Posted September 01 2005 - 01:20 PM
I’ve been wanting “Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte” on DVD for years. While the movie looked great, I was extremely disappointed with the minimal extras, as there exists a vintage featurette, an AMC Back Story, and other interviews over the years with various cast members on the making of the film. I guess Fox is getting cheap with the studio classic series? At any rate, I listened to Glenn Erickson’s commentary and congratulate him for being able to talk about the film for over two hours! His commentary was largely about providing the bios of the various cast members and the director, Robert Aldrich.
I offer a few comments and corrections:
At 1:17, when talking about Mary Astor (Jewel Mayhew), Erickson mentioned that both Olivia de Havilland (Miriam Deering) and Bette Davis (Charlotte Hollis) persuaded her to take the role by convincing her how much fun it would be. How could this be possible, since de Havilland didn’t come along until long after the movie had begun filming, and subsequently halted, after Joan Crawford (original Miriam Deering) left the picture? Also, Erickson didn’t mention that Mayhew’s house in the movie was filmed at the famous Oak Alley Plantation, which is located near Houmas House (the Hollis mansion in the movie). I’ve been to both homes (located in-between New Orleans and Baton Rogue), simply as a fan of the film, and I highly recommend a visit. I sure hope these grand old plantations survived Katrina.
At the Houmas House at the end of the driveway and across the road, notice how the land is raised-up, like a small grassy hill? That is actually a levee to the Mississippi River. Climb up that small levee and you see the river. I always wondered why this was not shown in the film, as it would have tied-in with the storyline about the bridge needing to be built on the Hollis property.
At 1:20, Erickson said that Bette Davis played in early episodes of “Dallas.” This is incorrect, as she was in early episodes of “Hotel,” and later replaced by Anne Baxter, Davis’ co-star in “All About Eve.”
About 15 years ago, I asked actor William Campbell, who plays the tabloid photographer, about the movie. He told me that he had filmed scenes with Joan Crawford, and after she was canned, his part in the film was diminished. I wonder what his filmed scenes with Crawford were about? (I didn’t get a chance to ask him.) Perhaps an analysis of the script(s) would have answered many questions about the changes in the film that took place after Crawford was replaced by de Havilliand? This, of course, assumes the script(s) still exist.
During the prologue, Erickson speculated which roles were played by Aldrich’s kids. I guess they were not available to ask? Also, Erickson speculated that the young lady with the hair-band in the prologue was a young Miriam Deering. Would the script have answered this question? All good guesses, nonetheless.
Peace and Love,
P.S. This is my first post to the forum, but I’m a long-time reader.