Fanatic (1965 film)

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Fanatic 1965 poster.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed bySilvio Narizzano
Produced byAnthony Hinds
Written byRichard Matheson
Based onthe novel Nightmare
by Anne Blaisdell
StarringTallulah Bankhead
Stefanie Powers
Donald Sutherland
Music byWilfred Josephs
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
Edited byJohn Dunsford
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
21 March 1965
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Fanatic (released as Die! Die! My Darling! in the United States) is a 1965 British thriller film directed by Silvio Narizzano for Hammer Films. It stars Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Maurice Kaufmann and Donald Sutherland.

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.

Plot details[edit]

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.


Critical reception[edit]

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."[1] 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."[2] 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."[3]

The film maintains a 44% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Die, Die, My Darling". Variety: 6. 28 April 1965.
  2. ^ "Fanatic". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 32 (375): 51. April 1965.
  3. ^ Weiler, A. H. (20 May 1965). "The Screen: Tallulah Bankhead in a Horror Film". The New York Times: 52.
  4. ^ "Die! Die! My Darling! (1965)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 March 2017.

External links[edit]