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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 29.23%
Average: 12.31%
Pretty Bad: 1.54%
Total Crap: 3.08%

2 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
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by Chef ADogg

"You idiot. You wretched idiot!"
3 stars

Fuck drama and suspense. You can file "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" under "Crazy Old Shrews." More catfighting, bitchslapping, and eye rolling than you can shake a severed hand at. It fairly rocks.

I hope Bette Davis is better in her other films. I mean, ALOT better. Same for Olivia deHavilland. I haven't seen either of them in much of anything, but they're just awful in this one. The script really doesn't call for much more than iris-busting bitchery, though, so I guess they did their respective jobs.

Davis plays a Southern belle who got romantically swindled way the hell back in 1927 by Bruce Dern; the guy wound up dead and people are still thinking in 1964 that she was the one to butcher him. Her cousin (deHavilland) comes to visit, skeletons pop out of closets, and the prosthetic heads begin to roll. Ain't women great?

But--the movie's a mess. I'm really making it sound WAY too good. I mean, there are some great parts (particularly a stunning dance sequence with jaw-dropping results), but it's basically a soap opera that drags on for nearly two and a half hours.

The midsection of the film is too soggy for my tastes; we start off with a nice narrative pull, and I enjoyed the editing quite a bit. But--what is this? All of a sudden we're in Sapville, where boring subplots wander aimlessly and overblown music swells in the background. We're given the initial set up, and then left for an hour and a half with only geriatric nags at each others' throats to watch.

The plot starts developing at a steady clip again once the final act gets going, and you can hear the twists snapping in the background. I would have liked to have seen these laid out more evenly throughout the film, so my interest didn't flag quite so much, but at least they were there (which I initially feared would not be the case).

Another problem: Bette Davis. It's not only her performance that bugs me, but her character as well. I just can't get behind a lead character that refuses to stand up for herself and spends the climax looking confused in the background. To her credit, she does pull off "befuddled" better than most actors I have seen, and there are a few scenes where she really dips into the sadness behind her character and makes you feel it.

On the plus side? Joseph Cotten, as always, tears shit up. He looks a little bit older and fatter here than he did in "Citizen Kane" and "Reasonable Doubt," but he hasn't lost his touch. Agnes Moorehead also turns in some really quality work as the maid who starts out as perfunctory comic relief but deepens as the film progresses. Kudos to the both of 'em.

The direction is actually pretty quality; this was made back when some directors actually knew how to tell a story. I thought a lot of parts, though, would have looked MUCH better in color--Robert Aldrich was probably trying for elegance, but, this being one of the most overdone in films in history, I would have just gone with Technicolor. It would have spruced a lot of the outdoor scenes up.

I think that pretty much closes this one up. Rent it if you're a fan of Joseph Cotten and you'd like to see Bette Davis in pigtails.

He's dead...AND YOU KILLED HIM! (bwahahaha)

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/10/99 16:50:52
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User Comments

12/06/08 lyndon saw it42 years ago, Your comments broght back memories. But who was the murderer. Please? 5 stars
7/22/07 teale hadn't seen this since it was released. and it holds up very well. great flick 4 stars
3/06/07 action movie fan spooky tale a bit slow but good-great gruesome opening 4 stars
3/24/06 Jennings Rountree One of the greatest films ever made! 5 stars
11/08/05 suzanne zestful performances; fun, sad and scary 5 stars
11/05/05 Chris Smith Clever Horror 4 stars
10/07/05 Carolyn Rathburn Classi Davis, always worth a look 4 stars
9/27/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Agnes Moorehead was a genius. Share this epic with those you love. They will thank you!!! 5 stars
8/14/05 Dixie Theriault not as good as the character Baby Jane Hudson but Bette makes her real. 4 stars
8/13/05 Eric Rollins Amazingly good. True classic. 5 stars
3/18/05 S.Brown Great picture!! 5 stars
1/14/05 David Unimaginably entertaining! Brilliant Davis. DeHavilland AMAZES as a rare TRUE BITCH! GREAT! 5 stars
9/26/04 Tor Honolulu "What do you think I asked you here for ...COMPANY?" Great lines are only in old movies 5 stars
6/21/04 Deborah Ortiz It's always been my favorite movie since childhood, and I will continue watching it . 5 stars
1/20/04 Jim Tennison This movie is a 10 + 5 stars
11/30/03 Jack pretty good, worth watching 4 stars
10/16/03 Robin You have to like the gothic horror movies to like this one. I loved the movie. Just enjoy 5 stars
4/29/03 Donald Casey From where I'm standing, I could spit...right in your eye....Bette Davis to George Kennedy 5 stars
4/01/03 Gene Schuyler Powerful... DeHavilland for Once is NOT a Goodie Two-Shoes and Does A Superlative Job 4 stars
3/22/03 SuzyQ Still scary after seeing it umpteen times. 4 stars
2/20/03 Neal Sims Wonderfully atmospheric, and actually superior to Baby Jane, to which this was a follow up. 5 stars
1/20/03 Kay It scared the crap out of me...I think it was the black & white thing-y. Awsome 5 stars
12/14/02 djchuck loved the song-one of my favorits. the movie was good as justice always wins 4 stars
11/25/02 Charles Tatum Davis was so cool 5 stars
9/26/02 jesus jesus christ man 5 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim "WHAT DO YOU THINK I ASKED YOU HERE FOR...COMPANY?!!!" 5 stars
6/01/02 Dan Taylor Not a classic, but it's not too bad for a sequel. 4 stars
5/20/02 Kristen Who woulda thought that little miss melanie wilkes could be so evil?! lol. Magnificent film 5 stars
5/17/02 LunarWill The movie has to be viewed in the right context. Entertaining and brilliant performances! 5 stars
3/12/02 Karen Williams I thought this film is pretty fucked up and gay 1 stars
2/12/02 Donnie Doo Doo Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Agnes Moorehead and Mary Astor? Who needs a story? 5 stars
1/26/02 alan40tr " I know what you and her been up too" Poor Miss Charolette 5 stars
12/05/01 Judy Hisle A+ Loved the film & got to see & go into the mansion where it was filmed 5 stars
11/21/01 Maggie Marmalade SOMEBODY SLASHED MY DRESS!!!!! 5 stars
11/12/01 kelly it sucked big time 2 stars
10/15/01 Shane Rogers Filmed in my homestate, released the year I was born, BITCHS...5 stars from me is a given! 5 stars
9/24/01 David Davis Superb performances by Bette Davis, Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, and Olivia de Havilland 5 stars
9/15/01 jeny no 5 stars
8/30/01 Paul Guimond Gothic classic with a generous helping of camp. "aah could kiihl youahh!" 5 stars
7/24/01 Emily Bowlstone Sucks ass, I'v seen it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
7/22/01 Jürgen Eichermüller The film is cult material. 5 stars
6/11/01 Jason Good, but seems like "Baby Jane", Part Deux 3 stars
6/03/01 One of the most effective, grandiose, creepy dramas ever filmed- 5 stars
5/23/01 Bada Bing Crosby "What do you think I asked you here for ..... COMPANY"?! 5 stars
4/11/01 mike why are the most interesting interpersonal films always protrayed in "the south"? 4 stars
3/17/01 Jnaie Bullard This is one of the best movies I've seen!!! 5 stars
3/15/01 Jim Adams I saw it when I was 10 in a old and it scared me to death! I must've been a wienie. 4 stars
1/01/01 southern gothic yoou have to understand the head-just great 5 stars
8/14/00 badBur Priceless travesty of horror genre and golden-age Hollywood acting and stardom. 5 stars
3/29/00 Thom excellent camp value 4 stars
2/08/00 Teletimes This film is an excellent film, with lots of superb acting and scarey stuff 5 stars
2/05/00 Donald Duck A wonderfully gothic film, filled with extraordinary surprises by Bette Davis. Great stuff 5 stars
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  24-Dec-1964 (NR)
  DVD: 09-Aug-2005



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