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Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – Movie

January 3, 2018
by

This is an old movie in Hollywood standards. A black and white film, it encapsulates the early ’60’s horror movie and a twisted tale of hate and jealousy and so much more.WP

This is a famous still from it, on the left is Bette Davis as Jane and the right is Joan Crawford as Blanche.

My first take on the film was positive, the characters are believable in their individual paths of torment. The typical lifestyle of that time was lost on me, however, and some comedic moments would have been frightening when it came out. The scale of society’s fear and disgust have obviously morphed since then, making it something Elvira or Mystery Science Theater 3000 would make fun of.

I could not tell from the film itself, but Bette Davis went extreme in her character transformation. Compared to Joan’s normal pallor in this picture, you can see Bette’s face is ghost-like in appearance, caked on with white makeup and a beauty mark with dark red lips. A striking picture indeed.

What peaked my interest (in the original movie) was the show The Feud, that aired on FX earlier this year. It enlarges the scene to paint the lives of these two women in 1962, cast out of Hollywood for young replacements, creating a cycle of viciousness between the cast in order to distract from the directors and producers playing with perception and emotion. The outright manipulation used to oppose Bette and Joan is tragic.

The film’s ending mirrors the tragedy in reality, the two entertainers and women could have been friends.

If not for being unfairly pitted against each other so they would not test the male dominated field at that time. The callous disregard for mutual respect, even though these two similar women could have taken on the entire studio and changed things before their time.

Alas.

The only thing to prevent any continuance, is to learn from history and be aware not to repeat it.

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