What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

This 1962 horror classic has aged extraordinarily well, thanks to the universality of its themes (the damaging impact of lost fame, which resonates strongly in this era of the 24/7 news cycle and online celebrities), and, notably, the lead performances of both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. While Crawford brings elegance and fortitude to her performance, Davis instead goes for broke and revels in her character’s grotesque peccadilloes, and walks away with the movie in the process. Ultimately it’s a haunting, well-directed rumination on past glory and the rigors of the entertainment industry that’s unlike anything that’s come before or after. Highly recommended.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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