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Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 17 March 1972 (USA)
A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist.



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

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Complete credited cast:
Inspector Ralph Willoughby
Mr. Harrison
Miss Henley
Dr. Mason
Jackie Cowper ...
Angela Barnes (as Jacqueline Cowper)
Richard Beaumont ...
Peter Brookshire
Charlotte Sayce ...
Katharine Forrest
Marianne Stone ...
Miss Wilcox


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


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


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

17 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gingerbread House  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Judy Cornwell's memoirs, Shelley Winters discovered that Cornwell had got good reviews in Wuthering Heights (1970) and demanded Cornwell's role was cut to the bone. See more »


Katy Coombs: What're you doing?
Christopher: I'm hiding the jewels.
Katy Coombs: What jewels?
Christopher: The real jewels. If we get adopted, when we grow up we can sell them and buy a big mansion.
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Featured in House of Harrington (2008) See more »


Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Performed by Shelley Winters
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User Reviews

A Sleeper Hit Twist of Hansel and Gretel!
10 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love Shelley Winters in this film as the demented Auntie Roo, the widow of a British magician. In this film, she plays a haunted troubled woman whose daughter died in a terrible accident. She wants to be a mother again and finds herself drawn to a girl who resembles her own late daughter. There are lot of interesting scenes and Shelley Winters is a scream in this film with her part. You feel sorry for her but despise what she's doing to Katy and Christopher, young British orphans, who end up being Hansel and Gretel in this story. The ending was kind of disturbing and the kids reminded me more of the boy in the Omen film at times. It's a first rate cast with Shelley Winters, Ralph Richardson, Judy Cornwell, and Marianne Stone just to name a few well known British actors in the cast. I would like to see it again especially since I missed the beginning portion of it. I found it terribly entertaining even a good Halloween movie to show.

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