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Sunday March 3rd 2024

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte | 1964

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte filming location: Houmas House, Burnside, Louisiana
Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte location: The Southern mansion: Houmas House, Burnside, Louisiana | Photograph: Wikimedia / Elisa Rolle

This troubled follow-up to the hugely successful Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? was all but completed, with the re-teaming of stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, when Crawford’s persistent illnesses brought production to a halt (see Shaun Considine’s wickedly gossipy book, Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud for the fascinating details).

The company aimed high for a replacement: not surprisingly, grandes dames Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn both turned down the role in this Southern Gothic melodrama, which eventually went to Olivia De Havilland.

The Greek Revival mansion with its three-story spiral staircase (watch out for those bouncing heads) is the Houmas House, 40136 Highway 942, just west of Burnside on Route 44, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

The house, which has also been seen in Moon of the Wolf (1972), Mandingo (1975) and Fletch Lives (1988) among others, is open for tours, conducted by impressively knowledgeable guides in Antebellum costume.