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Directed by Lee H. Katzin, Bernard Girard 
USA 1969

 

Oscar winners Geraldine Page (The Trip to Bountiful, Sweet Bird of Youth) and Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude, Rosemary’s Baby) sharpen their claws on each other in this chilling thriller about a lost fortune, a mad heiress and a housekeeper hell-bent on digging up the truth. Mrs. Marrable (Page) is a society matron who's had some shocking news: her late husband left her only a stamp collection. Determined to maintain her extravagant lifestyle, she takes advantage of an unlikely new source of income—her housekeepers, by robbing them not only of their life savings, but also their lives. The turnover rate for help speeds faster than a revolving door... until Mrs. Marrable's latest hire, Mrs. Dimmock (Gordon), develops a drive to unearth the terrible secret buried in the front yard. Directed Lee H. Katzin (Le Mans) and co-starring Rosemary Forsyth (How Do I Love Thee?). Produced by Robert Aldrich (The Grissom Gang).

***

Mrs. Marrable (Geraldine Page) is a bereaved widow who takes to hiring housekeepers then kills them for their money in this shadowy macabre drama. When Miss Tinsley (Mildred Dunnick) disappears, her former employer Alice (Ruth Gordon) investigates. Posing as a maid, she gains employment with the murderous Mrs. Marrable. Her nephew Mike (Robert Fuller) helps Alice and manages to fall in love with the girl next door (Rosemary Forsythe). When Alice exposes the murderess, she risks her life, and her disappearance leads to the title of the film. Look for Second City alumnus Peter Bonerz in a minor role.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 23rd, 1969  (New York City, New York)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:09.396        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,580,438,465 bytes

Feature: 20,758,984,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.05 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,580,438,465 bytes

Feature: 20,758,984,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.05 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
Trailer (2:01)


Blu-ray Release Date:
January 8th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Kino Lorber present the the 'Grande Dame Guignol' effort What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? to a new Blu-ray edition described as a "Brand New HD Master from a 4K Scan of the Original Camera Negative". It's on a single-layered Blu-ray in 1080P with a supportive bitrate. It looks fabulous with impressively rich colors, grain and only a one notable instance of damage (see last capture.) It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and appears very film-like. I was surprised at the high quality of the image with Geraldine Page's outfits looking luminous as are Rosemary Forsyth's piercing eyes. High marks for the HD presentation visuals. 

The film is presented in a 2.0 channel mono 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio track in the original English. There are a few gruesome effects as well as a geriatric catfight but nothing the transfer can't handle with ease. The film features another
awkwardly bold score by Gerald Fried (The Vampire, A Killer in the Family, The Baby, and Kubrick's films Fear and Desire, Killer's Kiss, The Killing and Paths of Glory as well as venturing later into work in TV - Star Trek - and also the notable Joseph H. Lewis' western Terror in a Texas Town.). The audio quality is decent and dialogue is clear and audible. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Kino add a new audio commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith and he's in great form filling the film with plenty of details on Robert Aldrich (the only film he produced and did not also direct) plus deep minutia on critical reaction, Edgar Allan Poe, the performers, their personal lives, crew like DoP Joseph F. Biroc as well as his personal indifference to the Dracula-esque Gerald Fried score. It has great value - almost as much as the film. There is also a trailer for What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and a few other films.

What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? is prime Hagsploitation  or 'Psycho-biddy' fodder. The ladies are all effective - Geraldine Page, Ruth Gordon (we never got enough of her on film), Rosemary Forsyth and Mildred Dunnock.  The 4K-restored
Blu-ray transfer is hugely appealing plus the Harland Smith commentary further enhances value. This is a function al and potent horror. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Damage

 

 


  

 

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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