What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?

A horrific tale...with grave consequences!

Crime Drama Horror
101 min     6.3     1969     USA


An aging widow hides a deadly secret which she will do anything to keep buried.


CinemaSerf wrote:
When the unseen "Mr. Marrable" dies, his widow (Geraldine Page) finds that her husband's death has left her broke so she must find means to continue to thrive. To that end, she invites a succession of older ladies, widows and spinsters mainly, to come and be her companion at her desert home. Over time, each one disappears just as a nice new conifer appears in her garden. Ruth Gordon ("Mrs. Dimmock") - the eponymous aunt - is the latest to arrive, along with her reported $46,000 which tantalises our rather mercenary hostess and we expect the usual course of action to repeat itself once again. Well it turns out that "Dimmock" isn't so naive as her predecessors and was, indeed, a friend of one of them - and so she is suspicious... Will she go the way of the others? Page is quite good as the maniacal "Marrable" at the start of the film, but as it progresses the sense of menace becomes more one of comedy - she overplays the part with an almost theatrical hamminess and what plausibility there was in the plot gradually ebbs into silliness. There are too many close ups - especially of Gordon - trying to create a sense of suspense and fear, but they really only serve to slow what pace this has to almost walking speed before an ending that I felt pretty obvious. Essentially just a two hander, it passes the time well enough - but it is lacking in subtlety and wears thin quite quickly.