Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

By now everyone knows of the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, which started with a simple love triangle between them and Franchot Tone. I still wonder how Robert Aldrich got them in the movie without any problems.

The other movie I saw Davis in was All About Eve. Her role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is similar to her role in All About Eve: a once-famous name of the stage not willing to slip into obscurity. And even though Davis is a villain in this, it's also tragic to see Jane lose her fleeting fame and eventually her mind.

As for Crawford, the other movie I saw her in was Mildred Pierce. Again, the roles were similar: a woman whose life is under the control of another selfish woman. Her Blanche is similar to Mildred in the sense that both women are easily manipulated by the other (Blanche to Jane, Mildred to Veda), which in hindsight isn't exactly a good thing.

It's hard to say which of the two is better, but I'm leaning towards Davis for the creepiness of her role. It appears like a campy movie on the surface, but under that thin veneer lies a damn good psychological thriller.

My Rating: *****


  1. Nice review Anna. i need to search for this film.

    Not sure why people are not commenting!

    Keep up the good work.

  2. I prefer Crawford, but it's really not as much of a "battle", they're both good. I find this film potently disturbing, which of course is the point.

  3. Have seen it recently. Great performances. I was surprised Crawford wasn't nominated for Oscar for this part.


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