Whisperers, The (1967)

The Whisperers (1967), written and directed by Bryan Forbes.

Bleak, sad story of a poor, crazy old woman (Edith Evans). She collects rubbish and piles of newspapers, insists she is some sort of aristocrat, and hears voices in her slum apartment (we don't).

She has surprising encounters with crime. Her no good son hides stolen loot at her place. She is robbed of that by a delightful family and spends time in the hospital. The welfare people find her long missing husband (Eric Portman) and send him back to live with her. He absconds with a satchel of gambler's money, leaving her to face the music. Fine performances from these two.

Filmed in Manchester, it's an example of grubby kitchen sink realism, which I've seen lampooned as "It's Grim Up North".

John Barry score.

Here's a mystery I can't explain. She makes her daily visit to the police station to describe what her "voices" are saying, and to report that someone is rifling her apartment when she's out. I could swear the Sgt tells her "Inspector Maigret is working on it full time." There is a book, Maigret and the Mad Woman, which has similar events, but it was not published until three years later.

The DVD is 4:3 letterboxed, 1.66 OAR, an MGM DVD-R available for rent from ClassicFlix.