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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte [DVD] [1964]


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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte [DVD] [1964] + The Nanny [DVD] [1965]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Mary Astor
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 9 April 2012
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007JV7312
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,875 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This is the tale of a wealthy southern spinster Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) who lives with her eccentric maid (Agnes Moorehead) in a decaying southern mansion, shunned by the townsfolk after the mysterious axe-murder of her late lover. When her jealous cousin (Olivia de Havilland) and her cousin's wily husband (Cotton) arrive for a visit, the two conspire to drive Charlotte insane and have her committed so the two can sell off her estate and pocket the proceeds.

Bette Davis is an elderly Southern recluse slowly being driven mad. Fearing that her home may soon be demolished to make way for a new road, and at the same time exposing an ancient murder, her relatives start to gang up on her. What do they want? And why are they trying to convince her that she's mad?

From Amazon.co.uk

Poor Charlotte Hollis. She's been shunned by the community for decades, ever since the fateful night in 1927 when her lover was hacked apart with an axe. Her antebellum southern mansion is slated for the bulldozer, as it stands in the way of highway construction. Charlotte's only hope lies in her cousin Miriam (Olivia de Havilland), coming down from up north to help settle things. Miriam, however, has other designs. Together with her boyfriend Drew (Joseph Cotten), she embarks on a scheme to systematically drive Charlotte out of her mind (not a great leap) and get her mitts on the family fortune. From there, things only get more complicated. Charlotte puts the "gothic" in southern gothic, as a great showcase for completely bizarre, overwrought, and out-of-control performances from all involved. Agnes Moorehead plays Charlotte's loyal, dishevelled housekeeper to the hilt, with an odd inflection that calls to mind Amos and Andy more than southern gentility. As the drunken, conniving Dr. Drew, Cotten's accent is indeterminate at times, and seems to come and go. As great as the supporting players are, though, the crown goes to Bette Davis as the shrieking Charlotte, a portrait of isolation and decay stuck in a world of tragic delusions inside her crumbling mansion. De Havilland is a close second as the scheming Miriam; the scene where she slaps the holy snot out of a hysterical Charlotte is itself worth the price of admission. Mary Astor (in her last role) and Cecil Kellaway (as a kindly Lloyd's of London adjuster) put in the only performances with any restraint, acting as counterweights for the rest of the cast. Besides, you'll never get another chance to see Joseph Cotten playing the harpsichord and singing, or caked in mud and lily pads! With Robert Aldrich's claustrophobic direction, Charlotte is as Southern as a field of kudzu, and as subdued as a train wreck. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE on 28 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
Bette Davis gives a great performance, sometimes chewing the scenery, sometimes understated, as a Southern recluse, slowly going mad, or is she?

She is the victim, rather than the tormentor, the role she played in '... Baby Jane. Olivia De Haviland stepped in to play her mysterious 'Yankee' cousin from New York. She too gives a top performance, chillingly dark, seething with a repressed jealousy and hatred. Joan Crawford was to take that role, but she gave up part way through the production, claiming that Bette Davis had turned the rest of the cast and the crew against her.

In fact the fim is packed with great performances. It is as though these great stars from a generation earlier siezed the chance to be in a major film again, and put everything into their acting. Mary Astor is superb, and Agnes Moorhead (best known for playing 'Endora' is 60s T.V. 'Bewitched'), picked up a supporting role Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Velma Cruthers, the scary, but ultimately very loyal servant. Joseph Cotton and Cecil Kellaway are fine too, but this is really a film for its female stars.

Back in 1964, this was considered a horror film. By today's standards, the horror is mild and laughable, but it still works, in my opinion, as a great suspense thriller. Some might consider it a high camp classic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jaycag@hotmail.com on 2 Nov 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Bette Davis teams up with Robert Aldrich again for this camp classic about a southern family with a skeleton in its closet. Bette does have a few serene moments before all hell breaks loose (the scene early on around the dinner table is a ham's delight) and Olivia de Havilland (in her last hurrah on the big screen) gets to give Davis hell. The film also offers the opportunity to see some great actors in the twilight of their careers (including Mary Astor in a swansong cameo) which for me was the main attraction. You get the feeling that Aldrich has just sat back and let the actors take over which in the end isnt a bad thing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 18 Nov 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the movie I've watched numerous times, but upon the beginning of every viewing, always seem to have forgotten the outcome of the story. This was the second film on a similar theme to 'Baby Jane' made two years earlier, but far more complex, and as a consequence, can at times appear a little over-long. Agnes Moorehead deservedly earns herself an award here as the faithful and loyal servant of the alleged crazy 'Miss Charlotte' (played by Bette Davis) Compare Moorehead's performance to that of her role in the US 60s sitcom: 'Bewitched' and you will see what I mean! Olivia de Havliand is at her most cold and cunning in this, as Charlotte's cousin Miriam. There is one spectacular and un-missable scene between she and Moorehead at the top of the stairs when one character is highly suspicious of the other. Some of the best movies in this genre from the 60s were led by women such as the aforementioned; 'Baby Jane', Whatever Happened To Aunt Alice' and Britain's 'The Beast In The Cellar', and somehow have more impact, and are more disturbing, because of their sex.

'Hush Hush' almost has the exact same cast as starred in 'Baby Jane', and it would have been complete but for Joan Crawford, who because of the strain of working with Davis in 'Baby Jane', after only a short time of filming had been forced to drop out, and was replaced by de Haviland. The switch could have potentially been fatal to the success of this picture, but for de Haviland's outstandingly cold performance!

One of the extras on this DVD is the original Trailer - re-mastered (Trailers are not often polished up), and is one of the very best I have ever seen for this type of movie!

True movie gold!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence White on 3 Oct 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is Bette Davis' second film with director Robert Aldrich, and it could be described as the cousin to it. However, in 'Baby Jane' Davis had the upper hand, in 'Charlotte' she is the victim. Trapped in a crumbling mansion in America's deep south, at the mercy of her scheming relatives, Davis gives an over the top performance, ably supported by Olivia de Havilland who replaced Joan Crawford after she dropped out of the project. Despite not being in quite the same class as 'Baby Jane' there are some great scenes and the film has remained popular, ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Wallah on 10 April 2008
Format: DVD
A couple of years after their successful teaming in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane' director Robert Aldrich and star Bette Davis were reunited for this frenetic monochrome shocker. As Joan Crawford was unavailable Olivia de Havilland replaced her.

A lengthy prologue takes us back to 1927 Louisiana where young Charlotte (Davis) is about to run off with her married lover when he is viciously murdered after suddenly rejecting her. Local opinion has it that Davis was responsible and as we move to the present (or 1964) she is now a pitiful, confused chatelaine, alone and adrift in her antebellum mansion with only loopy maid Agnes Moorehead for company and whose only purpose is to scare the town's young children.

This Havishamesque reverie is shattered by the news that her splendid home is set to make way for a new road and as the demolition squad moves in, her grip on reality, already loose, slips further.

When her cousin Miriam (de Havilland) turns up to help, things take a turn for the worse as Davis's eccentricities plunge toward madness. But is all as it seems? Was Davis responsible for the murder? Is her lover really dead? Who or what are responsible for the noises in the night?

Aldrich delivers an atmospheric, polished slice of Southern Gothic containing a demented, barnstorming performance from Davis as the southern belle gone wrong and impressive support from de Havilland in a less showy role. Joseph Cotten and Mary Astor round out the Golden-Age-of-Hollywood cast.

One of a spate of early-60s thrillers that followed in the wake of 'Psycho' this stands above the competition thanks to its sterling performances and willingness to go for the throat.
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