Round 6: Hush, Hush, Sweet Bette & Joan

domestic life with Joan Jackie Hoffman as Mamasita

DATELINE:   Feud Revs Its Engine

With Oscar behind them, and no decent roles ahead, Joan and Bette must come to terms with the marketing of their careers in another episode of the miniseries Feud.

Hitting its stride from the opening, this episode features a trailer for Strait-Jacket with Joan as an axe murderess. Jessica Lange plays in the preview for one god-awful movie.

What’s worse, Joan Crawford agreed to do the cheesy marketing campaign for William Castle’s Grade-D movie. In an homage to true bad taste, director John Waters makes a delightful cameo as Castle.

Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) returns to the series for a swan song: he labels the genre “hagsploitation” and calls in Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to produce and direct another. Warner nixes Ann Sheridan as Bette’s costar: the public wants Joan and Bette to resume their hate affair.

Bob Alrich is ready to lash back at Warner for his final revenge against the movie mogul, even as his personal life is falling apart.

Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) on her last legs comes in to blackmail Joan for a porno film she made in the 1920s. It seems Crawford’s world is collapsing in on her—and she must relent and make another film with Bette for the money.

Small slights mount as Joan tries to gather her strength to do another movie with her archrival Davis. In the process she nearly alienates her loyal assistant, the hatchet-faced Mamasita (scene-stealer Jackie Hoffman).

With Bette taking creative control on the new motion picture, Joan may be facing a doomsday scenario.