Katherine Allenborg, a working girl from the slums, sees the Stylewear Beauty Contest as a ticket to a new life. Although Kathy feels a repugnance toward all men, she decides to use her feminine allure to get what she wants. Upon learning that Sam Lewis, the elderly head of Stylewear magazine, will determine the contest winner, Kathy turns her charms on him. After Sam fixes the contest so that Kathy wins first prize, a trip to Europe, Kathy abruptly dismisses the hapless Sam.
Arlene Dahl ... Kathleen 'Kathy' Allen, nee Allenborg
Philip Carey ... Tim O'Bannion (as Phil Carey)
Herbert Marshall ... Stephen Collins
Michael Goodliffe ... Larry Buckham
Ralph Truman ... John Dowling
Sidney James ... Frank Allenborg
David Kossoff ... Sam Lewis
Faith Brook ... Virginia Collins
Marvin Kane ... Mike Lewis
Patrick Allen ... Willie
Gil Winfield ... Chuck (as Gilbert Winfield)
Larry Cross ... T.V. Announcer
Jacques B. Brunius ... Inspector Caron (as Jacques Brunius)
"Ok. As we live and grow I know we have to grow older. Some of us will certainly look older than even old while others will not. So we prefer the ones who look as if they're sipping from a glass that has some kind of fountain of youth potion or so that is what we expect from a lover without caring how old he is physically as long as he's 21 and above. Did not think I would like this film at all....but well, I became emotionally attached to its moodiness and could not look away. Can't believe I've never heard of this 1967 British jewel of a film unil now. .Oh, I love every minute of older age; although, it is kind of sad and as lonely and alone as hell must be..." -Charles Pearson
As well as being inspired by Hitchcock's "Psycho", "Nightmare" also evokes H.G Clouzot’s "Les Diaboliques", with its conspiring characters’ madness/ paranoia, school setting, family fracas’ and foreboding tone, while retaining the supernatural air of subtly sinister chillers like "The Haunting" and "The Innocents".
A pirate radio station is granting callers their hearts' desires. But as some teenagers find out, be careful what you wish for.
Daughter: "Mom, people don't go out anymore."
Mom: "I know, they hook up..."
Original 1962 Hollywood Reporter Review
Whatever else it may turn out to be, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is certainly one of the most fascinating and unusual cinema items of the year, and one that will capture a huge amount of publicity and comment.
Robert Aldrich's production for Warner Bros. is a lurid melodrama of hate, revenge and murder, a high-class horror film, in the Hitchcock vein, with virtuoso performances from Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, and moments both searing and poignant. Aldrich directed as well as produced the Seven Arts presentation for Warners. Kenneth Hyman was executive producer.
As it stands, Baby Jane does not always sustain its own powerful pace.
Such a story, essentially a short story or mystery yarn rather than a narrative with the development and change of a novel, has to be told in almost breathless fashion, one incident piled upon another, flashing trickery that binds without unnecessary explanation. Baby Jane could be improved by cutting subplotting and exposition of minor characters, unimportant in the total framework and not diverting in themselves. Stripped of unessentials, the focus would sharpen, the spell would be heightened, and the grim, relentless story — broken as it is already with bizarre humor — would be more totally successful.
Lukas Heller's screenplay is based on a book by Henry Farrell and is concerned with two aged actresses immured in their Hollywood home. One, Bette Davis, was a child star. Her sister, Joan Crawford, was a failure as a child but a great success as an adult movie star. Miss Davis' adult failure and her mad belief that her sister deliberately eclipsed her provides the basis for the corrosive relationship that ties them. Miss Crawford's career was terminated when she became hopelessly crippled in an "accident" engineered by her embittered and jealous sister. Or so the premise runs, until the surprise conclusion.
Miss Davis plays with all the baroque technique at her command, which is unmatched by any other actress. Got up to resemble a flour-faced, slash-lipped refugee from the silent days, sporting blonde corkscrew curls, she is visually frightful. She goes about her chores with the somnolence of the insanely purposeful. The part has no shadings, except an occasional horrible coyness, but Miss Davis sustains it by sheer will. Miss Crawford, playing the less gaudy role, has an equally difficult conception. She is ostensibly sane, and she is being starved to death by her sister in particularly gruesome fashion. Miss Crawford plays her scenes of cajolery, panic and despair with supple skill. Between the two actresses, it is a confrontation of tremendous personality, and a standoff for honors.
Maidie Norman does a nice job as maid to the sisters, and a note of rationality in the house of horrors. Victor Buono contributes a further of rococo as Miss Davis' musical accompanist. Others helpful include Marjorie Bennett, Anna Lee, Barbara Merrill, Dave Willock, Ann Barton and moppets Julie Allred and Gina Gillespie.
Ernest Haller's black-and-white photography is almost unsparing in its hard, clear look at the enormous brutalities of such a life as the Misses Davis and Crawford live. His last shot of Miss Davis is particularly memorable. Music by DeVol is touching in every mood, and most notable in giving a pathos to Miss Davis' character that is not otherwise indicated. William Glasgow's settings are keyed to mood and the background. Michael Luciano's editing is vigorous in assisting the tempo. Norma Koch's costumes are a memorable asset. Sound by Jack Solomon is proficient. — James Powers, originally published on Oct. 26, 1962
Yep! Baby Jane cracks on a beach.