Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 1964. The Associates & Aldrich Company. Story by Henry Farrell, Screenplay by Henry Farrell, Lukas Heller. Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc. Produced by Robert Aldrich. Music by Frank De Vol. Production Design by William Glasgow. Costume Design by Norma Koch. Film Editing by Michael Luciano. Academy Awards 1964. Golden Globe Awards 1964.
Following the enormous success of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, director Robert Aldrich is brought back to make another gothic horror film involving aging Hollywood actresses. Bette Davis plays Charlotte, a woman who in her younger years was believed to have murdered her lover (Bruce Dern) in a jealous fit. Now old and alone, she lives in her gloomy old mansion and has become a novel curiousity for her neighbours. In comes her cousin (Olivia de Havilland, filling in for the unavailable Joan Crawford) who has every intention of taking care of Charlotte and maybe helping her back to complete sanity. Is Charlotte as crazy as we think, or are her hurt feelings from the past confusing her memory? And just what is her cousin getting out of this? An enjoyable melodrama that isn’t as juicy as its predecessor but still has a lot to recommend it. Agnes Moorehead shines as Charlotte’s cackly housekeeper with a nose for trouble.