Robert Aldrich

Robert Aldrich

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What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Review


Essential
Watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? fills one with a sense of nostalgia for a time they may never have known but can always relive. In 1962, Baby Jane's year of birth, the cinema was a wonderful place to be. Films mattered, genres were being stretched, and classics were produced. To Kill a Mockingbird, Lolita, The Manchurian Candidate, Lawrence of Arabia, and Baby Jane - it was quite a year. It was also the time when the late Bette Davis, Hollywood's own Elizabethan matriarch, was performing. A vehicle for Davis and archrival Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a stunning testimony to a golden age.

Baby Jane Hudson (played in her older years by a gloriously dilapidated Davis) was a star. As a goldie-locked kindergarten beauty, Baby Jane performed to sold-out audiences in 1917. Sister Blanche, then the plainer of the two, was always reminded of that depressing reality. Standing off-stage left, enviously watching her sister screech through a set of syrupy "I love you daddy" numbers, Blanche could only dream of a future when the audience's eyes and inclinations might shift. And they do. Flashing decades forward with superb audacity, director Robert Aldrich introduces us to a new world, where Blanche is a superstar who, though crippled, is still adored by her fans. Baby Jane is as Baby Jane was destined to be, a pale shadow of her juvenile success.

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4 For Texas Review


Bad
One horrible idea from start to finish -- perhaps the Ishtar of its era. In fact, 4 for Texas has a lot in common with that film -- big stars (Frank and Dino), a desert setting, and a series of failed attempts at comedy. They even brought in The Three Stooges but nothing can help this train wreck, as our two Rat Packers and two of their favorite gals (Anita Ekberg and Ursula Andress) spar over the poker table in 1870s Galveston.

Continue reading: 4 For Texas Review

Robert Aldrich

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