Mary, a woman with good intentions, takes pity on Henry, an artist with no home. What begins as a simple offer to come inside from the cold for tea gradually turns into more. Before the unsuspecting woman knows it, Henry, his family, and his friends con their way into her home. Eventually, Mary creates a ruse to rid herself of the parasites, but they have a different plan.
This all starts with something really incongruous. Snowy scenes and a violin-led score that makes you think of some Capra-esque Christmas film about redemption and the sight of Basil Rathbone is a big thick coat! Something isn't right here! The eponymous lady - "Mrs. Herries" (Aline MacMahon) arrives at her home to encounter the homeless "Abbott" (Rathbone) doing some street art in the snow. She takes pity on this charming and unassuming gent, and asks him in for a cup of tea. Next thing we know, her cook has gone, her maid "Rose" (Nola Luxford) is threatening to leave and her house is now over-run by a rather menacing group of people who are content to live in her home and who clearly have far more nefarious intentions. They effectively imprison the woman and things look bleak. Only a glimmer of hope emerges in the form of her tenacious nephew "Peter" (Frank Albertson) who smells a rat. I don't suppose there is great deal of jeopardy here, but Rathbone is at his intimidating, most duplicitous, best and the supporting cast - especially Lily Malyon's "Mrs. Edwards" and Dudley Digges as her husband - work well to build up quite an effective sense of tension over the last hour or so of this drama. It is certainly not what I was expecting - or what the title suggests, and is certainly worth a watch.