“Would you trust the nanny . . . or the boy?”
THE NANNY (1965)
Director Seth Holt and screen writer Jimmy Sangster put Bette Davis in the role as Nanny based on the novel by Marryam Modell (Bunny Lake Is Missing)
Davis plays kindly, attentive Nanny who is in charge of looking after precocious 10-year-old Joey Fane (William Dix-Tommy Stubbins in Doctor Dolittle), who has just been released from a hospital for emotionally disturbed children. It is believed that Joey was responsible for the bathtub drowning death of his little sister.
The film works so well fielding paranoia as Joey persecutes Nanny, trying to get his family to believe that it was Nanny who was the one who killed his sister and now looking to do him in. Once his mother Virgie Fane (Wendy Craig) becomes poisoned, a very tautly wound game of cat and mouse ensues as he enlists the help of the girl Bobbie who lives upstairs played by the wonderful Pamela Franklin. The film also stars Jill Bennett as Aunt Pen, James Villiers as Joey’s father Bill, and Maurice Denham as Dr. Beamaster. Bette Davis is purely marvelous as the very emotionally destructive older woman who has a few secrets that haunt her…
No one straddles the Grande Dame Guignol trope quite like the inimitable, the superb Bette Davis.
I’ll be doing a more extensive post about this film, as well as Dead Ringer 1964, as I just can’t get enough of those eyes – that voice…
Yours truly, MonsterGirl