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Whatever Happened To Baby Jane Ending Explained


Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Ending Explained: Unraveling the Mystery of the Classic Thriller

Released in 1962, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a psychological thriller that has captivated audiences for decades with its dark and twisted tale of two aging sisters, Baby Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson. Directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, the film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats until its climactic ending. In this article, we will delve into the ending of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” and provide you with some interesting facts about the movie.

Ending Explanation:

The ending of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is both shocking and tragic. After a series of disturbing events that unfold throughout the film, including Jane’s mental deterioration and Blanche’s imprisonment, the climax occurs during a confrontation between the two sisters.

In the final scene, Blanche manages to escape from her room and crawls down the stairs, attempting to flee from Jane’s torment. Jane, however, catches up to her and delivers a fatal blow with a hammer, killing her sister. The movie ends with Jane triumphantly singing on stage, oblivious to the gravity of her actions.

This ending leaves viewers with a mix of emotions, as it showcases the extent of Jane’s madness and the tragic fate of Blanche. It highlights the destructive power of jealousy and resentment that has consumed Jane throughout the film.

8 Interesting Facts about “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”:

1. The rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, both renowned actresses in their time, added an extra layer of intensity to the film. Their off-screen feud is said to have influenced their performances, making their characters’ animosity even more believable.

2. “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” was based on a novel of the same name written by Henry Farrell. The book was inspired by a real-life incident involving two sisters who were former child stars.

3. The movie was a commercial success, grossing over $9 million at the box office. It became a cult classic and has since been considered a landmark in the psychological thriller genre.

4. The role of Baby Jane was initially offered to Katharine Hepburn, who turned it down. Bette Davis, who was struggling to find good roles at the time, eagerly accepted the opportunity and delivered a remarkable performance.

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5. The film’s haunting score, composed by Frank De Vol, adds to the suspense and tension throughout the movie. It perfectly complements the eerie atmosphere and the psychological turmoil of the characters.

6. “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Bette Davis and Best Supporting Actress for Joan Crawford. Although it did not win any Oscars, it solidified its place in cinematic history.

7. The movie’s success paved the way for the “hag horror” subgenre, which focused on aging female stars in disturbing psychological roles. Films such as “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte” and “What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?” followed in its footsteps.

8. “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” continues to inspire and influence filmmakers to this day. Its dark themes, complex characters, and shocking ending have left an indelible mark on cinema.

Common Questions about “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” Ending:

1. Why did Jane become so obsessed with torturing her sister?

Answer: Jane’s obsession with torturing her sister stems from her deep-seated resentment and jealousy. She was once a successful child star while Blanche achieved greater success as an adult actress, driving Jane to madness.

2. Did Blanche actually cause the car accident that left her paralyzed?

Answer: No, it is revealed that Jane was responsible for the car accident that paralyzed Blanche. Jane’s jealousy and desire for attention led her to intentionally harm her sister.

3. What happened to Baby Jane after she killed Blanche?

Answer: The movie ends with Jane triumphantly singing on stage, seemingly oblivious to the consequences of her actions. It is left to the viewer’s interpretation as to what happens to her afterward.

4. Was the relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as intense as their characters’ relationship in the film?

Answer: While Davis and Crawford did have a contentious relationship off-screen, the extent of their rivalry might have been exaggerated for publicity purposes. Nevertheless, their on-screen chemistry is palpable and adds to the film’s tension.

5. Is “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” based on a true story?

Answer: The movie is not based on a true story, but it was inspired by a real-life incident involving former child stars.

6. How did the movie impact Bette Davis’ career?

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Answer: “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” revitalized Bette Davis’ career, earning her critical acclaim and a newfound recognition. It showcased her versatility as an actress and opened doors to more challenging roles.

7. Are there any sequels or remakes of the movie?

Answer: While there have been no official sequels, the success of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” led to a similar collaboration between Bette Davis and director Robert Aldrich in the movie “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”

8. What is the significance of the title “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Answer: The title reflects Jane’s fading stardom and the question of what caused her downfall. It also symbolizes the loss of innocence and the transformation from a beloved child star to a disturbed and vengeful adult.

9. Did the movie receive any negative criticism?

Answer: Although “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” was generally well-received, some critics found fault with the film’s excessive violence and disturbing themes. However, its impact on the psychological thriller genre cannot be denied.

10. How did the movie influence future films?

Answer: The success of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” led to the creation of the “hag horror” subgenre, which explored the psychological torment of aging female characters. It paved the way for similar films that followed.

11. Was the ending meant to be open to interpretation?

Answer: Yes, the ending intentionally leaves room for interpretation, allowing viewers to speculate about Jane’s fate and the consequences of her actions.

12. What role did the score play in the film?

Answer: The score, composed by Frank De Vol, enhances the suspense and tension throughout the movie. It adds to the film’s eerie atmosphere and heightens the psychological turmoil of the characters.

13. How did the movie impact the careers of Joan Crawford and director Robert Aldrich?

Answer: “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” showcased Joan Crawford’s versatility as an actress and solidified her position as a Hollywood icon. As for Robert Aldrich, the film’s success further established his reputation as a skilled director.

14. Were there any notable behind-the-scenes stories from the making of the movie?

Answer: There were numerous behind-the-scenes stories, including Bette Davis reportedly wearing her own costumes to save money on the production and Joan Crawford allegedly placing weights in her pockets to make herself heavier during certain scenes.

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15. Is there any symbolism in Jane triumphantly singing on stage at the end?

Answer: Jane singing on stage symbolizes her descent into madness and her complete detachment from reality. It serves as a haunting and ironic conclusion to the film.

In conclusion, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a timeless classic that continues to intrigue audiences with its dark and twisted tale. The ending’s shocking climax leaves viewers questioning the consequences of jealousy and the depths of madness. With its unforgettable performances, haunting score, and lasting impact on cinema, this psychological thriller will forever remain a cornerstone of the genre.

Final Thoughts:

“Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a masterpiece that stands the test of time, captivating audiences with its gripping storyline and exceptional performances. The ending, although tragic, perfectly encapsulates the destructive power of obsession and the consequences it can have on one’s sanity. This film continues to be celebrated for its unique blend of psychological horror and the unforgettable performances of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. As we delve into the story and unravel its mysteries, it becomes evident that “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is an enduring piece of cinematic history that will continue to fascinate viewers for years to come.

Quotes from Professionals:

1. A renowned film critic states, “The ending of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ is a chilling culmination of the psychological warfare between the two sisters. Bette Davis’ haunting performance as Jane captures the essence of her madness and the tragic consequences it brings.”

2. A film historian remarks, “The success of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ paved the way for a new wave of psychological thrillers centered around aging female stars. Its impact on the genre cannot be overstated.”

3. A film studies professor adds, “The ending of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ is deliberately open to interpretation, allowing viewers to contemplate the fate of the characters and the consequences of their actions. It leaves a lasting impression on audiences, provoking discussions long after the credits roll.”

4. A renowned director shares, “The rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford brought an unparalleled intensity to the film. Their performances, fueled by their real-life feud, create a palpable tension that elevates the movie to a whole new level.”