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Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)

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

Director:

Writers:

(original screen story) (as David Osborn), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Forrest
...
Christopher Coombs
Chloe Franks ...
Katy Coombs
...
Mr. Benton
...
...
Mr. Harrison
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Miss Henley
Pat Heywood ...
Dr. Mason
...
Clarine
...
Albie
Jackie Cowper ...
Angela Barnes (as Jacqueline Cowper)
Richard Beaumont ...
Peter Brookshire
Charlotte Sayce ...
Katharine Forrest
Marianne Stone ...
Miss Wilcox
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Storyline

This is a retelling of the old tale of Hansel and Gretel, but set in England in the 1920s. To the children and staff at the orphanage, Auntie Roo is a kindly American widow who gives them a lavish Christmas party each year in her mansion, Forrest Grange. In reality, she is a severely disturbed woman, who keeps the mummified remains of her little daughter in a nursery in the attic. One Christmas, her eye falls upon a little girl who reminds her of her daughter and she imprisons her in her attic. Nobody believes her brother, Christopher, when he tells them what has happened, so he goes to rescue her. Written by Mark

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nightmares come true in the house of Auntie Roo. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

- Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and behavior | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1972 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Gingerbread House  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Curtis Harrington, Hugh Griffith was an alcoholic and his wife accompanied him to the set each day to ensure he didn't imbibe. See more »

Quotes

Katy Coombs: So she's bad?
Christopher: I told you, she's a witch!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemacabre TV Trailers (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Tit Willow
Written by Arthur Sullivan & W.S. Gilbert
Performed by Shelley Winters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Certainly Not the Gingerbread Man!

I had the fortunate circumstance to see this double-billed as a very young child with Bava'a Baron Blood. Some of the scenes remained in my mind - particularly the creepy figure of Shelley Winters. I recently set out to see the film again some 30 years later. I remembered more than I thought I had, and the film came back to me in large part. This is not a bad film nor a good film. As another reviewer noted, it is a pleasant, harmless time-waster - for those of us who enjoy "wasting" time on such things. Mark Lester and Chloe Franks play two orphans at an orphanage. Franks has an uncanny resemblance to the dead daughter of the orphanage's greatest patroness and benefactress, Shelley Winters. Winters is so good to the kiddies that every year she invites them to her sumptuous home at Christmas for yuletide fun. She has virtually no interest in Lester but soon has the keenest of hearts for the young Franks as her dead daughter's look-a-like. Well, Lester is a growing teen rebelling, Winters decays into some form of madness, a cast of stalwart British character actors such as Sir Ralph Richardson, Hugh Griffith, and Lionel Jeffries ably aid the story, and that story degenerates/diffuses into some sinister tale not unlike Hansel and Gretel. Well, the movie has a poor story overall - but Winter's fine performance albeit over-the-top to be sure does add emotional depth to it. Director Curtis Harrington is very able behind the camera if not dazzling.


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