What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969) Poster

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8/10
''What a fraud you are!''
phillindholm30 August 2005
Not-so-grieving widow Claire Marrable is horrified to hear that her supposedly wealthy husband has apparently left her penniless. But, being a practical (and resourceful) type, she hits on a scheme to keep her in the comfort to which she wishes to become accustomed. Relocating to the Arizona desert, she hires elderly housekeepers with no known relatives (but tidy nest eggs) and sends them to their rewards a bit sooner than they planned. And their remains become mulch for the widow's growing garden as each is buried under a quickly flourishing sapling. This later entry in the "horror hag" sweepstakes features absolutely wonderful performances from Geraldine Page, who has a high old time as the haughty, demented and thoroughly relentless Mrs. Marrable, and Ruth Gordon, as Alice Dimmock, her new housekeeper, who isn't quite what she seems to be. On the sidelines are Rosemary Forsyth, herself a (young) widow with a nephew, Robert Fuller as Miss Gordon's nephew, and Joan Huntington as the scheming wife of Page's nephew. With a cast made up of widows and nephews, how scary can "Aunt Alice" be? Not very. But it's a delicious black comedy which allows Page and Gordon the opportunity to give the performances of their lives. There's also a neat cameo from Mildred Dunnock ("Death Of A Salesman") as the luckless servant who precedes Miss Gordon. One of the best "Grand Guignol" films ever made!
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10/10
For Geraldine Page Fans
Lechuguilla23 September 2004
Geraldine Page and a lively script lift this otherwise b-grade film to the status of cult classic. With her unique voice and mannered style of method acting, Page has never disappointed me in any of her many performances. And in this thriller, Theodore Apstein's clever screenplay gives the inimitable Page ample opportunity to portray a woman who, although inwardly venomous, amuses viewers in a stylized, aristocratic sort of way. In a major support role, feisty Ruth Gordon adds spunk. All of which adds up to 101 minutes of viewing fun, despite a grating, fingernails-on-the-blackboard music score, and dubious production values which, toward the film's end, have a black Lincoln turning yellow, then black, then yellow again, and back to black, in the span of 43 seconds. Charming.
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6/10
"How does your garden grow?" might have been a better title...
Doylenf2 October 2006
Lots of mordant humor and a clever plot twist at the end are sufficient reason for watching WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE?, but when a cast includes GERALDINE PAGE, RUTH GORDON and MILDRED DUNNOCK and promises to be a suspenseful film along the lines of BABY JANE and HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE, you owe it to yourself to watch it.

It works not so much because the story (an eerie one, to be sure) is so original, but because the cat-and-mouse aspect of the story which has Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon as adversaries in a household fraught with suspicion (of murder), is what hooks the most interest in this vastly entertaining little shocker.

However, it's a quiet one, building its suspense slowly as we come to realize just how manipulative and cunning Page's character is. She's a woman, believing her husband has left her penniless, who moves to Arizona where she will be near her nephew. But she's intent on hiring lonely housekeepers and murdering them to steal their savings. (Not unlike some real-life events depicted in a gruesome TV documentary recently). After disposing of her victims she buries them in her garden and plants another tree to mark the spot. It seems they flourish nicely, hence my suggestion above for a better title.

Gordon pretends to apply for a job after the last housekeeper has gone missing and is actually doing some detective work on her own. It's her scenes with Page that make the whole film so satisfying.

It's not a great horror film but it does have its moments, thanks mostly to GERALDINE PAGE who does a marvelous job at showing us all the tics and nuances of a very eccentric woman who means to get her way, no matter what she has to do. It's a ruthless, cunning role and Page makes the most of it.
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Marvelously enjoyable thriller
willowgreen23 February 2003
Although this movie looks a tad dated in certain respects - for instance a stupid subplot could have been eliminated and no one would have missed a thing - it works because of the brilliant playing of Ruth Gordon and - especially - Geraldine Page. I first watched this film at age the age nine when it was released theatrically: it was actually more enjoyable than the supposed "bigger" picture of the double feature! It is very obvious that Geraldine Page relished playing her role of Claire Marrable: she's totally awesome, so witchy and natural-like in her acting technique. Ms Marrable is a rather narcissistic woman who goes through an astonishing array of household help. Enter Ruth Gordon, a sly fox who comes to Marrable for a position in her lovely desert home. Once hired, the viewer is in for a tour-de-force game of cat-and-mouse. Played to the hilt, this little sleeper creeper is most enjoyable.
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10/10
Geraldine Page is the poster woman for psycho-biddies everywhere with her chilling performance in `Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?'
Queen Bea28 August 2000
What's a poor widow to do when her husband dies and leaves her penniless? Move to the Arizona desert, start a pine tree garden, and fertilize it with human mulch? Well.wouldn't you?? Geraldine Page has quite the green thumb as Mrs. Claire Marrable--the wicked widow with the pine tree fetish--in the chilling thriller "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?"

Grand dame Bette Davis once quipped: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy night!" Bette, you are so right! If you remember Geraldine Page as the sweet li'l ol' lady from `Trip to Bountiful'.FUGETABOWTIT! Page does a 180 as she transmogrifies from helpless Southern widow to cool, calculating murderess with money and murder on the brain--and a means to achieve both. Page hits the bulls-eye with each scene. All of her nervous ticks are appropriately timed. She is at her best when putting on airs and verbally sparring with unarmed opponents. What a stellar performance! Geraldine, girlfriend, you is flawless!!

Many deliciously diabolical scenes abound, like when pesky canine Chloe threatens to dig up the dirt on her murderous past-time, Page as Marrable barks back: "I have not taken loving and diligent care of my garden to have it wrecked by this vagrant bitch!" Page's character is equally disenchanted with her new next door neighbor, Ms. Vaughn, whom she refers to as "crabgrass, never really quelled, only cropping up secretly and victoriously in another spot". The only one Page can stomach is Ruth Gordon as the inquisitive Aunt Alice--an undercover housekeeper on a mission to get to the root (haha) of all evil and discover the whereabouts of a friend last seen in Page's employ. But when she's tardy serving up cocktails, an impatient Geraldine rips her a new one: `Punctuality is essential to a gracious way of life, which I do not intend to give up on account of you.' Ruth returns fire: `If you wanna live like some Dutchess of Maharati, you better learn how to behave like one!' Geraldine shakes furiously from head to toe after a fiesty Ruth flat-out inquires: "How MANY women have you killed?" Try to suppress a snicker as you watch a pint-sized Ruthie scamper away from Page, who smugly stalks her throughout her secluded desert home to the beat of bongos and a psychotic musical score. Page's wicked laughter is sprinkled spuriously throughout the film to the backdrop of swaying pine trees-how ingenious! Not even Bette Davis cackled with such nefarious mirth as Baby Jane Hudson!

Praise be the master of psycho-shrews on film, Robert Aldrich--who directed the cult smash "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"--for producing this special gem, and a hearty kudos to Lee Katzin for his superlative directing skills. This movie will make you bow down and pray to the Church of Geraldine Page. So what are you waiting for? Rent it tonight.and START PRAYING!!
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7/10
Creepy Woman
claudio_carvalho11 December 2017
After the death of her husband, the widow Clare Marrable (Geraldine Page) finds he has lost his fortune in bad investments and receives only a briefcase with a rusted dagger, a butterfly collection and a stamp collection. Completely broken, Clare moves to Tucson, Arizona where her unknown nephew George Lawson (Peter Brandon) gives an isolated house in the desert for her to live. Clare poses as if she has investments and kills her lonely housekeepers to steal their money. Then she buries their bodies in her garden and plants pine trees on their graves. After killing the housekeeper Miss Edna Tinsley (Mildred Dunnock), Clare receives the application of the mysterious Alice Dimmock (Ruth Gordon) that snoops around her house to investigate the disappearance of Tinsley helped by Mike Darrah (Robert Fuller). Meanwhile George leases an empty cottage in front of Clare's house to lodge his friend Harriet Vaughn (Rosemary Forsyth) and her ten year-old son. What will Clare do?

"What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?" is a suspenseful film with a creepy woman. The evil Clare Marrable is one of the scariest serial-killer in the cinema history and Geraldine Page has a top-notch performance, supported by a great cast composed by the veteran actresses Ruth Gordon and Mildred Dunnock. The ironic conclusion is perfect to the story. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Mansão dos Desaparecidos" ("The Mansion of the Missing Ones")
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If you love Geraldine page, you'll revel in this movie.
SAM-19713 May 1999
I don't really care what the credits say about who directed this movie. The director may have directed everyone else, but Geraldine Page directed herself in this fabulous, campy movie of desperation. Every single tick, nuance and mannerism which you have enjoyed watching Geraldine do is in this movie. I have never seen a movie before where the lead actress so blatantly chews up the scenery. She is absolutely magnificent in this thriller sleeper. Where else can you see an actor act against children and animals and STEAL the scene. No where except here. She has a scene in a shed with a dog and SHE comes out on top. I'm sure the dog resigned from acting after this movie; far too much competition. You have got to see this movie if you are a fan of Geraldine's. Her performance is the ONLY thing that makes this movie work and she's up against the timeless Ruth Gordon and a couple of other pretty good actors. Enjoy.
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7/10
Two Old Pros Hoist a Potboiler Several Notches
micklest4 April 2006
Really just another attempt to squeeze some juice out of the aging-diva-as-murderous-nut-job genre, this one gets quite a sizable lift from two memorable actresses. Ruth Gordon doing her patented, deceptively off-center, crazy-like-a-fox character, and making the most of it. She's delightful.

And the extraordinary Geraldine Page giving conviction and ultimately a scary poignancy to the role of the murderess. Her last scene could have been so easily overplayed by another actress, but she gives it an unsettling aura of truth. Page never had quite the film career one would have hoped for, but here she gives you a taste of what she was capable of, for those who never got to see one of her legendary stage performances.

Worth a look for those interested in the genre and in the two star performances. Gordon had won her Oscar for "Rosemary's Baby" the year before, and Page would ultimately win one for "The Trip to Bountiful."
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Creepy....
Teenie23 August 2000
Geraldine Page gives a stellar performance as a whacked-out nutzo who delights in making compost out of her housekeepers and then stealing their money. Alas, along comes Ruth Gordon (at her snoopiest, sneakiest best) to investigate her friend's death, and then the gray hair flies. The scene in which these two senior citizens duke it out makes you see that adrenaline still pumps after age 60 (see Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck in the climax of "The Boys from Brazil" if you don't believe me). Ruth Gordon's character reminds me of a sweet yet feisty grandma who wouldn't hesitate to deck you with a right hook if her words didn't get to you. I actually wanted to jump in there and help her kick butt since I liked her character so much. If you like the kind of film that startles you to attention, check this one out. It's very much worth a look.
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7/10
A Memorable Performance by Geraldine Page
aimless-4626 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a fun little black comedy from television director Lee Katzin. Playing off the title of "Whatver Happened to Baby Jane", it is not ruined by its television look and feel because of a particularly memorable performance by Geraldine Page.

Page plays an older women who has essentially been driven mad with rage after her husband dies and leaves her only his debts and .the contents of his briefcase. She moves to the desert and lives very comfortably by dispatching a series of live-in housekeepers who have turned over their life savings to her. Katzin tells the story mostly from the POV of Page's character so that after a while the audience is actually identifying with her.

Ruth Gordon is essentially wasted in a very straight role. Rosemary Forsyth and Robert Fuller make an appealing couple but are very minor to story.

Page is absolutely brilliant and plays the ironic twist at the end of the film beautifully (recently reprised in "The Upside of Anger"). At the same time that she is found out, she finds out that her husband actually made a provision for her to live comfortably after his death. She plays this final scene in such a way that we understand that discovering he actually loved her is far more important to her than getting away with murder.
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10/10
Whispering Pines in the Desert
BaronBl00d14 June 2001
Claire Marrable has just lost her husband, her fortune, and her rich and refined way of life. What is a spoiled, wealthy, egotistical woman to do? Why pack up and move to Arizona to be near your nephew, and begin killing housekeepers/live-in companions for their life savings of course. Aunt Claire seemingly has a green thumb as she transplants her housekeepers to the ground and plants a pine tree over them. As we see in the first part of the film, there are at least three pine trees before we see the first woman bashed in the head with a rock and then planted. We then see another housekeeper, Edna Tinsley, killed in similar fashion with a shovel. Now, five pine trees in the desert. Enter Mrs. Dimmock, a woman in disguise as a housekeeper out to find out what happened to her long-time friend Edna. This cat and mouse relationship between Claire and Mrs. Dimmock serves as the basis of the film. This film was produced by Robert Aldrich, who was responsible for bringing us films like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Hush..Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Aldrich made films that had older female protagonists popular in the sixties by giving these starring roles to ladies that were a bit aged and considered passe. Geraldine Page stars in this film as Aunt Claire, and if you had any doubts about her talent as an actress prior to seeing this film, no doubts should have remained afterward. Page is simply stunning. She has an aura and charm about her. She has a wonderfully sadistic and maniacal laugh. She has an ability to take dialogue which would not work for any one else and make it sound meaningful. Her portrayal of this wicked, cruel, greedy woman is one of the best I have seen for roles of this ilk. Aiding Ms. Page is Ruth Gordon. Ms. Gordon gives a very good performance as Mrs. Dimmock out to find the truth no matter what the cost might be. Gordon and Page act and interact very well together, and it is their relationship which really makes this film work. The rest of the cast is okay and the direction is okay, but everything is brought up a notch by the two outstanding performances of these two incredible actresses. After seeing this film twice in two days, I am still stunned at the magnificent performance given by Geraldine Page. WOW!
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5/10
What Ever Happened to Pacing and Suspense?
brefane20 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Despite an interesting premise and some enjoyable black comedy, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? is a tepid thriller that holds the attention thanks to Page and Gordon whose cat-and-mouse game could be memorable were it not for slack pacing, uninspired writing and a weak, poorly staged finale involving warm milk, a sculpture, and a wheelchair that is more laughable than scary. The supporting cast made up of vaguely familiar faces is flat, and they serve no purpose other than to provide tired exposition. At an hour and 41 minutes the material feels stretched-out and the production values of the film, largely confined to one setting, give it a made-for-TV feel. Page's hammy performance is fun and a rather restrained Gordon is immensely likable. Still, the film disappoints. Not as memorable as Baby Jane, but less tedious than Die! Die! My Darling!
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10/10
'Help Wanted: Live-in Housekeeper, Very Short-Term'
riverheadestelle17 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This might have been an ad that Mrs. Marrable ran in the local papers. But prospective applicants would have been better off applying for work as stable hands! This was an independent film. Although it wasn't one of ABC's television movies, it quickly became a favorite on the the 'Movie of the Week' line-up because of its suspense factor. It still creeps me out to this day. Nobody can play disturbed female characters like Geraldine Page! She even starred in an episode of Rod Serling's 'Night Gallery'.

The irony of the film is her finding out that she didn't have to go through all that trouble to keep living comfortably. Turns out that her late husband's stamp collection - that she used to bribe the next door neighbor's son - was a lot more valuable than she thought. I absolutely loved this movie!
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8/10
"You've had such rotten luck with your housekeepers Aunt Claire."
bensonmum27 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Claire Marrable (Geraldine Page) is shocked to learn that her late husband has left her with nothing but debts. How is she to live in the style she's grown accustomed? To solve her problem, she comes up with a fiendish plot. What if she were to hire a servant/companion with a small life savings, dupe her out of the money, and then kill her? Well, that's exactly what Claire does. She disposes of the bodies under pine trees growing in her garden. All is going well for Claire until Alice Dimmock (Ruth Gordon) shows up at her door looking for a job. Claire doesn't realize it but the nosey Alice is no ordinary employee. Can Alice discover Claire's secret before another pine tree is planted?

What a wonderful movie! In short, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? is a deliciously twisted tale of greed and murder filled with plenty of suspense, real atmosphere, rock solid acting, witty writing, and some of the darkest humor put on film. It's a real winner from start to finish. And while I'm sure I could go on and on praising the film, it's the acting that sets it apart from similar movies. To call Geraldine Page's performance brilliant would be a gross understatement. The gleeful menace in her voice and on her face as she goes about psychologically torturing (and killing) those see sees as beneath her is amazing to watch. And if her presence wasn't enough, along comes Ruth Gordon. She's feisty, fun, and every bit the equal of Page in her role as the titular Aunt Alice. Watching these two spar when all the film's secrets have been revealed is one of those moments I won't soon forget. These are the screen moments that keep me searching out new movies.

Nobody asked, but if I had to come up with one flaw, I suppose it would be the supporting cast. None of the other actors does anything to stand out. But how could they? Compared with Page and Gordon . . . well, there's really no comparison.

Finally, from the outside some 40 years after the movie was made, I'd bet the actors had a blast making What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? I can just imagine Page and Gordon having a good long laugh after shooting some of their scenes together. Then again, maybe it's just me. All I know is that I had a great time watching them work together. An 8/10 seems about right to me.
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Great fun
Boyo-211 November 1999
This movie was a blast. Geraldine Page is appropriately over the top in this thriller. Ruth Gordon doesn't get to let loose as much as I would have liked, but they do have a showdown which is a joy to behold. The movie would have you believe housekeepers make terrific fertilizer for pine trees, in the Arizona desert, no less! I loved every minute of it.
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Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice REALLY is more terrifying than what happened to Baby Jane!
chadledwards7 October 2001
The original ads for this movie read, "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? was more terrifying than what happened to Baby Jane", and to my way of thinking, they weren't far off. The brilliant Geraldine Page heads the cast of this ultra-stylish shocker as Mrs. Marrable, a not-so grieving widow whose husband left her only a stamp album. Unable(and unwilling) to cope with poverty, Mrs. Marrable solves the problem of living up to her station by inviting a succession of women into her home to work as housekeepers, and later murders them for their private incomes. Mrs. Marrable's plan works quite well until she makes the mistake of eliminating Miss Tinsley(Mildred Dunnock) whose suspicious friend, Mrs. Dimmock(the delightful Ruth Gordon), promptly arrives at the Marrable residence to apply for a position as the next housekeeper and potential victim. It's a spine-tingling tale of suspense with some dark humor and unforgettable performances by Page and Gordon. Highly recommended!
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7/10
Method Melodramatics
char treuse17 May 2006
The Grand Guignol/Grande Dame sub-genre of suspense in its decadent phase (though that might sound redundant). Lacking the cinematic iconography of waning Hollywood movie queens like Joan Crawford or Bette Davis, Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon (and Mildred Dunnock, in a featured part) compensate for it with Method histrionics -- and a thrilling confrontation scene to boot -- rising above the stale directing and prosaic mise-en-scenes. Indeed, Page's manic looniness largely carries the contrived but entertaining script (based on "The Forbidden Garden" by Ursula Curtiss), nicely matched by the perpetually plucky Gordon, both wearing bad fright wigs. A respectable entry in the pantheon of menopausal malevolence and, certainly, the type of film they don't make any more. The movie pretty much just runs out of steam, however, unfortunately lacking a satisfactory end, its hair-raising climax coming too early. Gerald Fried's score is expressive and stirring, and certainly a plus.
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5/10
Battle of the Old Ladies!
TonyDood24 June 2005
I was really crazy about this film when I was a kid, and it would show up on t.v. late at night sometimes, I still don't know why. I even sought out the book by Ursula Curtiss that it's based on. For some reason a movie about a hateful old woman who badgers and then kills her housekeepers, takes all their money and buries them in the backyard, and laughs about it, really spoke to me as a kid.

I saw this again recently and was reminded that overall it is, basically, a low-budget 70's t.v. movie. It's slow and sometimes tedious. There's no gore or swearing and the action is minimal. It's depressing and even kind of sad, and the Arizona location shots, while beautiful, leave you feeling dry and dusty inside. The acting is acceptable enough, the subplots are peculiar (what's up with the one lady with all the make-up wanting to start dramas everywhere?), the whole logic behind the plot is debatable, could this have "really happened?" But there are really only two reasons to keep returning to this movie: Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon! Geraldine as "Claire Marrable" is beyond over the top as a woman who has lost everything she held dear (her money, basically) and devises a grisly way to continue living "the good life." It's a tricky situation for a movie--Claire is the one we're going to follow through the whole movie, yet she's a thoroughly despicable character, at least on paper. And yet, the way Ms. Page plays her, there's a hint of vulnerability underneath the captivating madness, and her bullying ways. This is a woman who never had anything to begin with, and so she has nothing to lose by being evil, cruel and even homicidal. It's hard not to feel for her when she's being read her husband's will or in the final scenes, where she still refuses to give in. On the other hand, if you have a somewhat black heart, it's hard not to appreciate the obvious joy that "Claire" feels every time she succeeds in committing another murder. Who hasn't occasionally wanted to "silence" an annoying neighborhood animal? Claire is a living ego, selfish, childish, irrational and pitiless, and she's the film's "hero." It's dark territory to explore and this movie dives right in without timidity.

Then there's Ruth Gordon as "Alice Dimmock," the only one who could possibly be a foil to Claire. Ruth is...well, just Ruth! If you've seen her in any of her other films you know what to expect--a feisty, dominant little old lady who doesn't take crap from anyone. She's always fun, of course, and she has some great moments here. It's unfortunate that her role is so brief and never takes off, but the few moments when Ruth gets to be "Ruth," are amazing and satisfying.

Overall, this is a dark, nasty little movie very typical of a lot of late 60's/early 70's films--cynical, morally ambiguous, ugly to look at and think about and without an easy conclusion of affairs. Not something to race out and see but a decent ride to go on if you happen to be in a dark and quiet mood, and have the time for a movie about old ladies fighting each other...
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4/10
It has no idea what tone to aim for, and the brackish color gives it a cheap feel...
moonspinner5519 March 2006
Housekeepers turn up missing after going to work for financially-strapped Arizona widow Geraldine Page; Ruth Gordon, a companion to one of the missing ladies, applies for the position in order to do some snooping. Pairing permanently-loony Page with feisty Gordon might've resulted in a darkly comic masterpiece of suspense--but "Alice" isn't it. Without giving too much away, I can only say that Gordon is given the shaft in such a way that I think the screenwriter was as crazy as Page. The film sets up a decent premise, but the tone seems off from the start: is this supposed to be a no-holds-barred thriller or is meant to be a little campy? I just found it ugly, and the desert locales aren't well captured (maybe it was the dingy color?). Page isn't really in character here (not that there's much of one), she's just relying on shtick. As for Gordon, she comes on loaded for bear, but the filmmakers have no idea what to do with her and the viewer's expectations are dashed. Any hopes of screen fireworks from these dueling divas fizzles out due to the crude, basic writing. It's a star-pairing which proves to be a wasted affair. ** from ****
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2/10
Not a big fan
ormich17 December 2018
The movie is not smart enough to be a captivating crime story, it's not well paced enough to be an exciting thriller, it isn't edgy enough to be a shocking horror movie (not even for its time, considering Arsenic and Old Lace came out 25 years ahead of it), it isn't campy enough to be a cult diamond and it's too dim to be comic relief.

Both leading ladies turn in good performances and the script has some scattered moments of spark, but it's ultimately weighed down by the flat supporting characters, the tepid love affair that was awkwardly pasted on and, finally, the lack of a satisfactory resolution or a proper climax. The movie's biggest downfall, however, is the heart of it ; the actual plot, the series of events that lead to the outcome. A lot if is juvenile and illogical, making it hard to take the movie anywhere near as seriously as it seems to take itself. Some striking visuals could have made up for these shortcomings, to an extent, but the movie doesn't deliver in that department either. Everything from the set and the wardrobe to the lighting was rather poor and that especially shines through in moments where the tone is supposed to be haunting and foreboding.
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6/10
A neat story but way too many plot holes to be taken very seriously,
MartinHafer15 September 2013
"What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?" is certainly a guilty pleasure in the tradition of such films as "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?", "Who Slew Auntie Roo?" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte". All three were old lady thrillers--an odd genre in the 1960s and early 70s that featured old women doing VERY bad things. And, as I said, they are all guilty pleasures--films that were never meant to be deep and intellectual--just kitschy entertainment.

The film begins with Clare Marrable (Geraldine Page) bashing her servant over the head and burying her in her yard. Considering she lives in the middle of the Arizona desert, it's not surprising she's not been caught. You soon learn that nasty Clare has made a habit of this sort of thing--she kills off her servants and steals their savings. While you cannot get rich that way, Clare deals in volume--and obviously she is out to add to her growing collection of bodies in the yard. The next one, it seems, is Mrs. Dimmock (Ruth Gordon)--though you aren't terribly sure who is actually hunting who.

The film has quite a bit going for it. Geraldine Page's performance is ridiculously florid and over-the-top---and her scene stealing actually adds to the fun. The plot is also really cool. However, the film also has TONS of plot holes--tons. They are especially apparent during the huge (and very violent) confrontation scene between Page and Gordon---and the scene was VERY awkward and ridiculous. Overall, while certainly not a great film, it is VERY entertaining...in a low-brow sort of way.
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8/10
Watch Out for Miss Geraldine Page!
JLRMovieReviews12 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Geraldine Page is left nothing of value by the passing of her husband and she has to fend for herself. Fast forward, she goes to live near her only blood kin, a nephew in Arizona. We see her at night in her garden digging a hole with her new companion/nursemaid. She is planting a new pine tree and then all of a sudden she hits her friend over the head. In the morning, there is a new pine tree planted firmly in the ground, in line with the others. Enter Mildred Dunnock, her new companion. There seems to be a pattern here.

I, and other Geraldine Page fans, have already died and gone to heaven, as we are shown Miss Page's dark side and another tour-de-force performance. If all you know of Miss Page is "The Trip to Bountiful," "Sweet Bird of Youth," and "Summer and Smoke," then you're in for a treat. There's even a twist in the ending that keen observers will know is coming, even from the beginning. (By the way, if you didn't know, she would provide the voice of Madame Medusa in Disney's "The Rescuers.")

Ruth Gordon shows up applying for the position and gives Miss Page a run for her money, who is also a joy to watch. Also starring Rosemary Forsyth, this is one offbeat tale that shouldn't be missed. If you're a fan of "Baby Jane" and "Sweet Charlotte," then move over for Geraldine Page. Better yet, stay out of her way!
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A deranged widow maintains her lavish lifestyle by murdering her housekeepers, then appropriating their savings.
verna5519 September 2000
Warning: Spoilers
This is a good, fun follow-up/spin-off of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, produced by that classic film's director, Robert Aldrich. This film doesn't get quite as much mention as that one, but thanks to the flawless performances by veteran leading ladies Page and Gordon, it certainly should. Page(Oscar winner for the 1985 film TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL) should have won an Oscar for this film as well. These BABY JANE/HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE films are intended to be darkly comical horror flicks, but it's hard to laugh at a great actress like Geraldine Page, especially when she's so thoroughly into the role that she almost becomes the character she's playing, in this case a cunning, cold-blooded murderess. Co-star Ruth Gordon(of HAROLD AND MAUDE fame) is also good as the amateur sleuth who uncovers her employer's dastardly deeds, but the film is dominated by Page's fearless, all-out performance that could very well be her best. If you liked BABY JANE, then AUNT ALICE is a must-see! The movie, long out-of-print, has finally been rereleased to video and DVD by the great cult/horror label Anchor Bay in a beautiful, absolutely flawless collector's edition at a frighteningly affordable price. There's just no reason to miss this fantastic flick. Those who have seen the film on commercial TV should note that most television prints have cut 5-10 minutes of footage so the film can run in a two hour time slot. So, what are we waiting for? Get the original video or DVD today!
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Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?
Smalling-226 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
A genteel and curiously bitchy widow kills her housekeepers one after another for their savings, until one of them tends to reveal her secret.

Diverting little shocker, generally thrilling with occasional patches of mordant humour, both perfectly sustained and balanced by slick direction and leading performances to match.
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6/10
A slightly lesser follow-up
Leofwine_draca1 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE? is the unofficial follow-up to the Robert Aldrich two-fer WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and HUSH, HUSH...SWEET CHARLOTTE. Oddly, it feels a bit more dated than either of those films, probably because it's in colour rather than classy black and white. The quality of the script isn't quite up there either; this is predictable and a little drawn out, although the premise is still irresistable. Geraldine Page makes for a thoroughly despicable villainess from the outset, while Ruth Gordon is unusually cast as the heroine of the hour and excels in the role. The film is a slow burner that builds to an expected but satisfying twist climax; overall, it reminded me of an extended COLUMBO episode.
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