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Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? - reviews

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Mar. 15th, 1972 | 09:00 pm

From: Films and Filming, April 1972

...Stuffed with goodness, like Roo's bounteous turkey dinner and her other food wallowings, Whoever can boast a splendid cast, with Shelley Winters going to town, but not to unnecessary extremes in the title role, Michael Gothard as a snappy-cum-sinister manservant, and Ralph Richardson as the perpetrator of phoney seances. What we have come to think of as the Harrington touch is given its best work-out here in a sequence where the two principal kids venture into a room crowded with the relics of Roo's late husband, who was a magician and had lots of frightening boxes of tricks.

From: DVD Savant

… there are a lot of uneven elements in the mix of this nicely-produced melodrama. Ralph Richardson's mountebank is colorful, and Lionel Jeffries and Hugh Griffith are perfectly fine in bits, but none of them are central to the core story.

When menacing butler Michael Gothard disappears from the tale, we expect him to turn up later, even as a corpse, but he doesn't.

Full review

From: Cinema de Merde

… this movie takes place in a more naïve world in which orphanages allow ten of their children to go spend the night with a strange woman in a strange house. This would be Shelley’s annual Christmas party. Christopher and Katy are not invited, but sneak along, are soon discovered [by the butler fellow who likes to terrorize kids for fun], and invited to join the festivities …

The kids are locked up. They escape. Christopher gets free. He’s locked up again …

Somewhere in here the butler demands money from Shelley or he’ll tell the police that she’s kidnapped a girl, which causes Shelley, in a really dumb reaction shot, to glance to her left to demonstrate “nefarious plotting.”

The butler also cruelly tells her that she’s a dupe for their ruse during the séances, and his evil glee is one of the few beacons of dull interest. But he’s soon gone.

Full review

From: Film Fanatic

Meanwhile, other plot elements — such as the presence of Winters’ manipulative butler (Michael Gothard) working in cahoots with a sham medium (Ralph Richardson) to convince Winters her daughter is communicating with her — are poorly resolved.

Full review

From: Fright Xmas

… Mrs. Forrest has held regular séances to try and contact her daughter … but her servants, a butler and maid (nicely played by Michael Gothard and Judy Cornwell) are a nasty pair it transpires …

(Alan-Bertaneisson Jones. Fright Xmas. AuthorHouse, 2010.)

Review on Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings – David Sindelar

Review on Wildside Cinema


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