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Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 17 March 1972 (USA)
A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist.

Director:

Curtis Harrington

Writers:

David D. Osborn (original screen story) (as David Osborn), Robert Blees (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shelley Winters ... Mrs. Forrest
Mark Lester ... Christopher Coombs
Chloe Franks ... Katy Coombs
Ralph Richardson ... Mr. Benton
Lionel Jeffries ... Inspector Ralph Willoughby
Hugh Griffith ... Mr. Harrison
Rosalie Crutchley ... Miss Henley
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... Dr. Mason
Judy Cornwell ... Clarine
Michael Gothard ... Albie
Jackie Cowper Jackie Cowper ... Angela Barnes (as Jacqueline Cowper)
Richard Beaumont ... Peter Brookshire
Charlotte Sayce Charlotte Sayce ... Katharine Forrest
Marianne Stone ... Miss Wilcox
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Storyline

A retelling of the old tale of Hansel and Gretel, but set in 1920's England. To the children and staff at the orphanage, Auntie Roo is a kindly American widow who gives them a lavish Christmas party each year in her mansion, Forrest Grange. In reality, she's a severely disturbed woman, who keeps the mummified remains of her little daughter in a nursery in the attic. One Christmas, her eye fall upon a little girl who reminds her of her daughter and she imprisons her in her attic. Nobody believes her brother, Christopher, when he tells them what's happened, so he goes to rescue her. Written by Mark

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Have You Ever Held a Skeleton in Your Arms? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

- Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and behavior | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gingerbread House See more »

Filming Locations:

Middlesex, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shelley Winters and Hugh Griffith have won Oscars in the same year: Winters as Best Supporting Actress for The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and Griffith as Best Supporting Actor for Ben-Hur (1959). See more »

Quotes

Katy Coombs: You said she was going to eat us.
Christopher: She was, later.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Performed by Shelley Winters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Christmas & horror atmosphere, loved it!
24 April 2013 | by udar55See all my reviews

Former stage star Auntie Roo (Shelley Winters) is the love of orphans in town come Christmas time as she invites ten lucky kids to come spend the night at her countryside estate on Christmas Eve. Two kids, Chris (Mark Lester) and Katy (Chloe Franks) Combs, who didn't make the cut sneak along to the mansion and soon their host is infatuated with Katy because she reminds her of her own missing daughter, who she has been trying to contact through séances. I'm still getting my Curtis Harrington freak on apparently as I watched this horror-thriller for the first time last night and found it to be fantastic. Reuniting after the equally great WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN (1971), director Harrington and lead Winters sure have the hysterics down in the story that draws its inspiration from Hanzel & Gretel. One of the more surprising things is both of the kid leads are also really good as well and you'll thank yourself for watching OLIVER himself get into a brawl with Winters. The rest of the cast - Ralph Richardson as a psychic, Lionel Jeffries as a policeman, Michael Gothard as the creepy butler - are fantastic too. The film has tons of Xmas spirit and, best of all, Harrington knows how to properly convey that old dark house feel perfectly. Definitely recommended if you haven't seen it.


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