I don’t know if anybody has been watching it of not but FX Canada has a sure Emmy award show on its hands with Feud a mini series about the making of the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and the nuclear war staged between the film’s two stars, Bette Davis, played by Susan Sarandon and Joan Crawford, played by Jessica Lange, The series details the struggle to make the film in 1962. The movie industry was in steep decline and so were the acting careers of Davis and Crawford. Warner brothers wanted to cash in on the horror movie fad that was raging at the time following the release of Psycho – they were cheap to make and if they caught on with teenagers could produce a big return on investment. Bette Davis campaigned for the role of Baby Jane and inexplicably invited Crawford to play Baby Janes disabled sister even though she apparently hated Crawford. She once commented that Crawford had slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie the collie. Feud is a fascinating glimpse at Hollywood at the decline of the studio system. The language from these two feuding divas turns the air blue. Kids who may think they invented the “f” work (or indeed the activity) are in for a shock. Sarandon and Lange are wonderful actors, but just as in Baby Jane, the Bette Davis part provides Sarandon with so many more opportunities for explosive outbursts that it’s hard to imagine her not winning an award. The cast is rounded out nicely with Judy Davis playing an absolutely evil Hedda Hopper and Stanley Tucci is convincing as studio tycoon Jack Warner. Cameo roles go to Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia DeHaviland and Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell. The costumes and cars are fabulous, and oh, yes, it’s a comedy.
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