Lately there have been a rash of sightings by your author of majolica appearing in movies. We always get a kick out of discovering these hidden majolica gems and, from the response from readers, you enjoy reading about them. Well, I have another movie to add to our cannon of majolica infused films... well, maybe... : What Ever happened to Baby Jane.
The classic black comedy/gothic horror tale What Ever happened to Baby Jane has been a favorite since I first saw it at the Esquire Theatre in Philadelphia when I was eight years old. My parents would give me money for the movies every Saturday and my cousin and I would just sit in the theatre all day often watching the double bill over and over again. Every Wednesday the theatre would change the bill, sometimes keeping a popular movie while rotating the second feature. When Saturday rolled around we'd head back to the theatre and watch the old movie with the second film. In this way we got to see some very peculiar double features. I can remember watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane one week with the sci-fi horror movie The Day of the Triffids and the next week with The Miracle Worker. It was a colorful childhood!
To those unfamiliar with the plot to Baby Jane, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis play sisters both of who had movie careers in the 1930's. Joan, the more successful of the two, is an invalid from an accident many years earlier, supposedly caused by her sister. Bette has spent her entire life caring for her. The movie is basically a two hour exercise in sadistic mayhem as Bette subjects Joan to one torture after the next as she goes insane and slowly loses touch with reality.
They live in a large, typically California house with faded glamour all around them. Among this faded glamour in a small Minton cachepot. It sits on Joan's bedroom dresser in a rather prominent spot. I recognized the shape immediately as a Minton form. The Dictionary of Minton identifies it as the Thorwaldsen jardiniere.
It wasn't hard.
With my first search came the photos below.
Still it's a great piece. Who would have guessed that it would show up in a place like that!