Thursday, May 28, 2015
Bette Davis IS The Nanny
It is one of two movies Ms Davis did at UK's Hammer studios in the mid-Sixties. Hammer is known for their horror films, and while Bette is as frightening as Christopher Lee's Dracula in this film, she renders a very controlled and admirable performance. She didn't need bloodshot contact lenses; she's got Bette Davis eyes.
The Nanny poses a mystery: who killed baby sister and, later, the baby's mother? The little boy who is her brother or Davis, the family's nanny for two generations? By the denouement, things become abundantly clear. Ah, what these Nanny diaries could tell!
Wendy Craig and Jill Bennett star as the boy's hapless mom and aunt. Jimmy Sangster (Curse of Frankenstein) directs with effective, mounting suspense. Pamela Franklin is in this and young William Dix is solid as the creepy kid.
The type of British thriller frequently referred to as "crisp" in the States, The Nanny will still grip most viewers today, and is one of Bette Davis' best post-Baby Jane motion pictures.