Blu-ray Review: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte

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Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte was directed by Robert Aldrich, written by Henry Farrell and Lukas Heller, and stars Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, and Mary Astor. The score was by Frank DeVol.

This 1964 psychological thriller follows Charlotte Hollis (Betty Davis), an aging and wealthy recluse who is haunted by a tragedy that happened thirty something years earlier. Her married lover John Mayhew (Bruce Dern) was brutally murdered during a party and she was blamed for it but never convicted. Oh yeah, his right hand and head were also never found and this comes into play later on in the movie. Well, kind of. The aging recluse is now having to deal with the fact that her decaying plantation house is up for demolition and she refuses to leave. She’s also really hard to deal with and most of the locals are afraid of her.

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The only friend Charlotte has is her loyal housekeeper Velma (Agnes Moorehead) so she decides to bring in some reinforcements. She ends up calling her cousin Miriam (Olivia de Havilland) for help and it’s a decision she ultimately regrets. Once Miriam arrives, she plots against Charlotte and manipulates her own physician, Dr. Drew Bayliss (Joseph Cotten), into a scheme that will finally get Charlotte out of her home and leave them with her fortune. Charlotte may be crazy but she’s no fool and catches on to their plot against her where she ends up not only putting a stop to it but she sort of frees herself from this mental anguish that she’s been living with for so long.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features a few images. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte by Julie Kirgo and some original artwork on the back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. Another job well done by Twilight Time.

Bottom line is, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a movie that I’ve heard of countless times over the years but I had never watched it until now and I completely enjoyed it. I loved the tragic story as well as the suspense and humor that the movie possesses. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte reteamed director Robert Aldrich and star Bette Davis who had previously worked together on the 1962 box office hit What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? which is another movie I’ve heard of but still haven’t seen. The standouts here for this Robert Aldrich film were the iconic Betty Davis who put on one heck of a show and the other one was the beautiful cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc. The camera captures so much of the atmospheric moodiness that Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte sets off and the fact that it’s in black & white just amplifies it. It’s so well done and a vital part of the presentation. Some movies end up being timeless classics and this wonderful slice of cinematic history is one of them. This Blu-ray has a limited edition of 3,000 units and is definitely worth adding to your Twlight Time collection.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 133 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) B&W / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff!

  • Isolated Score Track
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Steven Peros
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historian Glenn Erickson
  • Hush…Hush, Sweet Joan: The Making of Charlotte (21:47)
  • Bruce Dern Remembers (12:50)
  • Wizard Work (04:43)
  • TV Spots (01:38)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:56)
  • Teaser (01:25)

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