Little Joey is coming home from the mental hospital and everyone is walking on eggshells. Joey likes to act out and do cruel practical jokes. We come to understand that Joey was away because his actions somehow caused the death of his little sister Susy. Mom is an emotional wreck and thanks God for Nanny whom she could never manage without. Straight off we see that Joey has a huge issue with Nanny. He is mean, disrespectful and overall a sarcastic little shit. He plays cruel jokes on her and upsets the household. Things aren't always as they appear though as we slowly realize that Nanny isn't really wrapped all that tightly.
Is there another actress out there who can pull off crazy like Bette Davis? Surely I think not. I have never watched a Bette Davis film I didn't like. Even the shoddy 70's made for tv films were okay in my book because this woman carried them. Her mere presence commands attention. The Nanny is no different.
Bette Davis looms over the household like a demon lurking in the dark. Her politeness and warm smile are unsettling. One flash of an eye toward little Joey and it's like that glare is telling him, dear boy, you are no match for wits with me so you might as well just give up. Yet all the adults are completely missing the “crazy” in her eyes and Joey just keeps getting punished. Beautifully executed film, highly recommended.