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"Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte," 1964 Psychological Thriller, Directed by Robert Aldrich, Starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Mary Astor in Her Film Finale


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"Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte," was supposed to be a follow-up to Robert Aldrich's successful film, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane." Though not a sequel, Charlotte was to feature the former film's stars--Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, and fall into the "psycho biddy" sub-genre of horror popularized by Baby Jane.

While the film does mimic Baby Jane in style, there is no reunion of the feuding costars. Crawford, who was cast opposite Davis' Charlotte as her cousin, Miriam, began shooting the film, but left before it was finished, and was replaced by Olivia de Havilland.

I liked this film more than I thought I would. Agnes Moorehead is a hoot as Velma, the housekeeper, and Bette Davis is delightfully over-the-top as Charlotte. De Havilland gives a fine performance as well, although some scenes are tailor-made for the Crawford/Davis pairing that the we never got to see. The film also features the final performance by legendary actress Mary Astor.

The cinematography is lovely, as well, with picturesque shots of a tree-lined Southern estate. The final scene with Davis is one of her finest. Without saying a word, much is revealed through those luminous eyes and her expressive face.

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