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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Nanny (1965)

A 10 year old boy (William Dix) returns home after being institutionalized for two years after his little sister (Angharad Aubrey) died under mysterious circumstances. Upon his arrival home, he turns against his nanny (Bette Davis) believing she was responsible for his sister's death and that she intends him to be her next victim. Based on the novel by Evelyn Piper (BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING) and directed by Seth Holt. This is a well done thriller with an excellent performance by Bette Davis but sabotaged by a piece of miscalculated casting. William Dix is a lousy child actor (his idea of acting appears to be sticking out his lower lip in a permanent pouting position) and his character is such a brat that you want Davis to kill the little beast! Which is really a pity because with a decent child actor in the part who would be able to get us to sympathize with him, this could have been a classic Hammer thriller instead of a decent one. Davis, of course, is as eminently watchable as always and gives us just enough ambiguity that we're never quite sure of her motives. The underscore is by Richard Rodney Bennett. With Pamela Franklin, Jill Bennett, Wendy Craig and James Villiers.

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