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What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969)

As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miss Edna Tinsley
Joan Huntington ...
Peter Brandon ...
George Lawson
Jim Vaughn
Mr. Bentley
Richard Angarola ...
Sheriff Armijo
Seth Riggs ...


As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna Tinsley. The crazed Page, left only a stamp album by her husband, takes money from her housekeepers, kills them, and buries the bodies in her garden. Alice is a widow too. So is neighbor Harriet Vaughn. Lots of widows here. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Whatever happened to Aunt Alice was more terrifying than what happened to Baby Jane. See more »


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Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matar para vivir  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The third installment in Robert Aldrich's loose trilogy of "grand guignol" films (horror-thrillers featuring older women going crazy), following What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1963) and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964). Aldrich served as producer for this film. See more »


During murder sequence that precedes opening credits, Claire hits her housekeeper over the head with a rock while they are planting a tree and then shoves the woman into the hole. But the middle-aged actress playing the housekeeper delivers a few lines in close-up just prior to her death and is clearly not the much younger stunt double who falls into the hole moments later. See more »


Claire Marrable: You are the only mistake I made.
Alice Dimmock: Didn't you ever think you'd be found out?
Claire Marrable: No and I won't be.
Alice Dimmock: Giving yourself away like that...
Claire Marrable: To you? You are a dead woman.
Alice Dimmock: Oh no, I'm alive. See, I'm very much alive. And I'm not gonna be your next victim.
See more »


Referenced in Reflections of Evil (2002) See more »

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Whispering Pines in the Desert
14 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

Claire Marrable has just lost her husband, her fortune, and her rich and refined way of life. What is a spoiled, wealthy, egotistical woman to do? Why pack up and move to Arizona to be near your nephew, and begin killing housekeepers/live-in companions for their life savings of course. Aunt Claire seemingly has a green thumb as she transplants her housekeepers to the ground and plants a pine tree over them. As we see in the first part of the film, there are at least three pine trees before we see the first woman bashed in the head with a rock and then planted. We then see another housekeeper, Edna Tinsley, killed in similar fashion with a shovel. Now, five pine trees in the desert. Enter Mrs. Dimmock, a woman in disguise as a housekeeper out to find out what happened to her long-time friend Edna. This cat and mouse relationship between Claire and Mrs. Dimmock serves as the basis of the film. This film was produced by Robert Aldrich, who was responsible for bringing us films like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Hush..Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Aldrich made films that had older female protagonists popular in the sixties by giving these starring roles to ladies that were a bit aged and considered passe. Geraldine Page stars in this film as Aunt Claire, and if you had any doubts about her talent as an actress prior to seeing this film, no doubts should have remained afterward. Page is simply stunning. She has an aura and charm about her. She has a wonderfully sadistic and maniacal laugh. She has an ability to take dialogue which would not work for any one else and make it sound meaningful. Her portrayal of this wicked, cruel, greedy woman is one of the best I have seen for roles of this ilk. Aiding Ms. Page is Ruth Gordon. Ms. Gordon gives a very good performance as Mrs. Dimmock out to find the truth no matter what the cost might be. Gordon and Page act and interact very well together, and it is their relationship which really makes this film work. The rest of the cast is okay and the direction is okay, but everything is brought up a notch by the two outstanding performances of these two incredible actresses. After seeing this film twice in two days, I am still stunned at the magnificent performance given by Geraldine Page. WOW!

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