A cultish horror favourite, 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
will make you think twice before hungrily unveiling a covered plate of food. Bette Davis stars as Jane Hudson, a onetime child actress and singer. As an elderly woman, she wishes to revive her vaudevillian career, but she has become a grotesque caricature of her former self. Over the years as her star faded, the star of her older sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) rose, outshining the career of the has-been Baby Jane. Jane was relegated to minor roles, which she only won when Blanche demanded that she be awarded them. The film opens years after a calamitous car accident leaves Blanche in a wheelchair, with no one to care for her except the increasingly insane and sadistic Jane and their servant, Norman. Trying to punish Blanche for her years of success, Jane tortures the house-bound woman, slowly trying to starve her to death, all the while attempting to recapture the fame of her youth. This dark drama also stars Victor Buono as the hefty pianist who answers Jane's ad for an accompanist, hoping to milk some money off the demented old woman. Both Buono and Davis were nominated for Oscars for their roles in this suspenseful and somewhat sick thriller that exploited well the real-life antagonism between Davis and Crawford, while at the same time rejuvenating both their careers. --Jenny Brown