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Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Bette Davis , Olivia de Havilland , Robert Aldrich    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.98
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Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte + What Ever Happened to Baby Jane: 50th Anniversary [Import]
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Poor Charlotte Hollis. She's been shunned by the community for decades, ever since the fateful night in l927 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, disheveled 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

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 commited so the two can sell off her estate and pocket the proceeds.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Visit To A Madhouse Aug. 6 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This film is about an old Southern spinster (Bette Davis) who lives in a Louisiana mansion. She is haunted by terrible memories of the tragic murder of her married lover years ago. Olivia de Haviland plays the part of her greedy cousin and Agnes Moorehead has the role of the loyal maid. Davis struggles to maintain her grip on reality while Olivia de Haviland is trying to get her committed to an asylum. Moorehead resists this effort.
Joseph Cotton plays the part of a family doctor who is conspiring with Olivia de Haviland and Cecil Kellaway is a visiting reporter.Mary Astor and Bruce Dern complete the supporting cast. The acting is superb.
The movie received several Oscar nominations including one for Best Supporting Actress ( Agnes Moorehead). Robert Aldrich also directed WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Frightening! Jan. 25 2010
By Raymond A. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was one of the first movies of the "Horror" genre I remember seeing as a child that gave me Nightmares! And it is still one of the BEST psychologically scary movies of all time ! It relies on a good plot, and TALENTED acting, and not needless gore or computer generated effects. I was thrilled to see it was available on DVD, as late night TV viewings are faded and commercial interuptions just ruin it and VHS doesn't do it justice. The picture and sound quality is amazing, considering how old this film is! Bette Davis is at her finest, as is Agnes Moorehead (Endora from the Bewitched series, for those who don't know her otherwise)I highly recommend this film to anyone that pefers psychologically scary movies over "shock schlock"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Davis at her BEST! July 19 2003
By Abbey S
Format:VHS Tape
Every neighborhood has one. You know what I'm talking about, the seemingly crazy old lady that everyone talks ABOUT but no one bothers to talk TO. Why does she never come out of that house? What is she hiding up there? Is she really crazy?
Miss Bette Davis at her best (but if any other actress were acting at this age would be called a has-been) plays the complex part of the old fashion and just plain old southern bell that has her pit against all her demons and all the town's citizens who'd love to see her succomb to them.
Miss Davis BECOMES Charlotte Hollis who is convinced she killed her young lover. The once beautiful social- deb now keeps herself cooped up in the big old house of the family's and doesn't take very well to change.ie:the government coming through the town and wanting to demolish her house to put a highway through.
Enter her cousin Miriam who comes to town to help Charlotte find a way to keep her house (or so Charlotte thinks) but in all actuality is coniving with long time friend of the family, Dr. Drew, to send Miss Charlotte over the edge, and have her committed, leaving all the family's fortune and handling of the properties to (who else but) Miriam!
The town thinks Charlotte's crazy, Charlotte thinks she's crazy, she must be crazy. Right? Wrong!
Look for a scene-stealing Agnes Moorehead as the devoted maid and friend of Charlotte's, and have fun watching this psyco-thriller Urban-legend like movie! If you like Bette Davis and a good old fashion scare, you'll love this movie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly underrated horror classic March 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Many people dont even realize that "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" received more Oscar nominations [7] than any other horror film until "Silence of the Lambs" (nearly 30 years later).
Grander and more haunting than "Baby Jane" (though from the same production team), "Charlotte" resembles something akin to a liquid cinematic nightmare-- with camp and eerie pathos doled out in equal and abundant measure.
Borne of an era when "real" thrillers were coming to a close, when the "Psycho"-period shockers felt so supernatural and creepy (even when they may not have been, technically, supernatural in plot)-- the same Cold War peak which produced anything from "The Birds" to "Straitjacket", the original (GOOD) "Haunting" to "Homicidal", sublime to banal, gave seemingly effortless, bone-chilling spookiness to almost any horror flick.
And "Charlotte" is one of the greatest and most forlorn of them all.
[Hope to see this on widescreen DVD soon!]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of 5 Films I Would Take To A Deserted Island Nov. 24 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten classic back in 1965 when I was 13 years old, and I've been in love with it ever since. No need to summarize the plot here; however, if you like a creepy dark story set in a decaying plantation mansion, and if you appreciate first-rate acting and direction, by all means purchase the video. In remembering back to when I first saw this, the violence of poor John losing his head and hand in the Hollis summerhouse was so shocking and vivid to me, I could've sworn the film was in color. But alas, it was filmed in beautiful black and white, much to my surprise years later when I purchased the VHS tape. I now await the DVD release with eager anticipation. A plus!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Campy Fun May 20 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is too over-the-top not to give it a full four stars (but not five--hey, it's not THAT good!). The movie was to be a "sort-of" sequel to Baby Jane, reuniting arch rivals Joan and Bette. But Joan (though I love her!) went a little too far for Aldrich, who canned her after she had spent weeks in the hospital feigning illness. However, Olivia diHavilland does a good job. Ultimately the movie is fun...yet oddly effective. And you'll be singing the theme song in your head for days!
Some great insanity by Bette, some cheesy gore, and a few genuine thrills make for a piece of schlock that rocks!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
this has got to be one of Bette Davis' best movies! I just loved it! scenery was great also. one to watch over and over!
Published 10 months ago by B. trnka
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie from beginning to end.
I saw that movie when I was very young and just loved it so when I saw it on Amazon I just had to buy it. Very good.
Published 14 months ago by Huguette Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Due to a great story and fine acting you get so involved in the movie that you forget that it's in black and white!
The movie has English subtitles.
Published on Feb. 23 2012 by Anastasia Takueva
4.0 out of 5 stars Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte
This is a great movie to watch on a windswept stormy night.
I wish the DVD companies would get their act together so I don't have to keep making my own DVD's of these great... Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by Elias A. Estrada
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars of Yesteryear In Terrific Gothic Thriller
The 1960's decade saw alot of veteran performers who had their acting heyday in the 1930's and 40's moving into psychological thrillers and horror efforts as a way of continuing in... Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Simon Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars I really love this movie...
With all the garbage on DVD, when can we expect this great film? Robert Aldrich put together a fine old ensemble cast, and it was clever and well written. Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by R. Gawlitta
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie That Has Ever Been Made
I loved Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte. I loved Agnes Moorehead who played the housekeeper that mad me crying when Velma died on th movie. Cousin Mairim looked really evil. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2003 by Kimberly
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