MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY & GIRLY
Francis desired to make a film over which he had complete creative control and so raised the funding for Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly independently. It was based on a play Happy Family (1966) by Maisie Mosco, although this ended up being widely changed. Francis asked Brian Comport to write a script set around the Victorian mansion of Oakley Court, which adjoined Hammers Bray Studios and had been used as an exterior for many of their films but never as an interior location. Francis called Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly his favourite film however it was plagued by poor distribution and hardly ever seen when it came out. Up until the 2010, it had never seen a dvd release.
Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly has its share of people who call it an undiscovered classic. I looked forward very much to the film on this basis but eventually find I am not one of those who join the chorus of its praises. I get the central idea the in-grown family where the adult children have retreated to a psychopathic imbecility. It is one we have seen in other films such as Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968), The Baby (1972) and American Gothic (1987), even you could argue Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). Unfortunately, as with most of the above-listed cases, all of this collapses into a series of annoyingly giggly scenes of adults acting like children that soon start to tire on ones nerves. Much of the film consists of these child-like games.
Francis certainly has the benefit of a beautiful big stately old mansion and grounds that create an undeniably impressive locale for the happenings and suggests a mentally decaying aristocracy. Alas, the childish games are not that interesting. The film does pick up more of a plot towards the end and starts into some interesting psycho-thriller territory as we see Michael Bryant playing all four of his captors off against each other. Unfortunately, it is not enough to make the film and crucially has been cast with ordinary working class man Michael Bryant who seems entirely lacking in the magnetic sexual charisma that such a character should have to make the part work.
Freddie Franciss other genre films are:- Vengeance/The Brain (1962), Paranoiac (1962), Nightmare (1963), Dr Terrors House of Horrors (1964), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Hysteria (1965), The Skull (1965), The Psychopath (1966), The Deadly Bees (1967), They Came from Beyond Space (1967), Torture Garden (1967), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Trog (1970), The Vampire Happening (1971), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Tales That Witness Madness (1972), Craze (1973), The Creeping Flesh (1973), Legend of the Werewolf (1974), Son of Dracula (1974), The Ghoul (1975), The Doctor and the Devils (1985) and Dark Tower (1987).
Full film available online here:-