How To Watch 'Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte' To Get Your Bette Davis Fill
The feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford lasted way after what FX's series Feud shows. After Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, the two stars were supposed to do another film together. It didn't work out, but you can still watch Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte with Bette Davis and imagine what could have been. The film is available to stream on Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu for $2.99, or you can buy the digital version from Amazon for $14. It's not on Netflix streaming, but if you're old school and want to dust off your DVD player, you can rent the disc as well.
Hush...Hush is based off of a book called Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? by Henry Farrell, who also wrote Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, (hence the similiar titles). Director Robert Aldrich wanted both Crawford and Davis to star in it, to piggy back on the success of the previous film. Both women were in talks to star in the film, but the side effects from the 1963 Oscars debacle proved to be too much for their relationship to recover from, even to once again help boost their careers.
As demonstrated on Feud, Crawford supposedly ran a campaign around Hollywood to ensure that Davis wouldn't win an Oscar for her performance in Baby Jane. Crawford also convinced Anne Bancroft to let her accept the award on her behalf should she win (which she did). Davis was fuming — not only did she lose, she had to watch her nemesis get the attention that night.
Getting back at Crawford though, Davis asked and received a producer's credit for Hush... Hush and things just got uglier from there. When principal photography began for the film, Davis was already in Baton Rouge and supposedly petitioning the crew to pick sides between Davis and Crawford. No one came to pick Crawford up at the airport to bring her to set. Once there, Crawford wanted some changes made to the script and pretended (so the story goes) to be sick for so long that production stalled.
Crawford either was sick or pretended for two whole months, checking herself in and out of the hospital, since the studio hired a private investigator to make sure she wasn't faking it. Eventually it became such a big deal that Aldrich went to Switzerland to ask Olivia de Havilland to take the part instead.
According to Crawford, no one informed her of her replacement. She said that the director “didn’t even have the balls to come and tell me to my face or even over the phone! I had to hear it over the radio!”
The film turned out to be just fine, but really, the backstory sounds so much more interesting.