Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween Countdown...09

Top Ten Movies That Make Me Think of Halloween continued...
09. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?(1962)
I think I have seen drag queens doing Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as Baby Jane and Blanche Hudson in nearly every Halloween party or parade I've attended. And why not? It's always good for a hearty familiar chuckle. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? is one of the great smorgasbord movies: a grand sick-making feast with equal parts horror, comedy, melodrama, psychological profiling, and meta Hollywood-on-Hollywood sado-masochism. Both stars were superb as looney washed up actresses, cooped up for decades in their shadowy two-story home. And you have to hand it to the ever-gutsy Bette Davis, one of the bravest, most relentless movie stars there ever was. She chews on the antique furniture as if her career depended on it... and it did back in 1962. Her signature Baby Jane ditty "I've Written a Letter to Daddy" is one of the scariest things you'll ever see or hear onscreen. Scary, I mean to say, in the giggle while you gulp sort of way. In other words: 100% perfect for the scary but all-in-good-fun thrills of Halloween.

7 comments:

damion said...

i could not agree more! well said.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is unrelated to your post, but I'm thrilled to see that you have seen "North Country" for what it is - shameless Oscar baiting held together by pedestrian, simplistic filmmaking. Movies made with good intentions should not be automatically mistaken for great cinema. I guess you're not thrilled about the prospect of Theron getting nomination #2 either?

On the other hand, your grade for "Proof" is depressing (although understandable). What did you think of Paltrow?

-Ali

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NATHANIEL R said...

i thought Paltrow was very good in Proof actually. I also liked Theron in North Country believe it or not. Just think the movie is terrible. Not that I want to see her nominated but she's a solid actress.

Anonymous said...

I wish Australian DVD distributers would get off their fat ass and release some of these classics you are constantly discussing.

It's not like What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf or They Shoot Horses, Don't They? are obscure or anything. It's bad enough we have to put up with movies being released at random intervals...

Needless to say, I have not seen Baby Jane so I can't comment. But the movie plays on a continuous loop in the cinema in the remake of House of Wax!

-Glenn

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