What's the Matter with Helen? (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

What's the Matter with Helen?1971

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

What's the Matter with Helen? Photos

Movie Info

When two women move to Hollywood to set up a school for talented children, their pasts follow them. Both women's sons were murderers, and just when the women seem to have adjusted to their new lives and left the past behind, strange things begin happening to them.


Dennis Weaver
as Lincoln Palmer
Agnes Moorehead
as Sister Alma
Michael MacLiammoir
as Hamilton Starr
Samee Lee Jones
as Winona Palmer
Robbi Morgan
as Rosalie Greenbaum
Helen Winston
as Mrs. Greenbaum
Mollie Dodd
as Mrs. Rigg
Paulie Clark
as Mrs. Plumb
Peggy Rea
as Mrs. Schultz
Yvette Vickers
as Mrs. Barker
Paulle Clark
as Mrs. Plumb
Debbie van den Houten
as Sue Anne Schultz
Tammy Lee
as Charlene Barker
Teresa De Rose
as Donna Plumb
Harry Stanton
as Malcolm Hays
James Dobson
as Cab Driver
Logan Ramsey
as Det. West
Peggy Lloyd Patten
as Ellie Banner
Gary Combs
as Matt Hill
Sadie Delfino
as Midget Lady
Bill Fritz
as Musician
Peter Brocco
as Old Man
Peggy Walton
as Young Girl
Douglas Deane
as Fanatical Man
Sharon Hisamoto
as Dance School Student
Stacy Hollow
as Dance School Student
Marcia Garcia
as Dance School Student
Bambi Meyers
as Dance School Student
Roxanne Meyers
as Dance School Student
Vicki Schreck
as Dance School Student
Keri Shuttleton
as Dance School Student
Sian Winship
as Dance School Student
Shawn Steinmann
as Dance School Student
Madelon Tupper
as Dance School Student
View All

Critic Reviews for What's the Matter with Helen?

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

I wouldn't exactly claim What's the Matter With Helen? as a masterpiece, but I haven't enjoyed myself so much in months.

March 19, 2020 | Full Review…

What's the Matter with Helen? provides considerable pleasure -- not least in the performances of Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters as the heroines, and Michael MacLiammbir's scene-stealing, histrionically sinister drama teacher.

February 11, 2020 | Full Review…

The layers of pastiche that fuel What's the Matter with Helen? multiply like Shelly Winters's titular character's fat white rabbits.

April 20, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The whole movie is very 1930s, right down to the phony studio streets and the 20-foot shadow that comes around the corner five seconds before the actor does.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Agnes Moorehead as an Aimee McPherson-type gospeller contributes some happy moments; and with Luclen Ballard's evocative camerawork to help the nineteen-thirties setting, a hideously enjoyable time is had by all.

March 17, 2020 | Full Review…

The adrenalin flows, the audience gasps but [director Curtis] Harrington ends up with a good, not an excellent horror movie.

January 9, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for What's the Matter with Helen?

Not exactly what I expected. The thriller element was not well presented, not exactly a drama either. I enjoy the dance, sure, but that's all there is. The psycho biddy element was down played. However, I liked the twist at the end.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

Starts out strong, drags in the middle and ends strong. I don't particularly like the DVD cover, which gives away the ending a bit, but it's not altogether uninteresting. I felt that the tap-dancing scenes with the kids should have either been cut in half or cut out altogether as they had really nothing to do with what was going on. There's too much lag time in the middle with no tension build-up. However, the everything around that works well. If only the middle part had been as good as the rest.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

More a drama with suspense elements than a horror film. Debbie looks like a million and Shelley gives a good performance in the beginning until she starts biting off large pieces of the scenery towards the end. Enjoyable overall.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

What's the Matter with Helen? Quotes

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