Starring: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford
Director: Robert Aldrich
Baby Jane (Davis) had been a huge child star, but when her sister Blanche’s (Crawford) rising career eclipses hers as they grow up she is wracked with jealousy and anger. One night Jane drunkenly hits her sister with a car, crippling her and ending her career. Caring for her sister, she starts to lose her mind and keep her sister hostage in her own home.
What I love is that as Baby Jane gets crazier, the starts to wear her old costumes and make herself up to look like a little girl, which is horrendously creepy. Both the actresses are really relishing their roles as ageing stars in this film, and although the drama is real, it always feels psychologically realistic, like it could happen.
It’s A Must See Because: Davis and Crawford famously hated each other off screen, and this film united them as siblings who tortured each other, with deadly consequences. Everyone wanted to see this on screen rivalry. The film itself though really blew people out of the water, and it still does, with it’s horrifying scenes of Jane serving up her sisters strangled pet bird for lunch, hiding her post and refusing her visitors, and her growing madness as she tries to revive her childhood musical act. It’s incredibly well played by the two leads, and relaunched their careers, as well as starting a new horror genre. The film is dark, creepy, grotesque and it really gets under your skin.
See It If: you love stories of old Hollywood, or if you’ve ever had a sibling you truly hated.