8.1/10
40,974
212 user 116 critic

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 1963 (Peru)
A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director:

Writers:

(from the novel by), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
422 ( 123)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Feud (TV Series 2017)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An anthology series centering on famous feuds, including Bette Davis & Joan Crawford.

Stars: Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Judy Davis
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
All About Eve (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Dead Ringer (1964)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The working-class twin sister of a callous, wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes her identity. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.

Director: Paul Henreid
Stars: Bette Davis, Karl Malden, Peter Lawford
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a twenty-year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Marty Mc Donald
Julie Allred ...
Baby Jane Hudson, in 1917
Anne Barton ...
Cora Hudson (as Ann Barton)
...
...
Ben Golden
...
...
...
Ray Hudson
William Aldrich ...
Lunch Counter Assistant at Beach
...
Police Officer
Maxine Cooper ...
Bank Teller
...
Edit

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:

Things you should know about this motion picture before buying a ticket: 1) If you're long-standing fans of Miss Davis and Miss Crawford, we warn you this is quite unlike anything they've ever done. 2) You are urged to see it from the beginning. 3) Be prepared for the macabre and the terrifying. 4) We ask your pledge to keep the shocking climax a secret. 5) When the tension begins to build, try to remember it's just a movie. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1963 (Peru)  »

Also Known As:

¿Qué pasó con Baby Jane?  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$980,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,000,000, 31 December 1963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Glen Glenn Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Early on, Bette Davis made the decision to create her own makeup for Jane. "What I had in mind no professional makeup man would have dared to put on me," said Davis. "One told me he was afraid that if he did what I wanted, he might never work again. Jane looked like many women one sees on Hollywood Boulevard. In fact author Henry Farrell patterned the character of Jane after these women. One would presume by the way they looked that they once were actresses, and were now unemployed. I felt Jane never washed her face, just added another layer of makeup each day." Davis' garish makeup made her look something akin to a grotesque version of an ageing Mary Pickford gone to seed, and she loved it. She took pride when Farrell visited the set one day and exclaimed, "My God, you look just exactly as I pictured Baby Jane." The outrageousness of Davis' appearance caused some concern for Aldrich and the producers who feared it might be too over-the-top. However, as time went on, they came to see that Davis' instincts for the character were right. See more »

Goofs

Both scenes where we see Jane carrying a body in the wheelchair through the kitchen side door (once the maid, then her sister), have obviously been shot at a very short interval : we see two mops on the staircase rail exactly at the same place. In both scenes, on the first shot when she goes down the few steps, the mops are next to each other, then seconds later when seen from inside the car, the mops are separated by a few inches. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in Baby Jane? The Trailer (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played by band in the 1917 prologue
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Disturbing, because it's real
23 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Interesting, to see comments dismissing WEHTBJ? as a "gay" film, or "cult" film, etc.

As a writer/producer who lived and worked in Hollywood for 30 years, I submit that those comments represent a "denial syndrome" of people who are ignorant of the facts of Hollywood.

What is so "horrifying" about WEHTBJ? is that the film is an utterly realistic psychodrama about two specific sisters of that era.

It's easy to say that Bette Davis' performance/makeup was "over the top," except that they weren't. In fact, I thought her look was taken from a sad "street person" in Hollywood who, in her seventies, walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard in a pink ball-gown and dead blonde wig and thick makeup, speaking into a transistor radio she held to her ear -- in the 60s, long before cell phones -- "talking" to the FBI about people chasing her.

Perhaps those who've spent their lives elsewhere, other than in Hollywood, feel that the characters in WEHTBJ? are "over the top." But they're not.

That's what makes them so heartbreaking. And the incredibly brave performances by Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Victor Bono and the rest -- not to mention the script and Robert Aldrich's direction -- make this simply the most definitive "Hollywood" psycho-thriller since "Sunset Boulevard."

There's "A Star Is Born," in any of its incarnations. Which is also "true" in its (their) way.

And there is "Sunset Boulevard" and "Baby Jane," which are even more true, and more brilliantly made.

These are not "horror films." They are riveting psychological studies, cast with astonishing actors, and magnificently directed and photographed.

They are the equivalent of Hitchcock's "Psycho," IMHO, which was preceeded by "Sunset Boulevard" and followed by "Baby Jane."

Each different, each brilliant, each marked by some of the most indelible performances ever captured on film.

It's typical of adolescents to make a "joke" about things that make them uncomfortable.

But when experience and age acquaint one with people like Baby Jane and Norma Desmond and, yes, Norman Bates, what's the point of joking?

These three films will tell those characters' stories forever, and better than 99% of films ever made.

That's why they're classics.


244 of 319 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 212 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page