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Nov 08, 2018Not knowing much about the film other than it had similar themes to â~What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?â(TM) and was a bit of a follow on to it, I have to say, I was a bit shocked to see a hand being chopped off early on (and no, it doesnâ(TM)t then go scurrying around :). The film is surprising in other ways as well, some of which you can see coming, but probably not all, and I wonâ(TM)t spoil it any further. I donâ(TM)t know if the film really holds together as an airtight story, starting with no one being prosecuted for murder, and the various reveals as they came made me wonder about the acting in earlier scenes. There are aspects of the film that are over-the-top, both in the performances of an all-star cast who really let loose, and some of the direction from Robert Aldrich. As an example of the latter, when a bottle of medicine has been removed from a nightstand, he feels a need to show us it vanishing, and then zooming in on the spot, when we already know it was there, and would be better off seeing the shock completely played out in de Havillandâ(TM)s eyes. On the other hand, itâ(TM)s a good story, and the southern gothic atmosphere he creates is excellent. Shooting in black and white was a great choice. Between the scenes which come off as campy and those that are just great moments, it may feel a little uneven, but itâ(TM)s certainly entertaining. What really makes the film for me, though, is the cast that was assembled, which is stellar. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, sure, but also in supporting roles Agnes Moorehead, Mary Astor, Bruce Dern, Victor Buono, and George Kennedy. I think my favorite performance was from Moorehead, who upstages them all â" but seeing de Havilland in a very different character is special, as is seeing Astorâ(TM)s last film. The Davis/de Havilland pairing made me think of â~In This Our Lifeâ(TM) from 1942, and it would be interesting to see these films as a double feature. Watch this one for the screen legends, and a story that will hold your interest for all 133 minutes.
Aug 17, 2016Robert Aldrich, while not being as awarded or recognized, could easily be the perfect (however shortlived) torchbearer to Hitchcock's legacy. "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" takes many elements from films before it, yet Aldritch manages to create something revelatory from them. There's not just suspense and mystery but very deep emotional value here due to Bette Davis' wild and compelling acting. She could go from an innocent little girl to a violent screaming banshee within a minute. Just in the way Davis' moods veer from left to right, all of the characters' arcs continually keep the audience on it's toes - confusing one's sympathies from act to act. The lighting, set design, story telling, visual effects, and subsequent influence are immediately apparent upon first viewing, and I'm left amazed I hadn't heard of it sooner. This is a Six Star film through and through.K Nife C Super Reviewer
May 12, 2016Bette Davis as the well past her prime ingenue down Louisiana way still pining for "the one who got away" back in the old cotillion days. DeHavilland is her sensible cousin trying to keep matters that are near hysteria somewhat rational while Joe Cotton is the caring family doctor never far from a bottle of hooch. Only nothing is as it seems to be in this overwrought tour through the moldy Southern gothic. Everyone is obviously having a high old time.
Nov 01, 2014suspenseful in an eerie fashion, the fact it's old and darkly filmed + black and white, in this case makes lurking shadows seem more sinister & only add to the vibe of tensionSanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer