The Help: 5 Servants In Movies

Tuesday, January 10 by Steve Silverman

Elvira Stitt, “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?”

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The 1962 features Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as siblings who both were actors during their career. Jane, played by Davis, was a famous child star who was eclipsed by Blanche, played by Crawford, when they were both adults. They live together and Elvira is the sisters’  housekeeper. Played by Maidie Norman, she sees how awful Jane behaves towards her kind sister. Elvira is sickened by Jane and she is the movie’s conscience.

Tillie, “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.”

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This was one of the most important and shocking movies of the time. In this 1967 movie, beautiful Joey Drayton brings home her fiance to meet her wealthy parents. She has had a whirlwind courtship and her parents are shocked that their daughter wants to get married so suddenly. They are even more shocked to learn that her fiance is a black doctor named John Prentice, played by Sidney Poitier. Tillie, played by Isabel Sanford, is the family‘s trusted cook. On the surface, she does not approve of the relationship and she treats Prentice with a cold shoulder because he does not “know his place.” At the time, civil rights was the key domestic issue and this film helped put previously taboo subjects on the table and opened up discussion.

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