5. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?
Whoever the sick bastard was that decided to cast both Bette Davis and John Crawford together in this film must have known the kind of perfect storm they were creating by doing so. After all – up until this point Crawford had once deliberately seduced one of Davis’s costars just to piss her off, and Davis had publically called Crawford an African caterpillar-eyebrowed mannequin who had “slept with every male star at MGM, except Lassie.” They were not pals – in fact their professional rivalry only got worse when both actresses signed to Warner Bros and were faced with actually competing for the same roles. It was in their older years that they were both cast as clashing siblings in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?.
It got pretty bad. Stitches bad, when at one point during a fight scene Davis ‘accidentally’ kicked Crawford right in the head – causing a trip to the medic. Joan then retaliated by filling her costume with rocks for a scene where Davis had to drag her body, causing the actress serious back injury in the process. This was all after Davis made sure to have a Coca Cola machine installed in her dressing room – the significance being that Crawford’s late husband had been the CEO of Pepsi. Nothing could even be interpreted as playful jabbing between rivals, as Bette was later quoted saying “The best time I ever had with Joan was when I pushed her down some stairs in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?.”
It didn’t even stop there – after the movie was finished Davis ended up getting nominated for the role, which caused Crawford to actually lobby against her co-star getting the Oscar. She went so far as to offer to accept the award for any of the other nominees who couldn’t accept the award in the event that they won, which was exactly what happened when Anne Bancroft won over Davis. Up stepped Joan Crawford, happily accepting the award that Davis didn’t get.
However it should be noted that in the end, Davis got the last word when Joan Crawford died some time later, saying “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
Freaking ice cold.