Fanatic (US title: Die! Die! My Darling!) is a 1965 British thriller directed by Silvio Narizzano for Hammer Films. It stars Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Maurice Kaufmann and Donald Sutherland.
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Silvio Narizzano|
|Produced by||Anthony Hinds|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Based on||the novel Nightmare|
by Anne Blaisdell
|Music by||Wilfred Josephs|
|Edited by||John Dunsford|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|21 March 1965|
First released in theaters on 21 March 1965 in United Kingdom, it was filmed at Elstree Studios and on location in Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire, during the summer of 1964. It was Bankhead's final feature film.
An American woman, Patricia Carroll (Powers), arrives in London to marry her lover Alan Glentower (Kaufmann). Before tying the knot, however, Patricia pays a visit to Mrs. Trefoile (Bankhead), the mother of her deceased fiancé Stephen, who died in an automobile accident several years earlier. Trefoile resides in a secluded house on the edge of an English village. She is fanatically religious, and it soon becomes apparent that she blames Patricia for her son's death. Indeed, when Patricia reveals to her that she never actually intended to marry Stephen, Trefoile enlists the aid of her servants, Harry (Vaughn) and Anna (Joyce), in holding Patricia captive so she can exorcise the young woman's soul. After several attempts to escape the Trefoile house, one of which nearly results in Patricia's being sexually assaulted by Harry, she is rescued by Alan; and in the end, Mrs. Trefoile winds up dead with a knife in her back -- the same knife with which she earlier attempted to murder Patricia.
- Tallulah Bankhead as Mrs. Trefoile
- Stefanie Powers as Patricia Carroll
- Peter Vaughan as Harry
- Maurice Kaufmann as Alan Glentower
- Yootha Joyce as Anna
- Donald Sutherland as Joseph
- Gwendolyn Watts as Gloria
- Robert Dorning as Ormsby
- Philip Gilbert as Oscar
- Winifred Dennis as Shopkeeper
- Diana King as Shopper
- Henry McGee as Rector
Variety wrote that the film "should click with fright fans," praising Narizzano's direction as "imaginative" and the script as having dialogue that was generally "fresher than most pix of its class" while giving Bankhead "numerous chances to display virtuosity, from sweet-tongued menace to maniacal blood-lust." The Monthly Film Bulletin declared: "Though uneven in tone (to put it mildly), this piece of extravagance is at least consistently enjoyable ... One suspects here a laudable determination in Miss Bankhead not to be outdone by Bette Davis' Baby Jane. Still, why cavil? There is enough here to give horror addicts a field day on various levels." A. H. Weiler of The New York Times wrote that although Bankhead "towers above the cast and story, her present effort adds little to her record."