X. Meanwhile, Helen sinks deeper into her paranoia and turns to a radio sermon given by revivalist Sister Alma for solace. The full onscreen copyright statement listing the film's claimants reads; Filmways, Inc., Raymax Productions, Inc., Raven Productions, Inc. & Virgo International Pictures, Inc. Before the opening credits roll, a series of Hearst Metrotone Newsreels depicting Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the fictional Hill-Bruckner trial are shown. is cast as "The Gigolo." It seemed a perfect match, as Reynolds seemed perfect as an Iowa farmwoman fleeing a notorious crime to open a school for Shirley Temple wannabes in Hollywood. Debbie Van Den Houten's real age is N/A. Soon after, Det. Adelle is looking for a good life and when one of the parents of her students who is wealthy takes a liking to her she thinks she's got it made. Pamelyn Ferdin's real age is 61. Soon after, the haircut, overly histrionic actor Hamilton Starr comes to the academy to offer his services as an elocution teacher for Adelle's little charges. After Adelle leaves with Linc the following evening, Helen is packing her suitcase when a man enters the house and ascends the stairs, asking if she got his letter. A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist. By Richard Winters My Rating: 6 out of 10 4-Word Review: Religious lady goes crazy. The Legend of Lylah Clare. The working titles of the film were The Box Step and The Best of Friends. Adelle arrives home to find the walls splattered with blood and discovers that Helen has slaughtered the pet rabbits she had lovingly raised. At Adelle's Academy of Dance, Helen accompanies the little dancers on the piano while their stage mothers eagerly await the appearance of talent scouts. Once the two men are convicted the women decide to move across the country, change their names and open up a dance studio. She was even open to tackling her first horror film. Filmways, Inc.; Raven Productions, Inc.; Raymax Productions, Inc.; Virgo International Pictures, Inc. Palos Verdes, California, USA; Palos Verdes, California, United States, Music numbers staged and choreographed by, Shelley Winters may have gotten to go mad in this late entry in the Grand Dame Horror genre, but it's Debbie Reynolds who walks away with all the honors. Movies.com, the ultimate source for everything movies, is your destination for new movie trailers, reviews, photos, times, tickets + more!Stay in the know with the latest movie news and cast interviews at Movies.com. To get away from the bad publicity and anonymous, threatening phone calls they move to California and open a dance school for children. The layers of pastiche that fuel What's the Matter with Helen? Add the first question. Helen's mental condition worsens when she goes into the cellar and finds that the cardboard cutout of Adelle used to advertise the studio has been mutilated. Moreso than Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Helen feels like a proto-drag movie. Or how about the poem she recites that goes something like, "Give it up for to God. He seeks revenge on his lawyer and the girl who framed him. The film should have been a big hit, but the production company, Filmways, cut some of Harrington's most distinctive directorial touches and created an advertising campaign that gave away the ending. According to Filmfacts, Reynolds invested $800,000 in the production. is one fabulously weird set piece after another. is a 1971 American horror-thriller film directed by Curtis Harrington and starring Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters. Sign Up now to stay up to date with all of the latest news from TCM. Farrell was at the time working on a story called "The Box Step," a contemporary story about two ladies who ran a dance school, but it had already been optioned by Farrell's agent. In the pouring rain, the women lug the body to a construction site across the street and dump it into an open trench. You should make Jesus your main attraction! - (Original Trailer), Jun What's the Matter with Helen? Starring Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver, Micheál MacLiammóir Set in the 30s, Helen and Adelle are two women whose sons commit a gruesome murder. When Adelle invites the frumpy Helen to join her, the women decide to start new lives in Hollywood. Later, when Linc comes to pick up Adelle, he finds Helen pounding out a song on the piano and Adelle's corpse, dressed in her dancing costume, propped up on the stage by a ladder. Actor Swen Swenson from What's the Matter with Helen? By the 1970s, the actress had left her "girl next door" days behind and was looking for a strong dramatic role. Teresa De Rose's real age is N/A. Sgt. When you buy 3 specially marked General Mills items at Target between 8/29-10/3. This move has an understated black comic humor running through it that is simply delirious fun! Directed by Curtis Harrington. "What's The Matter With Helen?" And if that doesn't, then Agnes Morehead's milking her flock for donations in support of her CHURCH OF THE OPEN HAND should do it. on Amazon.com, Title: Every single performance is calculatedly over-the-top as if the movie is a satire rather than a thriller. Adelle resents Helen's growing possessiveness. Joan Crawford's favorite!See this movie. X. Official theatrical movie poster for What's the Matter with Helen? That's one of the sadistic pleasures to be had from movies like this, I guess. "What's The Matter With Helen?" Helen thinks that someone who blames them for what their sons did is stalking them. Written by Many reviews commented on the similarity between What's the Matter with Helen? and is part of a sub-genre called "The Ladies of the Grand Guignol" where older women of the golden age of Hollywood appeared in Horror films. Observations like the one quoted in the title to this post will surely make you wet your pants. By Frank Miller. Unabashed comedian Lynne Koplitz offers a woman's take on being crazy, the benefits of childlessness and the three things all men really want. A young couple who are into kinky "mind games" get more than they bargained for when a mysterious woman comes into their lives. And these kids are but the sad tools of monstrous parents, forcing them to play bad imitations of Shirley Temple, or worse, trashy child vamps! But. ... See full summary ». is cast as "Sue Anne." The body is found by the police the next day, and while Adelle sleeps that night, Helen listens to Sister Alma on the radio, who exhorts all sinners to confess their mistakes to God. Helen thinks that someone who blames them for what their sons did is stalking them. Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and Helen (Shelley Winters) are two mothers whose sons commit a gruesome murder. In addition to some strong dramatic scenes, Reynolds got the chance to sing and dance in the role, sharing a memorable tango with Broadway veteran Swen Swenson. Back in America, Harrington splits his attention between the psycho- drama and fairly accurate recreations of 1930s Hollywood kitch. - Moppets With Ambitious Mothers, What's The Matter With Helen? Young Terry Lambert returns home from serving a prison term for a gang-rape he was forced to participate in. After their sons are convicted of murder, Helen Hill and Adele Bruckner change their names after receiving anonymous threats. When she accepts, he suggests they immediately drive to Arizona to be married and takes her home to pack some clothes. After their sons are convicted of homicide in a highly publicized trial, Midwesterners Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and Helen (Shelley Winters) begin receiving threatening phone calls and decide to begin their lives anew in Hollywood, Calif. What's the Matter with Helen. (1971). In the small town of Braddock, Iowa, in the 1930s, Adelle Bruckner and Helen Hill become pariahs when their sons are sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of Ellie Banner. Set in the 30s, Helen and Adelle are two women whose sons commit a gruesome murder. multiply like Shelly Winters’s titular character’s fat white rabbits. Months later, after leaving Universal, Harrington and Edwards took the project to Edward S. Feldman at Filmways, who was looking for a script for Debbie Reynolds. See individual titles for more detailed synopsis. (1971) - YouTube is cast as "Donna." The next day, as Helen begins to decorate the dance studio for an upcoming recital, Adelle informs her that Linc has rented a real theater for the event. Feeling rejected, Helen asks if Adelle told Linc about her son, making Adelle angry because she fears that Linc would not be interested in her if he knew the truth. This FAQ is empty. is a movie directed by Curtis Harrington in 1971. "What's The Matter with Helen? Not interested in Helen's confession, Sister Alma dismisses her, causing Helen to become hysterical. What's the Matter With Helen? Her raucous, raunchy and hilarious show is as ... See full summary ». Panicked, Helen pushes the man down the stairs to his death. Actor Debbie Van Den Houten from What's the Matter with Helen? Also starring Shelly Winters (as Helen Hill), and co-starring the illustrious Debbie Reynolds (Adele Brackner), this film follows the lives of two mothers trying to escape from the publicity of a shameful truth. Read the full synopsis of What's the Matter with Helen?, 1971, directed by Curtis Harrington, with Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver, at Turner Classic Movies Adelle arrives as Helen approaches Sister Alma and begs to confess. West from Braddock arrives and shows her a photo of the man they found in the trench. A renowned actress who died years earlier, Lylah Clare (Kim Novak) is the subject of a film masterminded by movie producer Barney Sheean (Ernest Borgnine). movies.But they look plenty bad enough. According to a January 1971 article in Los Angeles Times and a December 1970 Variety news item, director Curtis Harrington and producer George Edwards, who at the time were working for Universal Pictures, were so impressed by What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Universal eventually decided to abandon the property and asked Harrington and Edwards if they still wanted it. And that "borders on a bad musical" that another commentator mentions? Adelle tries to humor Helen, but when she mentions that she and Linc are getting married, Helen stabs her to death. Adelle… It's time you took action. One of the major points of the film is how we live our dreadful lives in sad imitation of equally dreadful Hollywood stars. But Adelle thinks it's all in her mind. Linc invites Adelle to dinner, and when he asks her if she has ever been married, she lies that she has never met "the right man." And the worst of them all is Debbie Reynolds, who - when given a bouquet of gardenias - can only remark, "Oh! The pair leave Iowa for Hollywood to start a new life in this horror crime thriller. That night, when Linc brings the tipsy Adelle home and kisses her, the prudish Helen looks on disapprovingly. In fact, frightening so. The story opens during the advent of talking pictures, where a school for would-be child stars is opened by voice coach Helen Hill (Shelley Winters) and dance instructor Adelle Bruckner (Debbie Reynolds). Get a Retro Movie. multiply like Shelly Winters's titular character's fat white rabbits. By using this site, you agree to our updated, Moved from Iowa, partners and mothers of convicted murderers, now in Hollywood making a go of their new talent school, nervous Helen (Shelley Winters) revealing some history to Adelle (Debbie Reynolds), when a new character (Michael MacLiammoir) appears, in, Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and Helen (Shelly Winters) run a dance studio in the Thirties. When she finds a letter he was carrying, notifying Helen that she has inherited money from a relative, Adelle, fearful of Linc finding out, insists on immediately disposing of the body without notifying the police. was based. What's The Matter With Helen? When Helen denies knowing the man, West tells her that he was Ellie Banner's lover and was seeking revenge on the mothers of her killers. Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 To view this content, please use one of the following compatible browsers: After their sons are convicted of murder, two women relocate to Hollywood to start a talent school. was born out the success of "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?" But Adelle thinks it's all in her mind. The next day, Texan Lincoln Palmer, the divorced, wealthy father of Adelle's student Winona, comes to watch his daughter rehearse and is smitten by Adelle. A documentary that compiles interviews of the most credible UFO witnesses around the world, and further details investigations conducted by analysts and government officials into UFO sightings. Two middle-aged women move to Hollywood, California after their sons are convicted of a notorious murder and open a dance school for children eager to tap their way to stardom. At that time, Harrington and Edwards changed the period to the 1930s and offered the lead to Joanne Woodward, who turned it down. That night, after Linc takes Adelle out, he proposes to her. One day, Adelle decides to glamorize Helen, and as she cuts her hair, Helen winces at the sight of the scissors, then recalls the death of her husband Matt: While plowing the fields of their farm, Matt loses control of the horses and is mangled by the plow blades. In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and ... See full summary ». Summary: In What's the matter with Helen?, two middle-aged women head West after their sons are convicted of a notorious murder, but heir idyllic new life begins to crack. stars Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters, neither of whom look as bad as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc., did in the stills from the earlier Whatever? 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