To capture the essence of Harry’s episode on ABC adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap, a cousin themed classic screen slap has been chosen.
Film: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
The Players: Bette Davis (the slapped) and Olivia de Havilland (the slapper)
Social context: Director Robert Aldrich planned the film as a follow-up reunion piece starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford after their surprise hit What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962). Crawford backed out after only a couple of days work, and Davis suggested de Havilland for the role. The film is dark and shows the fractured relationship between cousins concerned over the well fare of a piece of property. One cousin is seemingly mentally ill (Davis), and the other is a warm caretaker figure (de Havilland). However, a dramatic turn around occurs towards the end of the film where opportunism reigns supreme and de Havilland’s true malevolent self is finally revealed.
Velocity: Truly terrific movement here. The backslaps make the scene, culminating with six wonderfully timed slaps.
Hardness: A strong open palm manages to knock some sense (or at least stillness) into the otherwise manic Davis. The harsh tone in de Havilland’s voice compliments the hardness of her slap very well.
Sound: Compared to last week’s Queen Bee slap, this is quite understated, but in comparison to any normal slap, still quite obscene. It has a deep, strong sound that one would be hard pressed to actually contrive from slapping someone, but the results are nonetheless hilarious.
Be sure to check out all of our previous classic screen slaps here.