The Nanny (1965 film)

The Nanny

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Seth Holt
Produced by Jimmy Sangster
Written by Jimmy Sangster
Starring Bette Davis
William Dix
Wendy Craig
Jill Bennett
Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
Cinematography Harry Waxman
Edited by Tom Simpson
Distributed by Warner-Pathé Distributors (UK)
20th Century Fox (USA)
Release dates
7 November 1965 (UK)
27 October 1965 (U.S.)
Running time
91 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $1,300,000 (estimated)
Box office $2 million (US/ Canada)[1]

The Nanny is a 1965 British suspense film directed by Seth Holt and starring Bette Davis, Wendy Craig and Jill Bennett. Davis appears as a supposedly devoted nanny caring for a ten-year-old boy recently discharged from a home for disturbed children. It is based on the novel of the same name by Evelyn Piper (a pseudonym for Merriam Modell), and the film was scored by Richard Rodney Bennett. The film was made by Hammer Film Productions at Elstree Studios.


Ten-year-old Joey Fane returns home from the special school he has attended since the death of his toddler sister. At home he creates a terrible fuss, moving from the bedroom Nanny has prepared for him to one with a strong lock and access to the fire escape, refusing to eat anything Nanny cooks and adamant that Nanny shall not come near him. He also accuses Nanny of trying to kill him.

Nanny runs the Fane household, but in practice infantilizes the women of the Fane family. Everyone assumes Joey is deeply disturbed and dangerous, but it emerges he is quite right to be afraid of Nanny.


Actor/Actress Role
Bette Davis Nanny
William Dix Joey Fane
Wendy Craig Virginia "Virgie" Fane
Jill Bennett Aunt Pen
James Villiers Bill Fane
Pamela Franklin Bobby Medman
Jack Watling Dr. Medman
Maurice Denham Dr. Beamaster
Alfred Burke Dr. Wills
Angharad Aubrey Susy Fane

Critical reception

The Nanny has been well received by critics. It currently holds a 91% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on eleven reviews.[2]

AllMovie called it "one of Hammer Films' better non-supernatural outings of the 1960s".[3]

The movie screening rights were sold to American television for nearly $400,000.[4]

See also


  1. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p230 Please note figures are rentals not total gross. See also "Top Grossers of 1965", Variety, 5 January 1966 p 36
  2. "The Nanny - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  3. Guarisco, Donald. "The Nanny (1965) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  4. Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography, McFarland, 1996 p.258

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