Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) synopsis and review

This film revolves around 2 sisters named Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) and Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford). Jane Hudson was once a huge prominant child star equivalent to a Shirley Temple. The movie starts off with a young Jane Hudson singing the song “I’ve written a letter to daddy” (a very creepy song I might add)  on stage with a huge audience. The audience gives her a grand applause and her father couldn’t be more proud of his Janie.  Blanche is on the sidelines throughout of Jane’s career. Her mother sympathizes with Blanche and states something like “When you become successful you have to promise to take care of your sister, Jane.” Her mother knows that Jane’s fame will soon come to an end. The movie shifts to when Jane and Blanche are adults. Their mother’s prediction proved to be true, Blanche is now a successful actress and Jane is an unsuccessful actress who lives in Blanche’s shadow. The roles surely switched around! Out of Blanche’s good heart and her promise to her mother, she makes her sister part of her studio contract so Jane could make movies too. She is a dud and the film executives want to get rid of her but they can’t because of the contract. The movie shifts to Blanche’s house with Blanche or Jane (I can’t tell you it will ruin the movie) opening a gate to this enormous house and a car crashing into her. Who did it?! Now, Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson are old ladies living in a Hollywood mansion. Jane is caked with make up all over her face, trying to restore her younger self and has a huge drinking problem while Blanche is in her wheelchair in her room and aging beautifully. She  watches her old movies with happiness. Jane caters to Blanche with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Jane will not let Blanche leave her room so Blanche’s world is her room.Blanche resents Jane and turns off the TV when she sees that Blanche is watching her old movies. Jane is convinced that Blanche wasn’t a success and that she was the true success of the family. Blanche is constantly receiving fan mail from people who still hold her dear to their hearts.  While, no one remembers Jane (Hense the title).  Jane hides all of Blanche’s fan mail because of her jealous rage.  Blanche knows Jane needs help and wants to get Doctor Shelby for her. Elvira (Blanche’s keeper) knows Jane is evil and wants her out of the house.  Jane insults Blanche, starves her, traps her, and beats her up throughout the movie. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Jane gives Blanche her lunch covered up and states,  “Blanche did you know we had rats in the cellar?” and then she leaves in her room. Jane lives in her past and cannot live for the present. She wants to make a comeback as Baby Jane and wants Blanche out of the picture. However, no one remembers Baby Jane so it’s very difficult for her to make this comeback.  She hires Edwin (Victor Buono) to help her make her comeback. Edwin is not very fond of Jane but is willing to go through with it for the money.  In one scene, Jane starts singing her famous song a”I’ve written a letter to daddy” and starts dancing. She then turns to look in the mirror and she is horrified with her old age.  Will Blanche ever escape from the hands of Jane? I guess you’ll have to watch the movie to find out. Throughout the movie, you’ll be getting the creeps and be truly horrified. I’ve never seen a movie quite like it and that’s why it’s one of my favorite suspensing films. The ending is a really twist and you will not be disappointed. There’s a reason why Bette Davis received an Academy Award nomination.  Check out these clips! 


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