What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

imdb - 0 | Action
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    981.22 MB

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In 1917, nine-year-old "Baby" Jane Hudson (Julie Allred) is a vaudevillian child star. She performs to adoring crowds and inspires the creation of a rather expensive Baby Jane doll. Jane is shown to have become a spoiled brat whose doting stage-father Ray Hudson (Dave Willock) gives in to her whims and demands while her disapproving mother and jealous, overlooked 11-year-old sister Blanche Hudson (Gina Gillespie) watch from the sidelines.By 1935, the now grown sisters' roles have reversed. Both are movie stars, but Blanche is the successful and glamorous one, while Jane's films have flopped. Unable to establish her talent as an adult actress, Jane has taken to drinking. One night after coming home from a party, their car pulls up the driveway to their mansion and one of the sisters steps out to open the gate. When she reaches the gate, the sister who is driving steps on the accelerator, smashing the car into the gate.In 1962, a wheelchair bound Blanche (Joan Crawford) and a severely aged Jane (Bette Davis) are living together in a creepy mansion in Los Angeles. Blanche lives primarily in her bedroom watching her old movies on television and reliving her former career. Jane is an antagonist who fights with her sister constantly, drinks excessively, and wears caked-on makeup in an effort to appear young again. Blanche is heavily dependent on her bitter, abusive sister, except for her friendly relationship with their cleaning woman, Elvira Stitt (Maidie Norman). Elvira is concerned for Blanches well-being at the hands of "crazy" Jane, but Blanche defends her. Elvira tells Blanche that she has discovered her sister has been opening her mail and dumping it in the trash, but Blanche is slow to condemn her and shows concern for her sister's welfare.In her own world, Jane is reliving her childhood success in a dark, disturbing manner. She is lost in her memories when she sees her reflection in the mirror and is horrified. At that moment Blanche calls for her sister with an annoying, repeated use of a bedside buzzer from her room: She wants to know why she cannot call out on the telephone was it left off the hook downstairs? Jane is annoyed when Blanche informs her she may be selling the house. Jane fights with her sister, fearing what will become of her, and rips the telephone cord from the wall, further isolating Blanche in her room. When Jane brings Blanche's lunch afterwards, Blanche finds under the silver serving dish lies her beloved parakeet, dead on a bed of tomato slices.Jane makes herself up to go out and place an advertisement for a piano player so she can restart her performing career. While she is out, Blanche tries to get the attention of her neighbor, Mrs. Bates (Anna Lee), who is tending her flowers below Blanche's window. When Blanche cannot get her attention, she writes a note pleading for help and throws it from her window. Unfortunately, Jane returns at that moment and the distraction of the car coming up the driveway prevents Mrs. Bates from seeing the crumpled paper. Jane finds the note, however, and when she brings Blanche's dinner up, she argues with her sister again, telling her the house is hers and it will never be sold. Jane mocks her sister's kindly concern and drops the folded note in her lap. Jane leaves the room, and when Blanche goes to her serving tray for dinner, she cannot bring herself to touch it.The next morning when Elvira arrives, Jane tells her she can have the day off. Jane's abuse of Blanche continues and they fight again when she brings Blanche her lunch. Blanche has not touched her dinner from the night before and wants to know why her breakfast had not been brought. Jane responds because she had not eaten her dinner and Jane tauntingly eats from the previous night's plate. As she takes the dinner tray away, she tells her sister they have rats in the basement, and when Blanche goes to eat her lunch, she finds a dead rat on the plate. Blanche screams and Jane laughs evilly at her sister's despair.Meanwhile, a talented, down-and-out, overweight young man named Edwin Flagg (Victor Buono) sees Jane's newspaper advertisement and phones the Hudson house to make an appointment for that afternoon. Edwin lives with his mother and hopes to use this opportunity to land some cash for himself and his mother.When Edwin shows up at the house, Jane grotesquely performs her signature song from her childhood, "I've Written a Letter to Daddy," with Edwin playing the piano. Edwin tries to conceal his disgust. Jane brags about who she was as a child and shows him a scrapbook of herself. At this time, Blanche uses her buzzer repeatedly to call her sister, wanting to know who the visitor is. Enraged, Jane goes upstairs, confronts Blanche, and rips the buzzer out of the wall and slaps her sister.Back in the living room, Jane and Edwin agree to his salary and they plot their moves. Jane then drives him home. While shes out, Blanche goes into Jane's room looking for food (by now, she hasn't eaten in a couple of days) and discovers that Jane has practiced forging her signature and is writing checks under Blanche's name. She works her way down the stairs to the telephone. Blanche calls Jane's doctor and tells him that she needs help and asks if he could come to the house right away.Jane comes home to find Blanche on the phone, talking to the doctor. Blanche abruptly ends the conversation and tries to make excuses in front of her enraged sister. Jane beats her as she lies on the floor, kicking her in the head and stomach until she is unconscious. Jane then calls the doctor back and, disguising her voice as Blanche, tells him not to come because "Jane found another doctor". Then Jane drags her sister to her room, ties her by her arms, gags her, and leaves her there.The next day, Elvira arrives to see Blanche. Jane tells her that her services are no longer needed and dismisses her. Suspicious, Elvira sneaks into the house when Jane leaves for the bank to get money to pay Edwin. She finds Blanche's room locked and is attempting to remove the door from the hinges when Jane comes home and catches her. Upon Elvira's demands, Jane gives her the key, and as the maid enters the darkened room to find Blanche bound and gagged, Jane uses a hammer to kill Elvira. Jane sinks deeper into her delusions, saying, "If only they had loved me enough." Edwin rings the doorbell, but Jane does not answer, "Not now Edwin, not now," and when he leaves, she sobs in despair. She drags Elvira's dead body from the house and disposes of it by dropping it some distance away in a garbage bin.One week later, the police phone the Hudson house and tell Jane that a cousin of her maid reported her missing. Jane tells them that she hasn't seen Elvira in a week. A panicked Jane then prepares to leave with her sister, fearing the police will discover what she's done. Suddenly, a drunken Edwin shows up at the house, demanding to receive his first payment. While he is there, a weakened Blanche is able to knock over a bedside table in her room. Edwin hears the noise, goes upstairs to investigate, and finds Blanche tied to her bed. He is shocked at her "dying" condition as she begs for his help. Edwin runs from the house and gets away from Jane. Desperate, Jane puts her sister in the car and drives to the beach.The next morning, the search is on for the missing Hudson sisters. Elvira's body was found by the police, and there are bulletins on the radio. Blanche, starved and dehydrated, is lying on the sand with Jane sitting beside her, oblivious to her plight. Aware that she is dying, Blanche tells Jane the truth of what happened years before. It was she, Blanche, who tried to run over her drunken sister. Jane, however, moved out of the way in time and Blanche had slammed into the gate and snapped her spine, but managed to drag herself out of the car and up to the wrecked gate. Because Jane was too drunk to realize what happened, she has long believed that she was responsible for her sisters condition. Jane sadly asks, "You mean all this time we could have been friends?"However, this revelation comes too little too late for Jane, whose mental health has completely deteriorated by this point. Jane runs to a beach-side concession booth to get ice cream cones for the two of them. Two policemen arrive and intercept Jane as she is returning with the ice cream cones. As a crowd of beach-goers begin surrounding her, Jane realizes that she again has the attention she's long craved, and she dances before the onlookers, joyfully happy at last, in her decayed imagination. The police spot a motionless Blanche lying on the sand and break through the crowd to help her as the deranged Jane continues to dance.THE END

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