Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

Synopsis: This is a retelling of the old tale of Hansel and Gretel, but set in England in the 1920s. To the children and staff at the orphanage, Auntie Roo is a kindly American widow who gives them a lavish Christmas party each year in her mansion, Forrest Grange. In reality, she is a severely disturbed woman, who keeps the mummified remains of her little daughter in a nursery in the attic. One Christmas, her eye falls upon a little girl who reminds her of her daughter and she imprisons her in her attic. Nobody believes her brother, Christopher, when he tells them what has happened, so he goes to rescue her.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min


Come all

ye fair and tender maids

Who flourish in

your prime, prime

Beware, beware,

keep your garden fair

Let no man steal

your thyme, thyme

Let no man steal your thyme

'Cause when your

thyme is past and gone

He'll care no

more for you, you

And many a day that

your garden is waste

Will spread all

over with rue, rue

Will spread

all over with rue

A woman is a branchy tree

A man a clinging vine, vine

And from her

branches carelessly

He takes what

he can find, find

He takes what he can find


Now, darling.

Be a good girl.

Sleep tight.

Mummy will see you

in the morning, hmm?




Oh, Mr. Benton,

how lovely of you to come

out on a night like this.

Always glad to try and help you, Mrs.


Yes, Albie?

I thought, madam, perhaps Mr. Benton

would appreciate a warming glass.

Ah. Uh, that is, if convenient.

Of course. Excuse me.

What would you like?

Mr. Benton prefers

the brandy, I believe.

On such a night, the

elements, the storm...

I-it does help

sometimes, doesn't it?

It should, it should,

but one never knows.

I remember,

the closest contact

I ever had with her was...

was during a storm.

Of course, it was only a

month after she had...


just before the war.

A storm helps.

Perhaps, perhaps, but sometimes

when one has just passed over,

the spirit wanders, it cannot

focus on those left behind.

But now, with clasping hands,

with believing hearts,

we ready ourselves and we

call on the great beyond.

Mrs. Forrest, whom

should we seek to reach?

My daughter,

My daughter Katharine.

Katharine, Katharine Forrest, if

you hear me, reveal yourself.

Come to us, Katharine!

Come to your mother!


Is it her?

Is that Katharine?

Katharine! If you hear me,

let us know that you are here.





darling, come to me please.

I... I'm trying to come to you.


Where are you, Katharine?

Where are you, darling?

Please let me see you again.

Katharine! You've got the

strength to come through to us.

Speak to us, speak

to us, Katharine.

Here I am, mummy.



Please, baby,

let me hold you again.

Let me hold you!

Mummy, I have to leave now.

No, Katharine!

Katharine, doll, don't go!

Don't go yet! Talk to me some more, baby!

Talk to me!


No! Please, Katharine, stay!

Stay, my darling!

Please, forgive me!

Forgive me, give

me another chance!

I love you so much.

Oh, Katharine!

I need you. Stay

with me! I'm so lonely!

Stay with...


When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey

When I grow rich

Say the bells of Shoreditch

Here comes a candle

to light you to bed

Here comes a chopper

to chop off your head

Chip chop chip chop

The last man's head

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells

of St. Clements

I owe you 5 farthings

Say the bells of St. Martins

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey

When I grow rich

Say the bells of Shoreditch

Here comes a candle

to light you to bed

Here comes a chopper

to chop off your head

Chip chop chip chop

The last man's head

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells

of St. Clements

I owe you 5 farthings

Say the bells of St. Martins

When will you pay me?

Christopher and Katy Coombs!

Don't you know you're due

in the dispensary at 9:00?

Well, it's just over there!

Oh, come along.

This game of silence with your

sister will gain you nothing!

Peter, I'm delighted to tell you

that not only are you

normal in everything,

You are disgustingly normal.

Then can I go to the Gingerbread

House for the Christmas party?

I didn't go last Christmas

and Cynthia went

2 years in a row.


The children selected

by this institution

to go to Mrs. Forrest's

lovely party

must earn the privilege.

So I suggest you stay

on your best behavior.

And the first

thing is not to call.

Forrest Grange the

"Gingerbread House."

Yes, ma'am, I'll try.

But please, choose me!

Do you realize that

Christopher and Katy

haven't addressed a single word

to any of the staff since they

ran away and were brought back.

Not even to

complain about the food?

You can't be too familiar

with these children.

You'll lose their respect.

Christopher, take off your boots and

your jacket and stand on the scale.

Uh, we've been advised

by the probation department

to put a ban on his reading.

Good old probation department!

Books, apparently, are too

stimulating for his condition.

What condition is that?

Being abandoned?

He's an inveterate liar!

He invents fantasies about

witches and ogres and giants.

It can be very terrifying

to the younger children.

Miss Henley's right,

you know, Christopher.

You shouldn't

frighten the little ones.

Good morning!

Good morning, Mr. Harrison.

Morning, Mr. Harrison.

Going to have a big Christmas

party this year, then?

That's right.

Hold it a minute.

Mrs. Forrest hasn't

paid me that 5 pounds

for the meat for last month yet.

Don't worry, She's good for it.

She's got plenty put away.

That doesn't help me to

pay my debts, does it?

Look, the next time you come,

I'll have the money for you.

Good morning.

Oh, wait a minute!

You wouldn't want to cheat

them poor little orphans

out of their Christmas

dinner, would you?

Yeah, well,

if it wasn't for them...

There we are.

I'll have the money for you

in a few days, Mr. Harrison.

I'll give it my

personal attention.


Happy Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Good morning, madam.

Good morning, Albie.

A nice spot of breakfast?

No, I'm not hungry.

Just coffee, please.

A sleepless night again?

Yes, I don't

think I slept at all.

I know.

The nights that Mr. Benton

does establish communication,

We all think an awful lot,

all night long, don't we?

Yes, Albie.

That must have been it.

Albie, the reason I rang is,

I haven't heard

from Miss Henley yet

about the children's

Christmas party.

I thought surely by now I'd have

a list of the children selected.

I'll take a spin over this afternoon.

Don't worry, madam.

Thank you.

Oh, Mrs. Forrest, I hate

to bring this up,

but, uh, Mr. Harrison,

the butcher, is downstairs.

Oh, yes, I asked him

to bring another

extra fat turkey for

the Christmas dinner.

He did. He's also

asking to be paid.

I will pay him when I

have time to do my bills.

I told him that last week.

He doesn't wish

to leave the turkey.

What a bother! How much

did you say it was?

8 pounds 10.

How many children are we

expecting this year, madam?

I think about 10.

Here we are.

5. 10.

I have an announcement to make

about Mrs. Forrest's

Christmas party.

But first, those not invited

will be under the supervision

of Matron Wilcox.

There will be

apples, nuts, and sweets

and they may stay up for

an extra hour and play games.


the 10 guests,

all of whom

deserve the privilege,

are Karen Lillie,

Robin Christy, Reggie Pike,

Jonathan Hughes, Peter

Brookshire, Angela Barnes,

Bertha Jones, Sally Denham.

And the last 2, I'm happy

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Robert Blees

Robert Blees (June 9, 1918 Lathrop, Missouri – January 31, 2015) was an American writer and producer of films and TV. He died on January 31, 2015. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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