Twisted Nerve

  • 1969
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Thriller

Bennett plays a young man who during severe emotional stress assumes the personality of a six-year-old. When caught stealing a toy duck from a store, he is helped out by Mills, a kindly student who talks the store manager out of pressing charges. Bennett's overprotective mother, Calvert, has to defend the 21-year-old against his stepfather, when the schizophrenic...read more

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Bennett plays a young man who during severe emotional stress assumes the personality of a six-year-old. When caught stealing a toy duck from a store, he is helped out by Mills, a kindly student who talks the store manager out of pressing charges. Bennett's overprotective mother, Calvert,

has to defend the 21-year-old against his stepfather, when the schizophrenic young man explains he simply wanted to take the duck to his brother, an institutionalized mongoloid. Finlay will have none of this and throws his stepson out of the house. Bennett claims he's going to another country but

ends up at Mills's home. In his six-year-old persona, Bennett endears himself to Mills's mother (Whitelaw), and the woman takes him in at her boardinghouse. A few nights later Bennett returns to his old home and brutally murders his father with a pair of scissors. Bennett's presence at the

boardinghouse causes problems for Mills and her mother. The daughter breaks up with her boyfriend, and the mother stops an affair with another tenant (Foster). Mills tries to find out more about Bennett. When Whitelaw tries to seduce him, Bennett goes mad and kills her. Mills comes home--seemingly

in danger of becoming the next victim. Fortunately, Foster has discovered his former lover's corpse and calls the police, who arrive in the nick of time. This PSYCHO-styled thriller holds some good moments of genuine chills, but the film makes a connection between Bennett and his mongoloid brother

that unfortunately permeates the story. The association suggests that mental retardation is hereditarily linked with homicidal tendencies--a cheap, exploitative gimmick that overrides much of the film's psychological explanation. Putting forth so ugly a theory seems highly irresponsible on the

part of the filmmakers. The film was scored by Hitchcock's great composer Herrmann. Interestingly enough, the production and direction team of John and Roy Boulting comprises twin brothers. After completing this film, Roy Boulting and his star Mills were married--in spite of a 23-year age

difference.

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  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Bennett plays a young man who during severe emotional stress assumes the personality of a six-year-old. When caught stealing a toy duck from a store, he is helped out by Mills, a kindly student who talks the store manager out of pressing charges. Bennett's… (more)

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