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The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

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The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Old 10-04-09, 03:51 PM
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The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6



IMDB link for The Nanny (1965)

Selection made by Mister Peepers.

These "2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day #" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 Films in 31 Days subset.

General discussion on the 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge goes here, your list for the Challenge goes here.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day. You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day. Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags will not be needed, as it will be expected that anyone here has seen the film.

Do not read this thread if you have not seen the film, unless you don't mind the ending being spoiled for you.

Last edited by Chad; 10-27-09 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-04-09, 08:03 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Everyone needs to make an effort to watch this one. It's one of the creepiest, most unsettling films I've ever seen. Extremely twisted and unnerving - essential viewing! Those expecting a Baby Jane-style campfest will be mostly disappointed. There's nothing tongue-in-cheek here, just a sinister slice of psychodrama. This is a real gem.
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Old 10-06-09, 10:33 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I watched this blind for the first time last year during the challenge. Never heard of it before and had no idea what it was about. Even when I was watching it I couldn't tell which way it was going to go, which is different from a lot of movies that make it kind of obvious.
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Old 10-06-09, 11:22 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I would like to thank the person who sugested this. I have never scene it before, and now that I did, I am very happy. This is one of the first movies, ina long time that was able to give me actuall chills while whatching it. Very good and unsettling movie.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:18 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I am also thankful that this film was added to the list. I had no idea what to expect and was very impressed with it. Most of the Bette Davis movies I recall seem to be high camp or over-the-top, but not this one. A really good choice.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:20 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Apparently only a couple of folks watched this, which is a pity. I'd already seen it a couple of times, so I went with the commentary this time around. There was very little discussion of the film itself, the track focusing primarily on Hammer history in general. The happy ending was forced upon the director by the film's American distributor, Fox. Also, Greer Garson was originally slated to play the Nanny role. What I particularly found effective about this film was that even though it turns out the boy is telling the truth, he is quite clearly deeply disturbed himself. This makes the tacked-on ending all the sillier, as the reunion of emotionally stunted parent and cruel, troubled son is presented as a warm n' fuzzy moment.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:04 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Great choice of movie! I just finished watching it for the first time and really enjoyed it. I've always liked Bette Davis anyway, so I was already interested in this one. I thought she was particularly effective in this movie. Really, in the end, she proved to be one of the more sympathetic characters in the film.

The girl's death was an accident, a moment where she let her guard down during an extreme moment of vulnerability. She can't cope and just snaps. As you say NoirFan, the boy himself has problems, serious issues. Yes, he was telling the truth and didn't deserve to be killed, but Nanny is an emotionally broken woman, wracked with guilt not only for the moment of carelessness that allowed that girl to die but also the lifetime she spent away from her own daughter which led to her death. She so desperately wanted to make those things right but just couldn't do it anymore, which made the scene where she "saved" the boy from drowning all the more moving. And then the emotion that started flooding into her when she seemed to really comprehend everything that she had done ... I don't think we would have gotten quite the depth of character with another actress, although Greer Garson could have been interesting.

Of course, this did make me want to revisit bat shit crazy Bette in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane as well. But so far this has been one of the standouts for me in this challenge.

Oh, I would also like to add that I think I would kill someone if I was constantly referred to by my job title. I kept wondering what it must feel like to always be called Nanny and never your real name. That must suck.
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Old 10-08-09, 09:50 AM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
Even when I was watching it I couldn't tell which way it was going to go, which is different from a lot of movies that make it kind of obvious.
That's perhaps what I loved most about it.
Originally Posted by Darkgod View Post
I would like to thank the person who sugested this. I have never scene it before, and now that I did, I am very happy. This is one of the first movies, ina long time that was able to give me actuall chills while whatching it. Very good and unsettling movie.
Thanks goes to Mister Peepers. Great choice! First time viewing for me, a rental, but I'll be buying this title for sure.
Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
What I particularly found effective about this film was that even though it turns out the boy is telling the truth, he is quite clearly deeply disturbed himself. This makes the tacked-on ending all the sillier, as the reunion of emotionally stunted parent and cruel, troubled son is presented as a warm n' fuzzy moment.
Yes, but I didn't see it as a truly WnF moment. I thought it showed the underlying tension and hesitance quite well.
Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
She so desperately wanted to make those things right but just couldn't do it anymore, which made the scene where she "saved" the boy from drowning all the more moving. And then the emotion that started flooding into her when she seemed to really comprehend everything that she had done.
That was a great moment in the film.
Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
But so far this has been one of the standouts for me in this challenge..
My favorite so far besides Poltergeist, which has the advantage that I saw it in the theater at an impressionable age.
Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
Oh, I would also like to add that I think I would kill someone if I was constantly referred to by my job title. I kept wondering what it must feel like to always be called Nanny and never your real name. That must suck.
I see your point, but can also see the opposite in this particular case. She may have found the term endearing, since the role was her life and she dedicated herself to the one family.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:55 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I had never seen this and thought it was great! Thanks to Mister Peepers for suggesting this!

No one could have pulled off the role of the nanny like Bette Davis.
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Old 10-08-09, 07:46 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Glad as many people watched it that did. Not as easy to find as some of the others but it still made a big enough impression on me to remember it from my first time viewing last year.

It's also still sitting next to my DVD player from last year when I watched it. It's collected it's fair share of dust which I'm sure the same can be said about Bette Davis.
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Old 10-08-09, 08:42 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
It's collected it's fair share of dust which I'm sure the same can be said about Bette Davis.
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Old 10-09-09, 09:18 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Well, I'm a couple of days late but I will add my resounding approval for this selection. I am a big Hammer film and this movie has many of their better traits. I thought they did a great job of making it look like the boy was responsible for the better part of the movie.
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Old 10-17-09, 02:47 AM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Watched this today and loved the typeface and music during the opening credits. I'm sure someone made the mistake of taking their kids to see this when it came out and felt very comfortable with the opening.

While watching I couldn't help thinking that Bette pictured Errol Flynn as Joey and Joan Crawford as Penelope. Looking at the color stills I wondered if they considered shooting it in color at some point.

What version has a commentary track? Mine is from the Centenary Celebration Collection and I can't find the commentary.

Last edited by SanityRemoved; 10-17-09 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Corrected identity of box set
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Old 10-17-09, 12:03 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by SanityRemoved View Post
Watched this today and loved the typeface and music during the opening credits. I'm sure someone made the mistake of taking their kids to see this when it came out and felt very comfortable with the opening.

While watching I couldn't help thinking that Bette pictured Errol Flynn as Joey and Joan Crawford as Penelope. Looking at the color stills I wondered if they considered shooting it in color at some point.

What version has a commentary track? Mine is from the century box set and I can't find the commentary.
Mine didn't have a commentary either. It doesn't seem like anybody has mentioned how funny this kid is throughout the film. My favorite line is when the Mother's older sister says she wished she could have kept the Nanny and the kid replies "You can have her!".
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Old 10-17-09, 01:00 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

^ That kid's lines were often quite funny. I was surprised at how often and how good the humor came at us. Just a great script, and delivery of it.
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Old 10-17-09, 01:31 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

In my house if I used those lines I wouldn't have had to wait for the Nanny to kill me.
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Old 10-17-09, 03:34 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by SanityRemoved View Post
In my house if I used those lines I wouldn't have had to wait for the Nanny to kill me.
Yes, but if you had just been released from a mental hospital for insane children they probably would have given you a little bit of leeway.
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Old 10-17-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by Chas Speed View Post
Yes, but if you had just been released from a mental hospital for insane children they probably would have given you a little bit of leeway.
What do you mean if? Check the username.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:51 AM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
What do you mean if? Check the username.
Good call Trevor.

Actually when I watched this I took into account that this was set in England and not America, and therefore afforded the dialogue from Joey to be a bit different. Joey's tact didn't help his case though, it took him long enough to convince the girl that something was amiss.
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Old 10-21-09, 04:38 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by SanityRemoved View Post
What version has a commentary track?
The R2 disc that's part of the Optimum box set. The little girl from The Innocents certainly turned out cute. There was definitely some weird sexual tension between her and the boy.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:21 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
The R2 disc that's part of the Optimum box set. The little girl from The Innocents certainly turned out cute. There was definitely some weird sexual tension between her and the boy.
I heard the R2 disc of "The Innocents" also has some 2nd audio. I'll have to look for the R2 "The Nanny". I had no idea it had more then the U.S. version.
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Old 10-22-09, 08:10 AM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I hate it when companies put out discs leaving out previously completed commentary tracks. I know it's probably never a space issue, so it's either a rights/cost issue or sheer laziness and contempt for consumers.

And how much do those things really cost, once they're done?
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Old 10-22-09, 01:43 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
The R2 disc that's part of the Optimum box set. The little girl from The Innocents certainly turned out cute. There was definitely some weird sexual tension between her and the boy.
Is the 2nd audio on the seperate R2 release or just the box set. I was looking at amazon.co.uk and the commentary is on the full frame disc. Right?
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Old 10-22-09, 04:44 PM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

Originally Posted by Chas Speed View Post
Is the 2nd audio on the seperate R2 release or just the box set.
It's on the box set disc, and I would assume the individual release would also include the commentary, but don't quote me on it.


I heard the R2 disc of "The Innocents" also has some 2nd audio.
That it does, among several other extras. The BFI disc blows the Fox out of the water - superior transfer, commentary track, a fantastic short film, a booklet, and handsome packaging. Check it out.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:41 AM
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Re: The Nanny reviews/discussion - 2009 DVDTalk Horror Challenge Day 6

I've owned this one for a while and finally watched it last night. It's an amazing film, thanks to no small part to Bette Davis. Davis could do more acting with her face and not saying a word than 90% of today's actresses can with an entire script devoted to them. She elevates what could have been a subpar B-movie into something special.

The moment where Nanny realizes how much damage she's caused is heartbreaking.

Nanny wasn't a bad person, just a broken woman who made bad choices and has to live with the fatal results of those choices. She neglected her own daughter to take of her employers and then Susy dies under her care. Nanny scarficed her own family and still she lost grip of her 'adopted' children. She couldn't handle the guilt and she just goes over the edge.

I love movies like these, where one bad choice can lead to a world of trouble for everyone involved. Movies like this and The Innocents do more to scare me than most slasher/gore flicks. It's all about the atmosphere surrounding the movie, that you can inflict more pain upon yourself than any psycho ever could. That's true terror.
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