Bette Davis And Joan Crawford Weren’t Considered ‘Bankable’ Enough For What Ever Happened To Baby Jane

Davis and Crawford were in their 50s when “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was filmed, so the fact that two of Hollywood’s biggest stars were no longer considered bankable at that point is certainly disappointing, though not surprising. The truth is, this is an issue that continues to run rampant through an industry that still prizes youth and beauty above all else, particularly as far as women are concerned. Sure, much has improved since the ’60s, but it’s still not too often that we see projects being built around women of a certain age. Though reviews were mixed in ’62, time has been kind to “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” with the movie now a celebrated moment in the filmographies of both actresses. Plus, it was a box office hit at the time, ultimately giving these “two old broads” the last laugh.

Crawford and Davis were absolute titans, larger-than-life figures who will never be forgotten. While “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was a late-career highlight, there are also films such as “Mildred Pierce,” “Johnny Guitar,” “Of Human Bondage,” and “All About Eve,” just to name a few standouts from their extensive resumes. Even as I write this, their feud is on my mind, and I’m trying to alternate whose name comes first and make sure each of them is featured in every photo I use so as not to upset either one from beyond the grave. In real life, Davis and Crawford may have felt like one of them was constantly trying to upstage the other, but in this movie, they were standing firmly on equal ground.

Leave a Comment