Bette vs. Joan

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is one of the greatest psychological horror films of all time. My mom suggested I watch the movie, but only after acquainting myself with a Joan Crawford and Bette Davis movie. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were two of the biggest personalities in Hollywood. With a rivalry so legendary it was depicted in the miniseries Feud. Bette Davis was a serious actress, while Joan Crawford was more of a starlet. In What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Bette Davis plays the titular Baby Jane Hudson. An aging child star nobody remembers who’s lost touch with reality. Joan Crawford plays her sister Blanche Hudson. A more successful former actress confined to a wheelchair. What made What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? so different was how it gave aging actresses the starring roles. Something that was entirely unheard before the 60’s. Jane is a cruel caretaker who abuses her sister. Starting with little things like mimicking her sisters voice and throwing away her fan mail. To worse things like unplugging her phone, buzzer, denying her food, and beating her. Bette Davis fought to make her as ugly as possible… she succeeded. So she expected the same from Joan Crawford. By telling her to look as pathetic as possible. She succeeded as well, but Bette Davis still ended up with the sole Oscar nomination. So as an extra bit of spite, Joan Crawford accepted the award from the actress who actually won. To quote the movie, “they could have been friends.” What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? keeps you on the edge of your seat by introducing the scariest monster of them all, the psycho-biddy.

what-ever-happened-to-baby-jane

Jane (left) keeps Blanche (right) imprisoned

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