584. The Nanny (1965)

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6.9 Average thriller
  • Acting 7.0
  • Directing 7.0
  • Story 6.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Bette Davis, Wendy Craig, Jill Bennett

Director: Seth Holt

Running Time: 93 mins


The Nanny is a British film about a loyal nanny who returns to her job at the house of a young, but seemingly psychotic young boy, however her duty becomes obscured by a dark secret that looms behind her.

Right, it’s very simple why I wasn’t such a big fan of this film. The first hour was tedious. Despite having a strong and unpredictable, even fittingly chilling, ending, I had real trouble having any sort of interest in the build-up to the climax due to some appalling pacing, obvious plot lines, and largely mediocre acting (excluding Bette Davis).

One of the things that most attracted me to watching this film was how it looked like a psychological thriller with elements of a supernatural horror. There’s the creepy kid who seems quite unpredictable and scary, along with the setting of the big house to make it that little more frightening.

However, nothing scary or exciting happened for at least 60 minutes. The build-up play to the midway flashpoint is unbelievably dull, and fails to ever spark any suspense or terror. Also, the seemingly unpredictable young boy is nowhere near as scary as he’s intended to be, just extremely petulant and annoying, which takes away a significant portion of the atmosphere.

Along with the boy, the other characters were portrayed pretty badly. The mother seems to be a complete idiot for the entire first part of the film, and although there is a revelation for why it may seem that way initially, her character never works to perhaps make you take sides in the story or even fall deeper into its plot.

Although there are a few flashpoints along the way, there’s nothing else strong for this film to fall back onto in the opening stages, meaning it becomes a hugely dull, weak and unexciting mess that you have to sit through to get to the good bit.

And that good bit is pretty good. In comparison to a start which I despised, this film goes out with a bang, with various genuinely unpredictable plot twists and much darker tones, along with a more exhilarating performance by Bette Davis, who becomes a much stronger and more interesting character towards the end, so despite its poor start, this film made up enough in the end for a 6.9.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com