6.4/10
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38 user 42 critic

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

Two middle-aged women move to Hollywood, California after their sons are convicted of a notorious murder and open a dance school for children eager to tap their way to stardom.

Director:

Curtis Harrington

Writer:

Henry Farrell
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Debbie Reynolds ... Adelle Bruckner aka Adelle Stuart
Shelley Winters ... Helen Hill aka Helen Martin
Dennis Weaver ... Linc Palmer
Micheál MacLiammóir ... Hamilton Starr (as Micheal Mac Liammóir)
Agnes Moorehead ... Sister Alma
Helene Winston ... Mrs. Greenbaum
Peggy Rea ... Mrs. Schultz
Logan Ramsey ... Detective Sgt. West
Paulle Clark Paulle Clark ... Mrs. Plumb
Yvette Vickers ... Mrs. Barker
Molly Dodd ... Mrs. Rigg
Samee Lee Jones Samee Lee Jones ... Winona Palmer (as Sammee Lee Jones)
Robbi Morgan ... Rosalie Greenbaum
Timothy Carey ... The Tramp
Swen Swenson Swen Swenson ... The Gigolo
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Storyline

Set in the 30s, Helen and Adelle are two women whose sons commit a gruesome murder. After their conviction, they move to Hollywood change their names and open a dance school for girls. Adelle is looking for a good life and when one of the parents of her students who is wealthy takes a liking to her she thinks she's got it made. Helen thinks that someone who blames them for what their sons did is stalking them. But Adelle thinks it's all in her mind. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heart pounding terror! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence/bloody images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1972 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Box Step See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film began production under the title "The Best of Friends," but Otto Preminger protested to the Motion Picture Association because he had already registered the similar title Such Good Friends (1971). Producer George Edwards quickly responded by changing the title to a line from the script: "What's the Matter with Helen?." See more »

Goofs

There's a bible on the desk to the left of Helen as she talks to the detective and clasps her hands together. Suddenly her hands are outstretched across the desk and the bible's in the center. See more »

Quotes

Helen Hill: Men can be quite a bit lower than the angels.
See more »


Soundtracks

Goody, Goody
(uncredited)
Composed by Matty Malneck
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Debbie Reynolds
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Reynolds and Winters and Blood
31 October 1999 | by Plymouth-58See all my reviews

From the writer of "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" and "Hush .. Hush, Sweet Charlotte," this tail-end of the sixties horror cycle has some eerie and campy fun. Micheál Macliammóir does a Victor Buono-type bit, but too often the movie totters dangerously close to a bad musical ... there's a particularly awful children's recital about halfway through. Debbie taps, tangos and tricks up a lá Harlow, while Winters' religious fanatic has a lesbian edge to her. Agnes Moorehead checks in as an evangelist. Weaver has nothing to do - and even has to pay a gigolo to dance with Debbie.


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