Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte

All posts tagged Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte

Horror Mash-up: Bette Davis & Frances Dee

Published May 18, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Bette Frances Duo

Though they share no screen time, 1934’s Of Human Bondage proved to be a successful project for Frances Dee, who would go on to headline Val Lewton’s classic 1943 offering I Walked With a Zombie, and Bette Davis, whose take on the spiteful Mildred Rogers finally established her as a star of significant reckoning.

davis bondageDavis, of course, would go on to become one of the queens of gothic horror with appearances in such revered projects as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Here, though, her determination to artistic truth emerged via her insistence that Mildred’s decline not be a pretty one, but a dark and realistic journey.  Her perseverance was also tested here as she was, reportedly, not treated well by her co-star Leslie Howard, who felt that a Brit should have been cast in the role in deference to the film’s English setting.

Dee has the nicer, less meaty role here. As the kind and understanding woman who eventually gains Howard’s heart, she does project a luminous quality that would bring her good stead in her most famous role of Betsey Connell, a nurse introduced to the ominous world of voodoo in (the above mentioned)  I Walked with a Zombie.frances dee bondage.jpg

This is truly Davis’ show, though. Compelling even as her repellant actions to Howard’s club footed Philip Carey make one wonder what he could ever see in her, she provides a bravura performance that has lingered in the public consciousness for decades.

Now, be sure to wipe your mouth, wipe your mouth…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Bette Davis

Published April 22, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

bette davis hush hush

After her role in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Bette Davis became the goddess of the Grand Guignol horror film. Her presence electrified such projects as Dead Ringer, The Nanny, Burnt Offerings and The Secret of Harvest Home.

While not as celebrated  as Baby Jane, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte was another solid offering in the scare sweepstakes. Nominated for numerous Academy Awards (including one for supporting actress Agnes Moorhead), this production was, originally, supposed to reunite Davis with Jane co-star Joan Crawford. Crawford took ill, though, and was replaced by Olivia De Havilland, who gives a ghoulishly intense performance as Bette’s determined rival.

Here, Davis, the master of the television interview, sings Charlotte’s theme song on one such appearance.

Meanwhile, discounting Jane’s maniacally funny I’m Writing a Letter to Daddy, Davis’ best known singing performance has to be the clever They’re Either Too Young or Too Old from the star studded Thank Your Lucky Stars.

Sonically satiated, we leave you with one of Bette from her first breath of spring….

bete glamour

…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Patti Page

Published September 7, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

patti page
“Into a lonely life…wearing the black dress of sorrow”

She should be known as the Queen of Everything! For while Patti Page is best known to old school terror lovers as the warbler of the theme song to Hush…Hush…Sweet Charlotte (although her version does not appear in the film itself), she mastered everything from country (Detour) to MOR pop (Tennessee Waltz)to mild rock-n-roll (Most People Get Married). She was, also, the high priestess of the novelty song with both schmaltzy sweetness (How Much is that Doggie in the Window?) and truly bizarre outings (The Mama Doll Song) littered among her offerings.

Interestingly, she was often noted for successfully multi-tracking her voice, as well. (Take that, Britney Spears!)This technique was put to especially good use in the gothic western story song, One of Us Will Weep Tonight:

So, drape yourself in dark lace and…Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

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Olivia De Havilland: Diva Wails, Latter Day Goth!

Published February 5, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

olivia lady
Big Gay Horror Fan and his beloved sister-muse Apocalyptic Kitten usually get along. But when they disagree, it’s like legendary rival siblings Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine gone atomic!

Yes, despite her sweet reputation earned from famous roles in Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Heiress (1949), De Havilland is supposedly something of a wild cat. This nature flares forth, to various degrees, in some of her latter day film projects.

Hush_Hush_Sweet_Charlotte_PosterHush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). In this semi-classic of Gothic Hag Horror, De Havilland is confused Bette Davis’ concerned cousin. Yet, her clipped control when her true intentions are revealed is chilling – resulting in one of De Havilland’s most significant, eternally nightmarish performances. Film buffs, of course, are aware that De Havilland took over this role from an ‘ailing’ Joan Crawford. Director Robert Aldrich was hoping to achieve the success of his previous collaboration with Davis and Crawford, 1962’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? This was something that he was able to do without Dame Joan’s participation, though. This film ultimately went on to be hyped as the first horror production to receive 7 Academy Award nominations.

Lady in a Cage (1964). As a well-to-do writer trapped in a home elevator during a power outage, De Havilland gloriously revels in a bit of over acting here. Whether steamily composing poetry in her head or reverting back to her ‘cave man’ instincts, De Havilland’s grand dame is always rich with emotion. Of course, as Lady in a Cage is part social commentary, part youth revolt film and part suspenseful woman’s picture, De Havilland’s over indulgences don’t read as too out-of-the-ordinary here. The film’s director, Walter Grauman, also includes some amazing images. The shot of a young black girl carelessly running her roller skates up and the down the leg of a passed out drunk is both odd and forever poetic. A blonde, often shirtless James Caan appears here, in an early role, as well. As one of the rebellious thieves who threaten her character’s life, he ultimately feels the blinding wraith of De Havilland gone wild!olivialady

The Swarm (1978). As a Southern belle school superintendent, Lady Olivia is part of a quirky love triangle here. Demurely romanced by cowboy superstar Ben Johnson (Terror Train) and television dad Fred MacMurray (whose moral murkiness in Double Indemnity had long been overshadowed by his stint on My Three Sons), De Havilland is full of cute coyness.

oliviadehavillandswarmHer melodramatic wail after witnessing the school yard aftermath of an attack of deadly bees is so hysterically round, though, that it is this Irwin Allen opus’ penultimate image. You have to hand it to Allen, though. This wildly ridiculed epic spares no age group – including our sticky sweet romantic trio – from its wrathful sting!

One can experience De Havilland’s cry heard ‘round the world at the link, below:

Be sure to check back often for further explorations of the mighty mistresses of terror.

Meanwhile, Big Gay Horror Fan is always kneeling before the goddesses of dark majesty at http://www.facebook.com/#!/BigGayHorrorFan, as well!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!!!