I really liked this episode. It is about the making of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane and focuses on the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
It starts off with Crawford wanting a role. She stormed out of the 1961 Golden Globe when Monroe won. Crawford was not nominated for anything.
She wanted a role and since the only acting parts was playing Elvis grandmother she decided to do it herself. She got books with women on the cover and discovered the novel Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
Note: I never knew it was a novel. Anyone read it? Good? Bad?
So she got Robert Aldrich to direct and he had a hard time getting a studio to back him up. Warner Brothers did even though the head HATED both actresses, the money was tempting.
Bette Davis appeared to have lived in a regular middle class home and Crawford near penniless in a mansion. I have no idea how she was penniless her husband was the CEO of Pepsi and died of a heart attack. I assume they spent money like water.
Right before the first day of shooting. Crawford went to bed with this man. No idea who he was. More then once we wondered who are these folks that show up amd leave.
Crawford seemed a bit well flaky at times. It seemed like being a star and noticed was more important then the role. She wanted to do her scene with shoulder pads and makeup as Davis told her it made no sense for her character to be housebound for 20 years to wear shoulder pads and lipstick.
Davis seemed totally devoted to the craft of acting. It appeared Crawford played at being an actor while Davis was an actor. I do not know how real that was. All I could think of was “my god she is an early version of Shannon Tweed but wants awards and just wants the fame”. . Tweed once that she acts because its fun and she never took acting seriously. Crawford just gave me the impression she did not take the craft of acting seriously not like Davis did.
The highlight of the episode was watching Davis transform into Baby Jane. Her daughter pointed to a wig in the backroom of the set that did not look like it was used in 30 years then Bette built on that wig for her face and clothes. She then walked out to applauds from the crew and Crawford thought it looked awful. That’s how you understand your character.
Its really good. Also good god did Davis and Crawford smoke a lot. Amazing they were still alive.
Also like.now it shows how hard it is for older actresses to get roles. Davis was circa 53 and Crawford.circa 57.
I dislike Sarandon but my god she is just killing it as Davis. Fantastic performance. Same with Lange.
I did see Baby Jane and Mildred Pierce. Crawford was fantastic as Pierce yet Lange portrays her in a way that its hard to believe Crawford could have pulled it off.
I assume in reality both Davis and Crawford were totally dedicated to the craft of acting.