Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Entries in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (11)


Q&A: The Force is With Reader Questions

by Nathaniel R

I got a little verbosely carried away whilst answering reader questions so you get two Q & A columns from your last batch of questions. Thanks for playing. This week I asked for a few Star Wars Questions but that's just three of the six questions answered here. Ready, let's go! 

TROY: Within the past year Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for her work in the recent Broadway revival of The Color Purple, making her only one step away from completing the EGOT. Which type of project do you think would giver her her best chance at winning an Oscar?

NATHANIEL: I hate to get nitpicky but technically should Daytime Emmys even count with the EGOT? If you count any old Emmy as towards the EGOT than about 100,000 people you've never heard of who have local Emmies (seriously they give those statues out like candy) are 1/4th of the way to that showbiz goal. It's only Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Lopez, and their fans that would argue that Daytime Emmys count. No shade!

Anyway my dream for Erivo is that they give her either the film version of The Color Purple musical, though I fear they'd just hand it to a bigger less worthy star (like, oh, Jennifer Hudson, who she and Danielle Brooks, the other Tony nominee from that show, both ran circles around onstage) or a film version of Caroline or Change (if they won't rehire the incredible Tonya Pinkins) as those two roles are powerhouse vehicles for a black woman with giant pipes. But any musical role would be dreamy. That voice!

 PEDRO: What is your favorite Star Wars character? And your favorite Star Wars actor?

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Feud 1.07 - Abandoned!

In the penultimate episode of the series, Bette gains creative control and Joan loses everything, while B.D. and Mamacita get out while they still can. Here's Jorge...

Feud doesn’t play favorites.  The show has done a good job (for the most part) at digging down into why these two screen legends acted the way they did towards each other. And they’ve made a point (over and over and over) that they were not as different as the world saw them; they were actually very similar, acting from the same place of desperation and clinginess to relevance.

In this week’s episode. Joan repeatedly boycotts the production of Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte, unable to cope with the creative control that Bette has over her as a producer. This eventually ends with her being fired from the picture, and Olivia de Havilland stepping in; the only actress willing to take her spot and also Bette's dear friend...

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Feud: Bette and Joan "Hagsploitation" 

Previously on Feud: Bette and Joan 
1. "Pilot" 2. "The Other Woman" 3. "Mommie Dearest" 4. "More or Less" 5. "And the Winner Is" (Part 1) (Part 2)

By Spencer Coile  

Although initially centered on the drama that took place during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Feud persists. As we enter into episode six, "Hagsploitation," both Bette and Joan have no bona fide hits on the horizon. Sure, Joan is tackling Strait Jacket and Bette has her hands full on TV (much to Joan's judgement) on Wagon Train, but in 1964, the success of Baby Jane has waned. In fact, in a scene that features vase throwing and Mamacita standing her ground, Joan laments that it had been nine months since any offer came her way. Clearly, as the title suggests, there is something more pervasive and sinister that happens in Hollywood, far more dastardly than the actual feud that persists between Bette and Joan: the exploitation of older actresses for the benefit of their audience... 

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The Furniture: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Your House Is Listening

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in much more magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

 “Hush hush, sweet Charlotte,” Patti Page softly croons, “He’ll love you till he dies.” The title song of Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte may not be as catchy as “Chim Chim Chiree,” which took the Oscar, but it has a much creepier sort of staying power. Here’s the final verse:

“And every night after he shall die
Yes every night when he’s gone
The wind will sing you this lullaby
Sweet Charlotte was loved by John.”

The music haunts Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis), along with everything else: her house, her family and her memories.

This Southern Gothic vibe is what separates the film from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Well, that and the fact that Joan Crawford walked off the set. But I will leave the offscreen drama to Ryan Murphy...

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46 Days Until "Feud"

first promotional shot from FEUD

The new Ryan Murphy anthology TV series' first eight-episode season, premieres on Sunday March 5th (yes exactly one week after the Oscars which seems very kind). The season looks at the legendarily bitchy Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) vs Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) wars. Two Oscar winners playing two Oscar winners. We're in!

We don't want to know too much ahead of time as that ruins so many TV shows and movies these days but it would be nice to have a leaked list of films referenced beyond Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) so we could do a little revisiting of some key titles before the premiere, though it seems likely that the series will also cover the production of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) given the character list in the credits. Jessica Lange doesn't look or feel much like Joan Crawford in face or persona which could be a problem but Sarandon might well be the perfect choice for Davis. Alfred Molina is playing the director Robert Aldrich and Kiernan Shipka will play Bette Davis daughter B.D. Hyman. Other celebrity mimicry going on will include Sarah Paulson as Oscar-winner Geraldine Page, Catherine Zeta Jones as Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, Judy Davis as the oft-played gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren recently played her in Trumbo and Tilda Swinton played a twinned riff on her in Hail Caesar!), and multiple non-famous actors playing various Oscar winners (Gregory Peck, Eva Marie Saint, Maximillian Schell) in single episode showcases and/or cameos... who knows.

The image above most makes you want to...

🔲  Watch Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? again for the umpteenth time
🔲  Give in to the impending T***pocalypse and regress to childhood fantasies with ice cream in hand...
🔲  Find a time machine and skip the next 45 days.
🔲  Other [please describe] 


The Mother of all Feuds

a must readAs you've surely heard by now, since it's one of the most striking actressy announcements in some time, Ryan Murphy's next anthology series will be called "Feud" and for its first season the subject is the über showbiz catfight: Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford. Bette & Joan's famous loathing for each other was not confined to just the horror classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) but the series will be confined there since that set is the natural place to dramatize. It was the only film the two combative actresses made together. After the success of Baby JaneHush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) was intended as a reunion but ultimately Olivia de Havilland (who had her own legendary feud with sister Joan Fontaine) took Crawford's place.

Since Ryan Murphy can't live without Jessica Lange he's cast her as Joan Crawford. It's a terrible call because their screen personas are antithetical...

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Podcast Part 2: A Smackdown Conversation w/ Melanie Lynskey

ICYMI  Part One of this Podcast & The Smackdown Itself

Starring: Actress Melanie Lynskey, the original creator of the Smackdowns Brian Herrera (aka StinkyLulu), and your regulars Nathaniel R,  Joe Reid and Nick Davis

Smackdown 1964 - A Companion Conversation Pt. 2
00:01 Back From Intermission & Joe freaks out over Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
04:05 Bette Davis and Baby Jane
07:30 Agnes Moorehead totally divides us
13:30 The Night of the Iguana and its repressed lesbian
16:30 Melanie talks subtext, chemistry and shares an acting pet peeve
20:50 Nathaniel demands a remake and we cast it
24:00 Ava Gardner and Richard Burton GIF-ables
31:20 Not Nominated: Glynis Johns, Irene Papas, and Gloria Foster
34:10 A parting question for Melanie Lynskey

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

Her new film Happy Christmas (co-starring Anna Kendrick, Joe Swanberg, and Lena Dunham) is currently available OnDemand and iTunes and opens in limited theatrical release at the end of July.

Anna Kendrick & Melanie Lynskey in Happy Christmas (2014)

(It's funny and endearing. Writer/Director Joe Swanberg really loves his characters and his actual baby son is one of the best babies you'll ever see in a movie -- so much personality!)

Smackdown 64 Companion. Part 2


Smackdown 1964: Agnes, Lila, Gladys, Grayson and Dame Edith

Behold the Oscar-nominated Supporting Actresses of 1964: two wealthy matriarchs with strained relations to their children, one desperate widow who would very much like relations of any kind, an irritable church group leader watching your every move and one sweaty possessive housekeeper lurking around the corner.


Moorehead, Evans, Kedrova, Cooper, Hall 

1964's shortlist is one of the most senior in any acting category ever with an average age of 61. This 50 year old Oscar contest also acted as a finale for three enduring character actresses who Hollywood adored (Cooper, Evans, and Moorehead) but never quite enough at the right time to hand them the gold man. (In truth Dame Edith Evans, who did not attend the ceremony, was nominated one last time and quite deservedly for The Whisperers but that nomination is sadly almost as forgotten as the confused woman she masterfully played.) 


The actress Melanie Lynskey (Happy Christmas, Heavenly Creatures) joins returning panelists Joe Reid, Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, Stinkylulu and You! We also tabulate reader votes and quotes from those ballots appear.

Without further ado, the main event...


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