The most famous movie nanny is, naturally, Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews brought the “practically perfect in every way” caregiver to vivid life in the 1964 movie, indelibly imprinting on minds young and old the image of the gracious English nanny with special powers.
Good old Mary with her magic satchel and odd ability to say the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” backwards and forwards, is a pop culture icon, parodied on everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Saturday Night Live. She’s even inspired other movies, like this weekend’s Nanny McPhee Returns. McPhee (Emma Thompson) fits the enchanted babysitter mould, using her miraculous powers to teach pigs to do synchronized swimming and impose her will on her young charges. She means well even if her teeth are a bit scary and her methods unorthodox unlike some of the nightmare nannies listed below.
Redubbed “Fetal Attraction” by one writer, the best known crazysitter movie is The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, a lurid story about a beautiful nanny with bad intentions. After that film, Rebecca De Mornay became the poster girl for nutty nannies everywhere, but she is just one of many who have played crazy caregivers. In Addams Family Values, nanny Joan Cusack is more interested in Uncle Fester’s money than the welfare of the kids and I think the name of the Beverly D’Angelo movie Crazysitter speaks for itself.
“I am here to protect thee”
Like Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, who both mysteriously appeared when their families needed them most, The Omen’s Mrs. Blaylock turned up at Damien Thorn’s house just in time to replace the former nanny who met an untimely demise at the end of a rope. Like her colleagues, this mother’s little helper had the child’s best interest in mind. Unlike Poppins and McPhee, she was a disciple of the Devil sworn to protect Damien until he can take over the world.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Nannies
Heading the list of musclehead nannies is wrestler Hulk Hogan who donned a pink tutu to play the lead in Mr. Nanny, a 1993 comedy co-starring Sherman Hemsley and former New York Dolls singer David Johansen. A close second is Vin Diesel, the big bad bald guy best known as car thief Dominic in the Fast and Furious movies. In The Pacifier, he’s an ex-Navy Seal on his toughest mission yet—looking after a gaggle of five kids.