Bette Davis is an English nanny whose charge is a rude 10-year-old Joey, just discharged from a disturbed children's home where he'd spent two years undergoing treatment for drowning his little sister in the bath. He returns to an unloving father, fragile mother, and doting nanny -- whom he hates. Suspicion arises again when his mother is poisoned, and Joey continues to insist Nanny is responsible. Joey contends the nanny was responsible for his little sister's death, and only the upstairs neighbour girl believes him.Written by
The role of the Nanny was originally intended for Greer Garson who first accepted then declined, saying the script would not be good for her career. Jimmy Sangster who wrote and produced the film later said, "I went to Santa Fe and met with Greer, and she said she liked the script, and everything was fine. When I got back to London, we had a message from Los Angeles saying that Greer Garson didn't think the script would do her career much good. I didn't like to say she didn't have a career in those days." See more »
In the opening titles, Bette Davis is returning from errands, feeding birds in the park, buying flowers from a street vendor. She carries a square box tied with string that is upturned while buying flowers. Upon returning home to the Vane household, the box is opened to reveal a decorated cake for Joey and amazingly the cake looks perfect despite it's perilous journey home. See more »
Nanny, what are you doing?
I'm taking Master Joey an extra pillow... what are you doing up so late?
I couldn't sleep, I'm going to make a cup of tea.
It's bad for you this late at night... you go back to bed and I'll bring you a glass of milk.
I don't want a glass of milk, I want a cup of tea.
Nanny, don't take Joey that pillow... he'll never go back to sleep.
[leaves the room and reenters a few seconds later]
You don't approve of pillows, I remember you saying when we were small 'children ...
[...] See more »
This is a rather oddly presented story with the common theme of something awry with the nanny....or butler or....anyone who you think you can trust.
Suspense films like this are excellent in that one really can guess what is to happen next, and the characters and their behavior is quite mercurial.
Wendy Craig , (who later starred in comedies such as "Butterflies" on NY station PBS) is good here as the mother of young Joey Fane, a troubled child with whom no one seems to know what to do with. Or is that really the case?. There is a Hitchcockian element to this story in that the black and white cinematography is slightly foreboding, little Joey's butter cream cake (to welcome him home after the hospital) looks inviting, but is it poison?.
Jill Bennett who has been in other films of this genre as the narcissistic aunt Virgie, who feels she is up to the task of minding Joey until odd occurrences begin to shake her resolve.
Ms. Davis as the nanny has a secret past, which is not divulged other than when we see the squalor in which her own daughter had lived. Her expressions are sublime, then jaw dropping. She acts with expression, her movements and beats are the mark of her talent. She does not need to vocalize what is percolating internally. A gem here worth seeing for Davis alone. 9/10.
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