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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 965 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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Title: What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

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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:

All she wants is a friend... to the end! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters' psychiatrist advised her not to portray a woman having a nervous breakdown because, at the time, she was having a real-life nervous breakdown. "She's the kind of actress who becomes the part she's playing..." said Reynolds, "so all through the film she drove all of us insane!" See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1934 but the songs "Animal Crackers In My Soup" and "Goody-Goody" weren't released until 1935. See more »

Quotes

Helen Hill: Men can be quite a bit lower than the angels.
See more »

Connections

References Polly of the Circus (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Written by Joseph Scriven
Performed by Agnes Moorehead
See more »

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User Reviews

"You will find that men are just a little bit lower than angels."
12 September 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This is certainly NOT a movie to laugh at, rather than with, as one commentator indicates. This move has an understated black comic humor running through it that is simply delirious fun! And that "borders on a bad musical" that another commentator mentions? Well, I believe it's supposed to be bad. In fact, frightening so. One of the major points of the film is how we live our dreadful lives in sad imitation of equally dreadful Hollywood stars. And these kids are but the sad tools of monstrous parents, forcing them to play bad imitations of Shirley Temple, or worse, trashy child vamps! And the worst of them all is Debbie Reynolds, who - when given a bouquet of gardenias - can only remark, "Oh! Joan Crawford's favorite!

See this movie. Observations like the one quoted in the title to this post will surely make you wet your pants. And if that doesn't, then Agnes Morehead's milking her flock for donations in support of her CHURCH OF THE OPEN HAND should do it. Or how about the poem she recites that goes something like, "Give it up for to God. It's time you took action. You should make Jesus your main attraction!"

The audience at the screening I went to the other night was actually on their feet cheering after the film.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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