This week I watched Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, a thriller starring Bette Davis and Olivia DeHavilland.
A young Charlotte has an affair with a married man and they plan to run off together but their families find out and he is strong armed into ending it. He is then brutally murdered with a meat cleaver in the garden house at one of their parties and the rumor is that she did it.
In a wildly over-the-top performance, Bette Davis as Charlotte becomes known as a half crazy old spinster and lives a secluded life in her father's house after his death. But the town has plans for the land the house is on and now she must find a way to keep them from bulldozing her home to make way for a highway.
Thinking she will help her keep the family mansion, Charlotte calls in her cousin Miriam (DeHavilland) who grew up with her and her father. Miriam renews her relationship with Dr Bayliss (Joseph Cotton) while in town but they have other ideas about what to do with Charlotte. Their plan is to drug her and they set up events around the house to scare her causing her sanity to deteriorate. Once she loses it, they will send her off to the looney bin and take her money.
Charlotte figures out the plan with the help of her housekeeper. On the night before they take her away, Miriam and Dr. Bayliss celebrate with champagne. Believing her to be fast asleeep (and insane to boot), they congratulate themselves on a job well done. Charlotte is neither asleep nor crazy, however, and overhears everything from the balcony above and conveniently knocks the large stone planter off the ledge..
Charlotte does have to leave her home in the end but not without knowing the truth about what really happened in the summerhouse so many years ago. It is worth watching so I won't give it all away. Thumbs up!!