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15 March 1972: Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

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Mar. 15th, 1972 | 08:00 pm

‘Whoever Slew Auntie Roo’ was filmed in Middlesex, and at Shepperton Studios in Surrey.

In this film, Michael plays the role of Albie, butler to Auntie Roo (Shelley Winters), a woman driven mad with grief, who keeps the body of her dead daughter Katherine in a secret room, hidden behind the doors of a closet.

Auntie Roo receives frequent visits from a ‘medium’, Mr Benton (Ralph Richardson). Between Benton, Albie, and the housemaid Clarine (Judy Cornwell), Auntie Roo is being taken for a sucker at every turn.

During Benton’s séances, Clarine speaks through the dumb waiter, pretending to be the spirit of the dead Katherine. Albie and Benton then split the fee Benton charges Auntie Roo.

But Auntie Roo trusts Albie implicitly; she lets him pay the tradesmen for her, and he takes the opportunity to cream an extra income off the top, also abetted by Clarine.

When two young gate-crashers, Christopher and Katy Coombs (Mark Lester and Chloe Franks) appear at the Christmas party Roo gives every year for children from the local orphanage, Albie gets a further opportunity for advancement.

Auntie Roo becomes convinced that Katy is the reincarnation of her daughter, Katherine, and kidnaps Katy. When Albie finds out, he blackmails Auntie Roo, demanding two thousand pounds for his silence.

He and Clarine then quit her employ, leaving her to her fate.

In correspondence with Belsizepark, Mark Lester said of Michael: "I worked with Michael in the 1970's and to my knowledge he was a truly professional actor with a unique charm and presence. It was a pleasure to work with him."

Watch Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? on Youtube.

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