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Blu-ray Review: Fascinating Camp of ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’

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CHICAGO – Robert Aldrich’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a fascinating slice of Hollywood camp, a journey behind the front door of faded tinseltown on multiple levels, both in the film itself and through the notoriously feud between its two stars, Bette Davis & Joan Crawford. The film was recently released in a nice digibook Blu-ray release “Anniversary Edition” (50th) from Warner Bros. and it’s one of the more unusual movies you could be for the classic film fan in your family this holiday season. Or any other.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The stories behind the scenes of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” have undeniably influenced the notable cult reputation of this camp classic. Davis really kicking Crawford in the head. Crawford loading her pockets with weights so that when Davis had to carry her, she sprained her back. It’s the kind of thing that makes a production so much more fascinating.

And “Baby Jane” is definitely a fascinating movie. It’s a great example of a film in which it’s difficult to discern artistic intention. Are we supposed to take this seriously? Is it drama? Satire? Camp? Whatever you take it is, it’s a fascinating movie with two underrated performances (Davis was even nominated for the Oscar) and the films looks stellar in its WB remastering. A great gift this season for classic movie fans. Or camp movies. Or both.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was released on Blu-ray on October 9, 2012
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was released on Blu-ray on October 9, 2012
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Synopsis:
Two icons from the golden age of Hollywood, Oscar winners Better Davis and Joan Crawford, take their famous feud onscreen in Robert Aldrich’s newly restored thriller. In fierce, no-holds-barred performances, Bette Davis portrays aging ex-child star Baby Jane Hudson while Joan Crawford plays Blanche, the crippled sister Jane torments psychologically. As the sisters descend into madness, the tension builds to a shocking ending in this unforgettable Academy Award winning classic.

Special Features:
o Commentary By Charles Busch and John Epperson
o Three Documentary Profiles: Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition, All About Bette & Film Profile: Joan Crawford
o Behind The Scenes With Baby Jane
o The Andy Williams Show - 1962 Excerpt Featuring Bette Davis
o Theatrical Trailer
o What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Dan-O-Rama Movie Mix

“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” stars Bette Davis & Joan Crawford. It was released on Blu-ray on October 9, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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