Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte – 1964

I despise over-acting and whether fair or just a figment of my imagination, I associate Bette Davis with over-acting…at least when it comes to gothic-type, black and white thrillers…so I’ve avoided this film most of my life.  But On Demand slapped it up there as one of there best of the 1960s so I figured I could watch it while I try to recover from this stupid cold.

It stunned me how much I enjoyed it.  I was interested in the story, I was taken by Olivia de Havilland and I was sad for Bette Davis at the end of the film.  Sure Bruce Dern’s hand being severed looked a bit fake but the death scene was still jarring.  The pure evilness of what de Havilland and Cotten were doing wasn’t hammed up too much and Agnes Moorehead was perfect in her Academy Award-nominated role as the devoted maid/friend.

Given the subject matter, the setting and the cast, I expected this to be campy, hammy, over the top…and it wasn’t.  It’s one of the films I have to put aside for when my niece (who is nine) is a little older when I want to show her how black and white movies aren’t all “boring”.

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