Saturday, July 09, 2022

Hammer House of Podcast on The Nanny

The scariest things I watched on television when I was young were Don Taylor's television play The Exorcism, a cross between folk horror and a Marxist Play for the Day, and Tinker being measured for his coffin while he was still alive in Sexton Blake.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet I can tell you that I was twelve when I saw The Exorcism and only seven when I saw Sexton Blake. The Scarred for Life generation had it easy.

The first X-rated film I can remember seeing was Hammer's The Nanny, starring Bette Davis. That must have been when I was 13 - and on a school night too.

It didn't scare me, but it's a film I can still watch with pleasure today. You can see the original trailer above.

I once described Billy Barratt's acting in Responsible Child as "the best performance by a child actor I have ever seen".

I'm happy to stand by that judgement, but in The Nanny young William Dix goes toe to toe with  Davis and doesn't give an inch.

Many people who see the film come away talking about "that awful kid," which is surely a tribute to his acting. And they should think more about why Master Joey behaves as he does.

The reason for this post is that I've finally come across a podcast that does The Nanny justice. (I've listened to several that don't.)

It's made me think anew about the film, particularly how the clumsily tacked on happy ending isn't really happy at all.

So hurry over to Hammer House of Podcast. Tell them I sent you.

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