Movie Article

''Charlotte'' and ''Chicago''

Two new DVD's for your collection

Two new DVD's for your collection

From Fox's vaults come two wildly different treats. In Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Unrated, 132 mins., 1964) an aging Bette Davis is mentally unbalanced again, but how much? A volatile recluse since her married lover's unsolved murder 37 years earlier, Charlotte turns to her cousin Miriam (a soothing Olivia de Havilland) to help save the family mansion from a wrecking ball. The pace is leisurely for a horror film, but director Robert Aldrich's cast of great vets keeps mystery in the magnolia-scented air: Does Agnes Moorehead's ragamuffin maid have reason to scowl? Is Joseph Cotten's doctor too smooth? The second release, In Old Chicago (Unrated, 94 mins., 1937), is all charm, a lively blend of bogus history and crackerjack spectacle. Brothers Tyrone Power and Don Ameche vie for political control of the future Windy City — Power is the slippery one, Ameche the stand-up guy. And Mom has a high-kicking cow. EXTRAS An A&E profile of Ameche on Chicago chronicles his break from Fox, which led to a career decline from the 1950s until his surprise comeback in 1983's Trading Places; the outstanding Charlotte commentary points out that de Havilland also battled her studio, Warner Bros., but her lawsuit curbed studio power over actors. (Incidentally, Fox is also releasing The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,a stodgy study of postwar malaise and the corporate mentality that has more sociological than dramatic interest.) Both: B+

Originally posted Aug 12, 2005 Published in issue #834-835 Aug 19, 2005 Order article reprints