Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Released 1964




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Movie Summary

Robert Aldrich
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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a 1964 drama directed by Robert Aldrich. Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) has never married, following the violent death of her lover, John Mayhew (Bruce Dern), 27 years earlier. Even though she was never charged with the murder, the local community believes her responsible for the crime. Living the life of a recluse, Charlotte is cared for by her life-long servant, Velma (Agnes Moorehead). When new highway construction threatens her home on the Hollis plantation, Charlotte must come out of hiding and face the community. To aid her in her cause, Charlotte enlists the help of her cousin, Miriam (Olivia de Havilland). But Miriam and her former beau, Dr. Drew Bayliss (Joseph Cotten), have motives of their own, and the ghosts of the past seem to be crowding in on Charlotte.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Mary Astor's role was originally offered to Barbara Stanwyck.

    • After Joan Crawford dropped out of the film, Robert Aldrich planned to replace her with either Vivien Leigh or Katherine Hepburn. However, Bette Davis had cast approval and refused both these actresses, insisting (successfully) that her friend Olivia de Havilland be given the part of Miriam. Aldrich later remarked that she had rejected Leigh and Hepburn for reasons "that had nothing to do with their talent", although he went no further than that.

    • A rumour, starting during the 1964 filming of this film and still continuing in the twenty-first century, suggests that Joan Crawford was driven to a nervous breakdown, and thus out of this movie, by a sustained campaign of malice by her co-star Bette Davis. Director Robert Aldrich always firmly denied this, pointing out that doctors in the employ of the insurance company had given Ms. Crawford a very thorough check-up, as replacing her would be costly to the insurers. He also pointed out that Ms. Crawford was known to be a pretty tough lady.

    • Robert Aldrich's original plan was to reunite Bette Davis and Joan Crawford after their successful (and explosive) teaming in his earlier film, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962). However, although Crawford started filming in the role of Miriam, she fell ill and was replaced by Olivia de Havilland.

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Psychological, Classics