Tag Archives: Bette Davis

Old movies: ‘Hell’s House’ (1932)

Of late I have been watching a lot of Bette Davis movies. Having come to the realisation that while I knew a lot about her career, marriages, rivalry with Joan Crawford; the only films of hers that I’d seen were the classics ‘All about Eve’ and ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’ My mission was to rectify this. This weekend I watched her Oscar nominated performance in the 1941 film ‘The Little Foxes’ and her breakthrough role in the 1934 film ‘Of Human Bondage’ – the film that made her a star at the age of 26. This wasn’t her first film – she’d been knocking about Hollywood for a few years by that stage, searching for that hit film to put her name above the movie title.

One of her earliest films was called ‘Hell’s House’ from 1932. I also watched this one yesterday. At the time Davis was under contract to Universal Pictures. She was loaned out to BF Zeidman’s Production Ltd for this picture. After which Universal dropped her. Which turned out for the best in fact – her next film was her first with Warner Brothers and became a hit. It was called ‘The Man who played God’ and was the start of her reign as the queen of Warner Brothers.

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Cult movie time: ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’


I have just watched ‘What ever happened to Baby Jane?’ What a riot. These days it is a cult classic, with a back story equally as fascinating as the tale being told onscreen. It is a psychological horror /thriller starring Bette Davis as ‘Baby Jane’ Hudson, and Joan Crawford as her sister Blanche. Blanche Hudson is a paraplegic, 1930s film star, being cared for by her sister ‘Baby Jane’. Baby Jane is somewhat eccentric – attired in gaudy make-up, and a dress and hairstyle more in keeping with her time as a child star. She is now a fifty-something, decrepit alcoholic, poisoned by bitterness and jealousy that her disabled sister is having a career comeback thanks to her old films appearing on television. In fact Jane is losing the very few marbles she ever possessed. Continue reading Cult movie time: ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’