The TV series based on the infamous rift between What Happened to Baby Jane co-stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, shines a light on the frenemies in the old Hollywood film industry. Made by the producers of the critically acclaimed American Horror Story and Assassination: Gianni Versace: Ryan Murphy’s vivid imagery and picturesque shots, ensure this series is a must watch.
Feud isn’t just about the Hollywood icons portrayed. Feud has an impressive all-star, Oscar winning cast including; Jessica Lange (King Kong, American Horror Story), Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise), Catherine Zeta Jones, Kathy Bates, Stanley Tucci and Alfred Molina.
The script originally set out to be a film, titled Best Actress, by writers Michael Zam & Jaffe Cohen, but transformed into an eight-part drama series. Feud not only portrays the bitter rivalry between two Golden Age icons, but also exposes the misogyny, sexism and ageism in Hollywood.
The series debuted on FX last year. The inaugural episode drew an astonishing 2.26 million viewers, making it the most watched program on FX that week. With her acting career diminishing, the pilot episode saw Joan Crawford pitching an adaption of the horror novel, What ever happened to baby Jane? to director Robert Aldrich and actress Bette Davis. As the filming begins, cracks are revealed, with Crawford’s narcissism and Davis’ bold opinions quickly causing tension on set between the actresses.
As the series continues to follow Crawford and Davis’ rivalry, a snubbed Oscar win sees tensions boil over. The notorious bitter vendetta continued for many years after filming concluded, with the Associated Press phoning Bette Davis in the early seventies, shortly after Crawford’s death to ask for her reaction. Davis merely responded, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
Bette and Joan received raving reviews, with Melanie McFarland of Salon describing the writing as “creatively wicked” and “outrageously fantastic”, praising co-stars Lange and Sarandon for their outstanding performances and for “tempering their decadent rages and vengeful spats with a gutting sense of loneliness that tempers its lightness in solemnity.”
Watch online now.