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Film Studies 101
Feature
50 Movie Sibling Rivalries
The brothers and sisters who just can’t seem to get along

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What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane

The Siblings: ‘Baby’ Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) and Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford)

What puts them at odds? ‘Baby’ Jane was a child star, but later in life found herself overshadowed by the more talented Blanche. But when the latter’s career, and freedom, were ended by a tragic accident, Jane becomes her sister’s keeper.

Families take care of one another, and that’s generally a good thing. But what if you were left helpless and in your sister’s tender hands, knowing that she doesn’t like you very much? What if, in fact, she was losing her mind and developing increasingly violent tendencies? That’s the dilemma featuring Joan Crawford’s Blanche in this classic slice of Grand Guignol. Of course, the on-screen rivalry nicely reflected the stars’ well-publicised real-life antipathy, with reports that Crawford wore weight belts for scenes where Davis had to drag her along and that Davis was a little over-enthusiastic when acting the scene where Jane beats Blanche. The result is an immensely creepy chiller with a multi-layered battle between the two leads.

Which sibling is your favourite?

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