I can see how someone, somewhere, wanted this movie to be another Baby Jane or Strait-Jacket. Maybe the distributor or some stupid executive producer somewhere, but this is a smarter and darker movie than just a an ordinary rip-off. Bankhead's performance is one of the most twisted and dark I've seen from this period, an woman deeply evil, extremely bitter and to a certain degree insane. She's taken control over her staff, the emotionally fucked-up Anna (Yootha Joyce), her grim husband Harry (Peter Vaughan) and the retarded helper Joseph (Donald Sutherland) - all three brilliant actors. Powers as Patricia is an excellent heroine, fighting back more or less the whole time and the sparks between her and Bankhead is sensational.
This is a movie you can watch only for Tallulah Bankhead. She's worthy every prize in the book her. I'm not sure if she had some illness during the time of the shooting, but from time she looks frail and it's not acting. This was also the last movie she made before her death in 1968. After reading up on her a bit I can understand how this part got her interest. She was a born provocateur, always ready for telling people the truth or just fucking with their heads. No surprise she took the role as Mrs. Trefoile with such enthusiasm. I also love how they, almost like in Sunset Boulevard, connected her to her past as a silent movie star. That's also a brave move from her, but not surprisingly it's said she actually disliked her earlier stardom.