Question: I remember seeing a movie, I think made in the '60s, about a mother who for some reason is holding her son's fiancée/girlfriend hostage in a basement or cage or something like that. It was extremely suspenseful, but can't remember the title! It's driving me nuts, because I'd like to see it again. Ring any bells?


Answer: My vote goes to Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), one of a string of films starring golden-age movie divas as deranged and/or terrorized crones, notably Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), with Joan Crawford and Bette Davis; Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), with Olivia de Havilland and Davis; Lady in a Cage (1964), with de Havilland; Strait-Jacket (1964) and Berserk (1967), with Crawford; Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969), with Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon; What's the Matter with Helen?  (1971), with Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters; and Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971), with Winters. In Die! Die! My Darling!, Tallulah Bankhead — arguably the greatest diva of them all — plays intensely religious loon Mrs. Trefoile, who locks her late son's fiancée in the basement and subjects the poor girl to a series of torments designed to purify her soul. Mrs. Trefoile's ultimate objective: to reunite the couple in heaven. Die! Die! My Darling! is available on DVD from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment.