6.4/10
1,199
33 user 36 critic

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist.

Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Directors: Lee H. Katzin, Bernard Girard
Stars: Geraldine Page, Ruth Gordon, Rosemary Forsyth
The Vagrant (1992)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A business man buys a house, but he has a hard time trying to get rid of its previous tenant, a dirty bum.

Director: Chris Walas
Stars: Bill Paxton, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

When an underwater ocean lab is lost in a earthquake, an advanced submarine is sent down to find it and encounters terrible danger.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Walter Pidgeon, Ernest Borgnine
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman is terrorized by her deceased fiancé's demented mother who blames her for her son's death.

Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan
Drum (1976)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A mid-19th century mulatto slave is torn between his success as a pit-fighter and the injustices of white society. In HD.

Directors: Steve Carver, Burt Kennedy
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Ken Norton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After losing his hearing, a musician uses lip-reading to help others.

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: George Arliss, Bette Davis, Violet Heming
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

What could be worse for two cavalry officers than to battle with native tribes? To battle each other for the same woman.

Director: Arnold Laven
Stars: Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell, Senta Berger
Stryker (1983)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

The world's water supply has dried up due to some sort of apocalypse. A beautiful woman holds the secret to where one of the last springs being guarded by a group of Amazons. A "Road ... See full summary »

Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Stars: Steve Sandor, Andrea Savio, William Ostrander
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Heart pounding terror! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence/bloody images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 1972 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Best of Friends  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When friend/director Curtis Harrington offered her the part, Shelley Winters took the lead role in the film without even reading the script. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1934, but the prominently seen "Movie Life" magazine wasn't first published until 1937. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Sitting Pretty (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great acting helps an uneven horror film
11 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie takes place in the 1930s--The mothers (Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters) of two murdering sons run away to Hollywood after their sons are convicted. They change their names and open a dance studio for children. Reynolds quickly adjusts to her new life and falls for a nice guy (Dennis Weaver). However Winters keeps having flashbacks to her husband's bloody accident that killed him--or was it an accident? This film looks fantastic. Curtis Harrington was a very good, underrated director and he did a great job here. The settings and costumes are incredible and perfectly fit the 1930s. However the story doesn't flow smoothly. It runs in fits and starts and comes to a screeching halt for THREE musical numbers with the kids and Reynolds! Also a certain murder at the end was drastically cut to avoid an R rating (the director was not happy about it). But the acting saves it. Reynolds is superb in a very dramatic and hard role. I never thought she could act till I saw this. Winters chews the scenery (as usual) but in a fun way. Also, despite the GP (now PG) rating this is pretty bloody and the shock ending is totally ruined by being on the poster AND the theatrical trailer! Still it's worth catching.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?