This slice of Gothic horror marked the reunion of star BETTE DAVIS and producer/director Robert Aldrich. Three years previously Aldrich had produced and directed the shocker What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, which had marked the first time that two great Hollywood leading ladies – Davis and Joan Crawford – had deigned to appear in a thriller-come-horror movie. The film had been a huge box-office success and Davis earned herself an Academy Award nomination.
Davis is perfectly cast as Charlotte Lewis, a suspected murderess driven insane by her relentless relatives. She was joined by Crawford who was to play her cousin Miriam but Crawford was taken ill during filming and, when it became apparent she wouldn’t recover in time to complete the film, OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND took on her role.
JOSEPH COTTEN played doctor Drew Bayliss, who has had affairs with both cousins and other major roles went to MARY ASTOR, VICTOR BUONO (who, like Davis, had been nominated for an Academy Award for What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?) and AGNES MOOREHEAD. The film was a triumph for Davis, although she was later quoted as saying ‘No more macabre films for me after this one. My macabre era is over’.
USA | 133 minutes | 1964
Director: Robert Aldrich
Writers: Henry Farrell, Lukas Heller from a story by Henry Farrell
Bette Davis as Charlotte Hollis
Olivia de Havilland as Miriam Deering
Agnes Moorehead as Velma Cruther
Joseph Cotten as Dr. Drew Bayliss
Cecil Kellaway as Harry Willis
Victor Buono as Big Sam Hollis
Mary Astor as Mrs. Jewel Mayhew
Wesley Addy as Sheriff Luke Standish
William Campbell as Paul Marchand
Bruce Dern as John Mayhew
Frank Ferguson as Newspaper Editor
George Kennedy as Foreman
Dave Willock as Taxi Driver
Michel Petit as Gang Leader
John Megna as New Boy
Kelly Flynn as 2nd Boy
Percy Helton as Funeral Director
Alida Aldrich as Young Girl
Kelly Aldrich as 3rd Boy
William Aldrich as Boy Dancer
Carol Delay as Geraldine
Ellen Corby as Lily, a Town Gossip
Marianne Stewart as Town Gossip
Helen Kleeb as Town Gossip
Lillian Randolph as Cleaning woman
Bill Walker as Joseph, Jewel Mayhew’s chauffeur
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