DVR This: ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’DVR This Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Monday, March 7, 6:30 p.m. – 9p.m., Turner Classic Movies
When I was a wee gay boy just out of the closet, an avuncular man who came out in the 1950s gave me a list of movies I had to see now that I was Capital G Gay.
At the top of the list was What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the 1962 psychological thriller starring an understated, wheelchair-bound Joan Crawford and an over-the-top, off-her-rocker Bette Davis as twisted sisters. Calling it simply a camp classic would be an understatement; it practically defines camp, that so-awful-it’s-awesome gestalt that inhabits so much queer humor, from drag queens to bitchy queens. (Find Heklina’s amazing homage to the film at Trannyshack on YouTube.)
What makes Baby Jane special is that it is both awful and awesome. If Crawford wasn’t so subtle in her sadness, the monster that Davis portrays wouldn’t be so grotesque. It’s a brilliant film.
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