62 user 51 critic

The Nanny (1965)

Unrated | | Mystery, Thriller | 20 January 1966 (Italy)
There's just something not quite right when Bette Davis stars as an English nanny. And is her 10-year-old charge an emotionally disturbed murderer or just an insolent brat?


Seth Holt


Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Marryam Modell (novel) (as Evelyn Piper)




Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Nanny
Wendy Craig ... Virginia Fane
Jill Bennett ... Aunt Pen
James Villiers ... Bill Fane
William Dix ... Joey Fane
Pamela Franklin ... Bobbie Medman
Jack Watling ... Dr. Medman
Maurice Denham ... Dr. Beamaster
Alfred Burke Alfred Burke ... Dr. Wills
Harry Fowler ... Milkman
Angharad Aubrey Angharad Aubrey ... Susy Fane
Nora Gordon Nora Gordon ... Mrs. Griggs
Sandra Power Sandra Power ... Sarah


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Would you trust the nanny . . . or the boy? See more »


Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Seth Holt found Bette Davis "impossible" to work with. See more »


In the scene where they put the doll into the bathtub to scare the nanny: When they first pick up the doll, it has blonde hair, then when they put it into the bathtub, it has black hair, then when the nanny finds it, it has blonde hair again. This is a technique that is repeated throughout the second half of the film, whenever the bathtub death is revisited by the characters. See more »


Bobbie Medman: You said she tried to kill you.
Joey Fane: That's right, just like she killed Susie.
Bobbie Medman: She killed your sister?
Joey Fane: Sort of... yes she did.
See more »


Focus on Fame
Music by Sam Fonteyn
Brull Music Ltd
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User Reviews

A revolting but fascinating noir.
10 March 1999 | by Dick-42See all my reviews

This is obviously not Mary Poppins from the very start. Nanny is so sticky sweet that you suspect something's wrong. On the other hand, she may just be that nice. Joey, who's coming home after being away for a couple of years, is revealed to be either an insufferable brat, or a terribly disturbed and frightened boy of 11 or so. Joey, who despises and harasses all middle-aged women, says Nanny is trying to kill him. Sweet Nanny is afraid someone may believe the child's irrational ravings. Mother Virgie, herself on the verge of total mental collapse, can't cope. Father Bill is too busy with business and travel, and too much the authoritarian parent to concern himself. Even the supporting characters are flakey: frail Aunt Pen(elope), the 14-year-old nymph Bobbie upstairs, Bobbie's boyfriend, and even the milkman! And what happened to Susie, who may be the key to everything, but isn't in the cast list? Something's terribly wrong. Who or what is it?

A deeply disturbing story, difficult even to watch, but exceedingly well done for the genre. Difficult to rate because it has zilch entertainment value, but I finally decided to go mainly for the "cinematic" value and give it an 8.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

20 January 1966 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Nanny See more »


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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