The Nanny

( 3 )

Overview

In this thriller which represented something of a departure for Hammer Films, noted for their gothic period pieces, Joey Fane William Dix has returned home after two years in an institution for mentally ill children. His sister drowned, and his family believes that Joey was to blame, despite his claims of innocence. Joey is convinced that the family's Nanny Bette Davis was responsible and refuses to have anything to do with her, but only neighbor girl Bobby Pamela Franklin agrees that there's something sinister ...
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Overview

In this thriller which represented something of a departure for Hammer Films, noted for their gothic period pieces, Joey Fane William Dix has returned home after two years in an institution for mentally ill children. His sister drowned, and his family believes that Joey was to blame, despite his claims of innocence. Joey is convinced that the family's Nanny Bette Davis was responsible and refuses to have anything to do with her, but only neighbor girl Bobby Pamela Franklin agrees that there's something sinister about the woman minding the house. When Joey's neurotic mother Virginia Wendy Craig nearly dies after eating tainted food prepared by the Nanny, Virginia's sister Penelope Jill Bennett comes by to help. Penelope soon witnesses the bad blood between Joey and the Nanny, though before long she begins to think that the boy might be right about her after all. Jimmy Sangster adapted the screenplay from a novel by Evelyn Piper.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Restoration comparison; Original theatrical trailer; TV spots; Interactive pressbook gallery; Poster gallery; Lobby card gallery; Still gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This tidy little suspense film is one of Hammer Films' better non-supernatural outings of the 1960's. The strongest element of The Nanny is Jimmy Sangster's well-crafted script, which infuses the usual chills with a bit of social commentary on the English class system and sets the viewer's expectations on their ear more than once with some inspired twists. Seth Holt's careful direction does justice to this script, easing the viewer into a false sense of security with a subtle first half and then making a deft transition into the surprise revelations of the second half. The Nanny also benefits from good performances: William Dix turns in some unexpectedly subtle work in the difficult role of the problem child and Wendy Craig cuts a sympathetic figure as the vulnerable and much put-upon mother. However, the standout is Bette Davis in the title role: her performance seems low-key at first but she adds new layers to her role as the story progresses, managing to turn a character that could have been a mere plot device into a haunting and unexpectedly sympathetic figure. On the downside, some of the film's twists have become old hat and the film's slow-burn pacing might throw off viewers used to the frenetic pace of modern horror films. That said, viewers who can overlook these age-related problems will be rewarded with a skillfully made film that remains pretty chilling on its own terms. In short, The Nanny is a worthwhile thriller for viewers in search of old-fashioned thrills.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2008
  • UPC: 024543507222
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / Dubbed
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 54,160

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bette Davis Nanny
Wendy Craig Virginia Fane
Jill Bennett Penelope Fane
James Villiers Bill Fane
William Dix Joey Fane
Pamela Franklin Bobby
Jack Watling Dr. Medman
Alfred Burke Dr. Wills
Maurice Denham Dr. Beamaster
Nora Gordon Mrs. Griggs
Harry Fowler Milkman
Technical Credits
Seth Holt Director
Richard Rodney Bennett Score Composer
Rosemary Burrows Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward Carrick Production Designer
George Fowler Production Manager
Philip Martell Musical Direction/Supervision
James Needs Editor
Jimmy Sangster Producer, Screenwriter
Tom Smith Makeup
Tom Smith Makeup
Harry Waxman Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Nanny
1. Main Titles [3:03]
2. Secrets of the Fane Family [6:39]
3. The Mental Hospital [:19]
4. Troubled Little Boy [4:11]
5. Aunt Pen [5:50]
6. First Night at Home [1:25]
7. The Neighbor Girl [4:14]
8. Back to His Old Ways [6:50]
9. A Cruel Joke [1:07]
10. Food Poisoning [1:39]
11. Allowances for Joey [4:37]
12. What Happened to Baby Susan? [4:09]
13. Facing Fear [3:51]
14. Strange Behavior [3:34]
15. The Pillow [3:30]
16. Aunt Pen in Trouble [8:00]
17. Truth About Nanny [:31]
18. Mind Games [2:53]
19. Nanny's Demise [2:22]
20. Mother and Son/End Titles [3:28]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Nanny
   Play
   Language Selection
      Language and Audio: English Mono
      Language and Audio: Spanish Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: French
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Restoration Comparison
      Theatrical Trailer
      TV Spots
      Interactive Pressbook Gallery
      Poster Gallery
      Lobby Card Gallery
      Still Gallery
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2004

    Oh yeah!

    This is Bette Davis' best. She is my favorite actress and scares the hell out of me, sometimes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2004

    And so it goes...

    ...meaning that this behavior continues to this day. But back to this movie: the editorial synopsis is minute. You are drawn into taking sides -sometimes even switching throughout- from the beginning. Bette's ability to look dark, brooding at the same time acting in a caring role will keep you guessing on who's really narrating this movie. Those interested in child psychology will find interesting theories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews