What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane?

Dir: Robert Aldrich
Starring: Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Victor Buono

When I was young, I used to read a lot of dinosaur books, and there was usually an account of a battle between a T.Rex and a Triceratops. I'm reminded of that here, as two veteran Hollywood leading ladies battle it out for supremacy. Former child star Davis now has to take care of her disabled sister (Crawford), while loathing the fact that her own fame has faded, but her sister still gets fan mail - the film incorporates some of Davis' less-memorable movies in the earlier sequences. The pair share a common interest, however: making the other's life miserable. This all-consuming hobby eventually leads to tragedy, to no-one's real surprise. Davis is genuinely creepy, trying to cling to her long-gone youth, croaking the song which made her famous. Crawford is a fine foil, though her failure to spot the warning signs will have you shouting "Get out of the house NOW" at the screen. Credit also to Buono, for a schemer willing to (ugh!) flirt with Davis to get at the money he presumes she has. The plot is too coincidental, with people inevitably turning up at precisely the worst moment, and the teenage girl next door (Davis' real-life daughter) appears to have escaped from Gidget. Otherwise, this is unrelentingly warped and highly creepy.


Sisters, sisters, there were 
never such demented sisters...
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