Whisperers, The (1967): Edith Evans Oscar Role B
Directed by Bryan Forbes, “The Whisperers” is a suspenseful psychological drama, starring Dame Edith Evans as a lonely old woman whose fertile imagination indicates decline of her mental faculties.
Maggie Ross (Evans) insists that she hears “whisperers” plotting against her. She also believes that these imaginary figures are spying on her. So suspicious is Maggie of her imagined whisperers that she fails to notice the very real predators around her.
First, Maggie is robbed of her life’s savings by a nasty “friend” (Avis Brunnage), then is exploited by her estranged con-artist husband (Eric Portman) and her no-good son (Ronald Fraser).
Even when she begins to realize the duplicity of her significant others, Maggie is so preoccupied with her “whisperers” that the authorities refuse to believe her.
This grim and sordid melodrama was written and directed by Bryan Forbes specifically for Dame Evans, who is one of the most legendary figures in British theater.
Edith Evans received the Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics’ Circle in a strong year that also included good work from Anne Bancroft (“The Graduate”) and Faye Dunaway (“Bonnie and Clyde”).
This was the third Oscar nomination and the first lead actress nod in the career of Edith Evans, who died in 1976. The other two nominations were in the supporting category.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Actress: Edith Evans
Oscar Awards: None
The winner of the 1967 Best Actress Oscar was Katharine Hepburn for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”
Running time: 106 Minutes.
Directed and written by Bryan Forbes.
December 30, 1996
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