Two faded movie star sisters live in a decaying mansion, hating each other. This classic movie is famous for the intense performances of its stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as the sparring siblings.
Here are some facts and legends about this classic film and its stars:
– Davis and Crawford had been rivals since the 1930s and their ego games in the film were matched by their ego games off screen.
– As Movie Talk’s News Muse mentioned a few weeks ago, a book was written about the mutual dislike between Davis and Crawford called Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud.
– According to the above book, jealous Joan was not happy when Davis received an Oscar nomination for her role in this film. Determined to upstage her rival, she forged a plan involving her friend Anne Bancroft who had also been nominated for Best Actress that year for The Miracle Worker. When Bancroft was declared the winner, Crawford took to the stage to collect the trophy on Bancroft’s behalf.
– It’s possible that the Davis-Crawford dispute was caused by actor Franchot Tone. Davis fell in love with him, and then discovered he was involved with Crawford.
– Apparently the wig worn by Davis had been worn by Crawford in an earlier movie. No doubt sparks would have flown if she’d realised this, but fortunately for the production team, this detail escaped her notice.
– The cracked head of the “Baby Jane” doll, as seen in this ad, was a completely different doll than the one used in movie:
– During the film’s production, the devious Davis had a Coca-Cola machine installed to wind up Crawford whose late husband had been CEO of rival brand Pepsi.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is showing on Sky Movies Classics today at 9pm.