I watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? last night, one in a series of ugly movies from the 50s/60s along with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Suddenly, Last Summer.
I love movies like this, they remind me of my melodramatic Texas heritage. Baby Jane was difficult to watch again. 134 minutes is too long and the performances aren't as good as I remembered. The most surprising thing on second viewing was the strong role of Elvira, the loyal maid, played by Maidie Norman. Complicated class and race relations.
The most astonishing thing for me about Baby Jane is that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would agree to make the film. They are both so sad and Bette Davis is so hideously ugly. It comes across now as camp rather than horror.
I hadn't realized there was a series of older actress exploitation films.