6.4/10
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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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Taglines:

Helen just buried another friend! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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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:

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

The film is set in 1934. Yet, in the NYC dance studio, there is clearly sheet music on the piano from the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Top Hat. See more »

Quotes

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

References The Black Cat (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, You Nasty Man
Written by Ray Henderson, Jack Yellen & Irving Caesar
Performed by Robbi Morgan
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User Reviews

Two women move to 1930's Hollywood in order to build new lives.
15 September 2000 | by (cincinnati, ohio) – See all my reviews

Slick, colorful Gothic horror tale features the veteran leading ladies in top form. Debbie Reynolds perfects that 1930's platinum blonde/Jean Harlow image, and Shelley Winters gives what is possibly her all-time best performance as the maniacal Helen. The film was directed by cult favorite Curtis Harrington, and was written by Henry Farrell author of the novel on which the classic film WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? was based. Farrell has concocted an equally effective mixture of horror and hollywood here. Harrington's next venture into the macabre was the similarly Gothic and atmospheric WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO?, also featuring the inimitable Shelley Winters in the titular role.


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