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What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

GP  -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  13 April 1972 (Mexico)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 930 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 31 critic

Two middle-aged women move to Hollywood, California after their sons are convicted of a notorious murder and open a dance school for children eager to tap their way to stardom.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Adelle
...
Helen
...
Linc Palmer
Micheál MacLiammóir ...
Hamilton Starr (as Micheal Mac Liammóir)
...
Sister Alma
Helene Winston ...
Mrs. Greenbaum
Peggy Rea ...
Mrs. Schultz
Logan Ramsey ...
Detective Sgt. West
Paulle Clark ...
Mrs. Plumb
...
Mrs. Barker
Molly Dodd ...
Mrs. Rigg
Samee Lee Jones ...
Winona (as Sammee Lee Jones)
Robbi Morgan ...
Rosalie
...
The Tramp
Swen Swenson ...
The Gigolo
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Storyline

Set in the 30s, Helen and Adelle are two women whose sons commit a gruesome murder. After their conviction, they move to Hollywood change their names and open a dance school for girls. Adelle is looking for a good life and when one of the parents of her students who is wealthy takes a liking to her she thinks she's got it made. Helen thinks that someone who blames them for what their sons did is stalking them. But Adelle thinks it's all in her mind. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Helen just buried another friend! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

13 April 1972 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Best of Friends  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film began production under the title "The Best of Friends," but Otto Preminger protested to the Motion Picture Association because he had already registered the similar title Such Good Friends (1971). Producer George Edwards quickly responded by changing the title to a line from the script: "What's the Matter with Helen?." See more »

Goofs

In the closeup, Helen holds the magazine with Jean Harlow's photo in her left hand and points to it with her right. When it cuts to a wide shot, she's grasping the sides of the magazine with both hands. See more »

Quotes

Sister Alma: I offered you my blessing, but you refused it. Now move along.
See more »

Connections

References Polly of the Circus (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Animal Crackers in My Soup
Written by Irving Caesar, Ted Koehler & Ray Henderson
Performed by Samee Lee Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine, eerie black comedy with a superb Reynolds turn.
14 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A vastly underrated black comedy, the finest in a series of grand guignol movies to follow 'Baby Jane'. Reynolds and Winters are mothers of young convicted murderers (a nod to 'Compulsion') who run away to hide in Hollywood. They run a school for would-be movie tots, a bunch of hilariously untalented kids attended by awful stage moms. Debbie, in her blonde wig ('I'm a Harlow, you're more a Marion Davies' she tells Winters) leads the tots at their concert and wins a rich dad, Weaver. She also does a deliciously funny tango and, over all, gives an outstanding performance, unlike anything she'd done before. The atmosphere is a fine mix of comic and eerie. It looks wonderful with great period detail (30's). Lots of lovely swipes at Hollywood and the terrifying movie tot. Micheal MacLiammoir has a ball as the drama coach: 'Hamilton Starr', he purrs, 'two r's but prophetic nonetheless'. See it and love it.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What about Hamilton Starr? FranLovesBetteD
song in this film HB-9
Helen was related to Baby Jane and Charlotte beamsamuel1
Shelley Winters on Piano ajh_pants
Film is campy fun but the DVD transfer is awful. takemehome
Opinions anyone...? craigoprego
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