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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

4.8 out of 5 stars 721 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A cultish horror favorite, 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? will make you think twice before hungrily unveiling a covered plate of food. Bette Davis stars as Jane Hudson, a onetime child actress and singer. As an elderly woman, she wishes to revive her vaudevillian career, but she has become a grotesque caricature of her former self. Over the years as her star faded, the star of her older sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) rose, outshining the career of the has-been Baby Jane. Jane was relegated to minor roles, which she only won when Blanche demanded that she be awarded them. The film opens years after a calamitous car accident leaves Blanche in a wheelchair, with no one to care for her except the increasingly insane and sadistic Jane and their servant, Norman. Trying to punish Blanche for her years of success, Jane tortures the housebound woman, slowly trying to starve her to death, all the while attempting to recapture the fame of her youth. This dark drama also stars Victor Buono as the hefty pianist who answers Jane's ad for an accompanist, hoping to milk some money off the demented old woman. Both Buono and Davis were nominated for Oscars for their roles in this suspenseful and somewhat sick thriller that exploited well the real-life antagonism between Davis and Crawford, while at the same time rejuvenated both their careers. --Jenny Brown

Special Features

  • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1

Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy, Julie Allred
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 1997
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (721 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790732246
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,769 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I decided to include this description in case Amazon doesn't put it up right away. Here is what is included on the new 'Baby Jane' Special Edition DVD due out May 30th, 2006!

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - The legendary dispute between rival divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford fuelled the fire both on- and off-screen in Director Robert Aldrich's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Its Grand Guignol story of an aging ex-vaudeville child star (Davis) waging a psychotic reign of terror over her crippled ex-movie star sister (Crawford) became a smash hit and nabbed Davis her 10th Academy Award nomination for her acid portrayal of the title role. Nominated for an impressive five Academy Awards (winning for Best Costume Design), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is a mirthful masterpiece of the macabre.

DVD Special Features:

New 16x9 digital transfer from the original camera negative and restored audio elements (Enhanced for widescreen televisions)

Commentary by author and film historian , Charles Busch and film historian John Epperson (a/k/a "Lypsinka")

3 fabulous documentary profiles of the movie and its 2 immortal stars:

Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition (A new making-of documentary)

All About Bette, Biographical profile, hosted by Jodie Foster

Film Profile: Joan Crawford

Vintage featurette "Behind the Scenes with Baby Jane"

The Andy Williams Show

Theatrical Trailer

Languages: English & Français

Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)
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Format: DVD
Oh yeah! I've been waiting quite awhile to partake in this slab of metaphysical weirdness! Needless to say, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" is everything you've heard and more. People went back and forth, frothing at the mouth in anticipation of a Freddy Krueger versus Jason Voorhees duel in "Freddy vs. Jason," but if you want the real deal all you need do is check out Joan Crawford versus Bette Davis. By all accounts sworn enemies in real life, "Baby Jane" finally brought the two powerhouses together for a knock down, drag out fight of epic proportions in a movie that is so utterly insane it really does defy description. Every thing I will write about the film below won't do it justice. I imagine this movie is a lot like the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon--you can look at pictures and say "Wow! That looks incredible," but a two dimensional photographic image won't give you the full effect. You've got to go there to appreciate such natural wonders, and you'll have to rent or buy this DVD to appreciate the wonder of Bette Davis on autocamp as a former child star grown up into, well, read on and see.

Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) had it all when she was a child. A hit song insured that big audiences turned out to see her perform on the stage. Unfortunately, little Jane suffered from an ego the approximate size of Wyoming, an ego that resulted in temper tantrums with her parents and her sister Blanche (Joan Crawford). Eventually her raging sense of self torpedoed her career even as her sister's began to soar when the film industry blossomed. Jane Hudson sank into obscurity, liquor, cigarettes, and a monstrous case of mental illness that greatly accelerated when a tragic accident put Blanche in a wheelchair for life.
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Format: DVD
This is one great movie! "What Ever Happened to BabyJane?" is, as stated in Amazon's description, the story of twoaging sisters, each in her own way connected with show business.
Now the good stuff. The sisters are played by Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (the only time the two ever acted together) to absolute perfection. Crawford is wonderful in the role of crippled sister Blanche, but Miss Davis absolutely walks away with the show as the former "Baby" Jane Hudson. The role is meatly and she revels in it! It is obvious that Miss Davis held the philosophy that, if you are going to go over-the-top, don't apologize. And she doesn't. She goes WAY over-the-top with a gleeful abandon that is infectious.
The way she taunts her wheelchair-bound sister (the title quotes one of Jane's best lines), serves her meals of dead rodents and ex-pets, kicks her in the gut, mocks her ever-so-proper speech, etc. It's all so delicious. And check out the ballet that she does to one of the songs from her childhood vaudeville act. Bette Davis was obviously having the time of her life, and so do the viewers of this classic.
For the DVD edition, there are disappointingly few extras, but Davis is credited with developing the absolutely hideous hair and makeup combinations she sports while slouching about the house in her scuffs and house coat (Director Robert Aldrich said that, while he loved the look, he never would have had the nerve to suggest such a thing to Bette Davis).
Joan Crawford was in fine form, as well. But for Jane to be able to be credible doing the things she did, Blanche had to be the "straight man". Crawford or Aldrich knew this and Blanche behaves accordingly. Consequently, it is Bette Davis' Jane who has the best lines and the showier part in general.
If you have never seen this movie, get it. If you have, go back and visit the Hudson sisters again. Then you might want to write a letter to YOUR daddy.
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