Review: ‘Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?’

Fresh story, using old-hat scare tricks combined with highly skillful acting.

Fresh story, using old-hat scare tricks combined with highly skillful acting.

Widow Geraldine Page hits upon ingenious method of building up unencumbered women as companions, to take their life savings and then bash their heads in. Trouble starts when she eliminates wistful Mildred Dunnock. Suspicious Ruth Gordon, former employer of Dunnock, appears on the scene in the guise of yet another housekeeper.

Page as a high and mighty wealthy eccentric delivers a bravura performance. Gordon, working crisply, offers a remarkable portrait of a brave woman. The two ladies play off each other relentlessly and audience reaps the rewards.

Grim humor and superior dialog, as well as night prowling, barred doors, disconnected phones, an unexplained wheelchair, wigs and maniacal laughter total up to fine tale [from the novel The Forbidden Garden by Ursula Curtiss] of suspense rounded off with a twist ending.

Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?

Production

Palomar/Associates & Aldrich. Director Lee H. Katzin; Producer Robert Aldrich; Screenplay Theodore Apstein; Camera Joseph Biroc; Editor Frank J. Urioste; Music Gerald Fried; Art Director William Glasgow

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Geraldine Page Ruth Gordon Rosemary Forsyth Robert Fuller Mildred Dunnock
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