, they make the mansion look extra creepy. Robert Aldrich's direction is fine.

To today's modern audience, this may seem boring as it does not have any action. Most of the movie is dialogue, but I do urge those who haven't seen it to do so, as it is a truly excellent movie.

A solid 5/5!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$980,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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