(2001 TV Movie)

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Gripping True Story
Dawnfrancis5 January 2003
This is a very powerful, moving true story. Recalling a great miscarriage of the British judicial system, it follows events as Sheila Bowler is falsely accused of murdering her elderly aunt. Patricia Routledge is absolutely superb as the middle aged woman who's faith in natural justice was sadly misplaced
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A nightmare come true!
RaspberryLucozade11 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Patricia Routledge is best remembered with justification for her splendid portrayal of Hyacinth Bucket in BBC1's 'Keeping Up Appearances' though it must be noted that she is a wonderful straight actress too, as her performances in 'A Woman Of No Importance', 'Hetty Wainthropp Investigates' and this well and truly proved.

Set in the Rye area of Sussex in 1992, 'Anybody's Nightmare' is based on a true story that took place that year in which a piano teacher in her '60's named Sheila Bowler was wrongly accused of murdering her elderly aunt. Whilst driving home with her disabled Aunt Flo ( who was going to be spending the weekend with her ) one night, their car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Sheila duly went to find help and when she returned she found her Aunt missing.

The next morning, Aunt Flo's corpse was found washed up in a nearby canal. As Flo's ability to walk was severely limited, speculations lead to the police wrongly believing that Sheila was the culprit. Cutting a long story short, the pensioner from Sussex was jailed for four years before eventually being acquitted.

Patricia Routledge's realistic portrayal of Bowler makes John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch's script look stronger than it was actually written. The support cast also do the excellent script justice. There's no comedy on show here so people tuning in expecting to see Hyacinth Bucket will be in for a big disappointment. Not counting work in theatre, this was indeed Routledge's last acting role, who was aged 72 when this went out. It has been repeated from time to time on satellite movie channels since it original broadcast, albeit edited, so for those who feel compelled to give it a go, keep an eye out for it. It is gripping stuff!
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