Monday, 4 October 2010

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

I've always wondered what it must be like to live in a home that has been featured in a movie or TV series. Countless gawking tourists standing outside taking photos as a memento of their vacation to Hollywood USA. Yes, I am one of them and ironically I couldn't wait to do it. One of my first ever attempts at "property stalking" proved quite a buzz.

Thanks to the internet I was able to track down the address of the house used in the 1962 movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. If you haven't seen the movie it can be best described as; a thriller about an aging ex-vaudeville star (Davis) waging a psychotic reign of terror over her crippled ex-movie star sister (Crawford).

You really have to give it to these two ageing broads, they play their characters to the hilt. Bette Davis proves herself as a marvelous character actress as does Joan. The fact they appeared so grotesquely certainly proves you don't need beauty to have star power. Anyway...

Randy and I set out to stalk this real home in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles. It was surprisingly easy to find. Once we arrived at our location Randy opted to stay in the car but I had to get out and get as close as I could to the property. Considering the movie was filmed in 1962 the house looks virtually the same some 47 years later.

1962 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? appearance


Actor, Victor Buono at the front door in 1962

The ornate gates in 2009

The neighbours house was seen briefly in a few establishing shots.


Mrs Bates (the neighbor) was played by Anna Lee who would go on to play a nun in The Sound of Music and her daughter was played by Bette Davis real life daughter BD Merrill.

Filming Baby Jane 1962

All the interiors for Baby Jane were filmed at Raleigh Studios on Melrose Ave. While the real house was used on McCadden Place for exterior shots, a facade of the exterior was partially built on a soundstage at Raleigh.


Anonymous said...

love this. great shots

Anonymous said...

this is great, thank you for sharing

Betsyjen said...

Thanks for sharing! I've seen this movie a lot of times and I always wandered how it could be living in it.