FFR #60: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

This week on FFR, we take on a Hollywood classic in the 1962 psychological thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, a film whose title character was, at the time, one of the most shocking women ever seen onscreen. Played by cinematic legend Bette Davis, Baby Jane is an aging former child star who mentally and physically abuses her sister Blanche, played by another giant of 30s and 40s cinema, Joan Crawford. It’s a complex and extremely effective film, and we discuss about how it spawned the psychobiddy genre centered on the unsettling spectre of the mad older woman, the power of Davis’ performance, the effectiveness of the tension and discomfort the film generates, and how there was a very public rivalry between the two leads during and following the making of the movie.

Subscribe to Feminist Frequency Radio now to get a new episode every Wednesday on iTunesStitcherPlayer FMSpotify or iHeartRadio! And become an FFR backer on Drip to join the community and get access to rewards like weekly bonus segments, access to our friendly Discord, and more!


3:05 Entertainment News: celebs apologizing for having worked with R. Kelly, Green Book co-writer’s racist tweet, Megan Kelly parts ways with NBC

13:30 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

46:30 WYFO: Carolyn’s concerns about Oscar nominations, Ebony on the conflict happening in the Society for Classical Studies, Anita on My Brilliant Friend


Angelica Bastien’s story on Vulture on the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford

Inside Higher Ed’s report on the racist question posed to scholar Dan-el Padilla Peralta at a Society for Classical Studies conference.

Padilla Peralta’s post on Medium