The Nanny (1965)
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. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Nanny
The Nanny is not especially ambitious, so one must settle for the small pleasures and chills that it offers.
... The Nanny holds up considerably well today as a slight, but unsettling, thriller.
A rather quiet, cautious thriller that gives Davis more room for characterization than most of her later films.
Bette Davis as the baddest of nannies. Scary in its modest way.
Fantastic. Davis is perfectly creepy.
Dreary, bizarrely overrated thriller distinguished only by Bette Davis.
Audience Reviews for The Nanny
One of Hammer Films' most accomplished works. An eerie and ambiguous psychological thriller that deals with some disturbing taboo themes inside family, sort of the common groundwork for novelist Evelyn Piper, the same who wrote the more popular "Bunny Lake is Missing".
Filmed in a gloriously stark black and white, effortlessly attaining a claustrophobic, lurid and bleak atmosphere.
Bette Davis, reinventing herself in those years as a horror muse after Robert Aldrich's "What ever happened to baby jane?", shows again her subtle but acute acting chops. My only regret is that the end seems watered down, just after reaching its real sense of menace.
I thought for sure that The Nanny was going to turn out to be some campy and gaudy forgettable film in the twilight of the career of Bette Davis. What it actually turns out to be is a sadly overlooked powerhouse performance by Davis that's every bit as horrific as it is beautifully sad. Unfortunately you're probably going to spend most of The Nanny's 90-minute running time hating William Dix's (Joey's) guts when you're not mildly entertained by Pamela Franklin's upstairs neighbor performance. The flashbacks are well done and pretty frightening even if The Nanny isn't the standard Hammer film. It's easy to bunch this one in with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte even thought its completely different, but at the same time it reminded me more of Bunny Lake is Missing. For as short of a movie as The Nanny is it's kind of a long watch but worth it in the end.More
Discuss The Nanny on our Movie forum!