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Month: June 2009

39 Steps, The (1935)

39 Steps, The (1935)

“There are twenty million women in this island and I get to be chained to you.”

The 39 Steps Poster

Synopsis:
A man (Robert Donat) vacationing in London is accused of murdering a mysterious spy (Lucie Mannheim) and soon finds himself on the run, attempting to figure out who or what the “39 Steps” are.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
This “undisputed masterpiece” by Alfred Hitchcock “served as a model for several of his later romantic suspense thrillers” — most notably North by Northwest (1959), which is often cited as an American “variation” on this earlier story about an innocent man falsely accused and on the run. Peary notes that Hitchcock “builds suspense and tension in several interesting ways”, including having “every character Donat comes across” holding “secret information or secret desires”, and having Donat find that “there is no safe place” any time he “enters an interior”. From the moment of his first encounter with a dark and mysterious woman (Mannheim) at a performance in London (she’s a femme fatale of sorts), Donat finds himself caught up in a nefarious plot much bigger than he could ever have imagined, with his foolishly naive decision to allow Mannheim into his apartment in the first place resulting in life-threatening consequences.

Hitchcock’s greatest triumph, as usual, is his ability to effectively mix suspense with both humor and sexual tension. His “accidental” handcuffing of stars Donat and Carroll (the first of his “icy blondes”) for an entire afternoon has gone down in the annals of film history, and apparently worked like the blazes, given that their chemistry together perfectly reflects both annoyance and (eventually) sexual attraction. (On that note, Peary argues that none of the females in the film are “allowed their needed sexual release with Donat” — but I don’t quite buy this as a “theme” of the film.) What is clear, however (as noted in Tim Dirk’s “Greatest Films” review) is Hitchcock’s treatment of marriage as a stifling, dissatisfying convention — first in Donat’s humorous encounter with a milkman who refuses to believe there’s been a murder committed in Donat’s apartment but readily accepts that Donat has cheated on his wife, and later in his more tragic interactions with a browbeaten farm wife (Peggy Ashcroft) and her domineering husband (John Laurie).

Much of the credit for the film’s success should go to its screenwriters (Charles Bennett and Hitchcock’s uncredited wife, Alma Reville), who stuff the story “full of great characters and memorable sequences”, and keep the narrative moving at an appropriately delirious pace. Donat literally jumps from one close-call to another, and we marvel at both his ingenuity (he pretends to be a guest speaker for an indeterminate political club and boldly ad-libs a well-received speech) and his luck (a carefully placed book saves him from death by gunfire). Watch for evidence of Hitchcock’s “special touches” throughout — including a perfectly timed shot in which a train whistle goes off while a woman opens her mouth to scream.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Robert Donat as Hannay
    39 Steps Robert Donat
  • Madeleine Carroll as Pamela
    39 Steps Carroll
  • Peggy Ashcroft and John Laurie as the Crofters
    39 Steps Crofters
  • Hannay’s interactions with “The Milkman”
    39 Steps Milkman
  • Hannay’s genuinely freaky encounter with “the fingertip-less man”
    39 Steps Fingertip
  • Bernard Knowles’ atmospheric cinematography
    39 Steps Cinematography
  • Charles Bennett’s tightly paced, exciting, “sophisticated” script
    39 Steps Script

Must See?
Yes, as one of Hitchock’s earliest classics. Peary votes it the Best Movie of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book, and nominates Donat as Best Actor of the Year.

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

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Hospital, The (1971)

Hospital, The (1971)

“The incompetence here is absolutely radiant!”

Hospital Poster

Synopsis:
A suicidal doctor (George C. Scott) finds his faith in life renewed by a free-spirited young woman (Diana Riggs), whose father is a patient in his dysfunctional New York hospital; meanwhile, doctors and nurses throughout the hospital are mysteriously dropping dead.

Genres:

Review:
Paddy Chayefsky’s darkly humorous look at the dysfunction inherent in enormous urban hospitals — patients are wrongly diagnosed and poorly cared for while general chaos abounds — never quite reaches the satirical heights it aspires towards. The problem is primarily one of the erratic tone: the films opens with a voiceover, explaining to us how the chain of fatal events that eventually transpires was initiated by the admittance of an elderly man, whose untimely death is symptomatic of deeper problems inherent in the hospital’s day-to-day functionings. After this, however, the voiceover disappears, and we’re left to our own devices as the story toggles between random murders, satirical jabs at the inner workings of the hospital (many of which ring humorously true), and the central somber story about an existentially dissatisfied doctor (Scott) who finds his joy for life (surprise, surprise) awakened through sex with a young woman (Rigg) who has a “thing” for older men; their conversations together are smartly written, but seem to belong to a different film entirely. By the end of the film, the ongoing mystery of how and why so many doctors and nurses have been killed is satisfactorily resolved — but the shift back to dark comedy feels jarring. Scott and Riggs’ fine central performances make this film worth a look, but it’s not quite must-see viewing.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • George C. Scott as Dr. Bock (Peary nominates him as Best Actor of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book
  • Diana Riggs as Barbara

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book — most likely because of its Oscar-winning screenplay.

Links:

Breathless (1960)

Breathless (1960)

“I always get interested in girls who aren’t right for me…”

Breathless Poster

Synopsis:
An amoral thief (Jean-Paul Belmondo) kills a policeman and tries to convince his aloof American lover (Jean Seberg) to flee to Italy with him.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Jean-Luc Godard “intended his debut film” — which was “inspired by a newspaper item about a young thug who killed a policeman and hid out with his girlfriend, who later betrayed him” — to “merely be an homage to earlier gangster films, but it became the most influential film of the New Wave, an existential masterpiece.” In a deliberate act of cinematic anarchy, Godard “broke all… rules”, failing to use “transition shots between scenes” or “establishing shots or matching shots”, and heavily utilizing “jump cuts both to convey a chaotic atmosphere and to express the reckless nature of his youthful characters”, who “jump through time and space”. Technique aside, Breathless (A bout de souffle, in French) is notable for Godard’s “Paris street photography” (shot by “innovative cameraman” Raoul Coutard, who “was willing to hide in a wheelbarrow for street shooting and to roll along in a wheelchair with the camera in his lap”); Godard’s “score, which mixes jazz and Mozart; [and] his many movie-reference- in-jokes”, among other traits.

As for the story itself, Peary notes that “alienated French youth” at the time “could identify with Belmondo’s casual lawbreaker and his disloyal girlfriend”, “lovers who act impetuously without regard to consequences”. More mature audiences, however, may find Michel (Belmondo) less a “hero” than simply a shiftless thug who deserves jail time for the murder he so callously commits at the beginning of the film; at the very least, he deserves the cool reception he receives from “beautiful, dimpled Seberg”, who “is his match as the hard-bitten, free-spirited American expatriate who is afraid of commitment and emotionally vacuous”. Seberg — though extremely photogenic (see stills below) — was never a great actress, and her French accent here is so godawful that it’s a major distraction (though to be fair, her reading surely wasn’t helped any by the fact that Godard gave his actors their lines the day of shooting). Her character’s motivations (or lack thereof) are just as enigmatic as Belmondo’s, and thus we never really understand her or relate to her in any depth. While Breathless is far too important cinematically to miss seeing, don’t be surprised if it leaves you strangely cold.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Jean Seberg’s luminous visage
    Breathless Seberg3
    Breathless Seberg4
    Breathless Seberg5
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel
    Breathless Belmondo
  • Raoul Coutard’s natural-light-drenched b&w cinematography
    Breathless Cinematography
  • Excellent use of Paris locales
    Breathless Paris1
    Breathless Paris2
  • Godard’s groundbreaking (albeit “accidental”) “fast cut” editing

Must See?
Most definitely, as a groundbreaking New Wave classic. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies 2 (1983).

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Night of the Demon / Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon / Curse of the Demon (1957)

“I’m not a superstitious sucker, like 90% of humanity.”

Night Demon Poster

Synopsis:
An American scientist (Dana Andrews) arrives in England to debunk a devil-worshiping cult led by Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis), but is slowly convinced — in part by Karswell’s niece (Peggy Cummins) — that Karswell may possess truly dangerous supernatural powers after all.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary refers to this atmospheric film by director Jacques Tourneur as “the best horror movie of the science-fiction-dominated fifties, the most intriguing picture ever made about witchcraft, and the most intelligent, visually impressive entry to the genre” since Val Lewton’s films of the 1940s. While these superlatives may or may not be warranted, it’s certainly true that Night of the Demon remains stellar adult entertainment, and deserves its status as an enduring cult film (see recent IMDb message board posts for a taste of the interest it continues to generate, more than 50 years after its release).

Charles Bennett’s script was notoriously rewritten by producer Hal Chester — a fate which Peary discusses at length in his Cult Movies 2 — but it manages to retain “the grace and literate quality as well as the sinister feel and elements of mystery and suspense (as opposed to shock) that distinguished Bennett’s scripts for Alfred Hitchcock”. In addition, as Peary notes, the material was perfect for Tourneur, who “returned to his forties roots” by “frighten[ing] viewers through such fundamental fears as darkness, sudden sounds, and wild animals”, and who created a “shadowy world” where “the battle between light and darkness, good and evil, science and magic, fate and free will is continuous, and where characters are controlled less by reason than by subconscious.”

To that end, Dana Andrews is perfectly cast as Dr. Holden, an outsider (an American in England) who — much like his hardboiled detective in Laura (1944) — finds himself sucked into and “seduced” by a world he’s entirely unfamiliar with. We understand his initial reluctance to believe in witchcraft, and it’s to Tourneur’s credit that we are gradually convinced — right alongside Holden — about the veracity of Dr. Karswell’s supernatural powers. Several key scenes of terror build upon one another, eventually resulting in a truly ominous sense of doom: Karswell conjures up a powerful storm out of thin air during a party he’s hosting for a group of orphans; a “bizarre seance” is hosted by Karswell’s “daffy mother” (Athene Seyler); Holden is attacked by a housecat “disguised” as an enormous feline; Holden is chased by a smoke ball while walking through the woods, surrounded by giant footprints.

The film’s biggest controversy continues to center around producer Hal Chester’s inclusion (not part of Bennett’s original script) of an enormous demon, which appears in the very first scene and leaves no doubt in viewers’ minds about the existence of underworld forces at play. Peary is of the opinion that if “Lewton had had such a spectacular monster” at his disposal, he would “have shown it”, given that it’s “more terrifying than anything we could imagine” — and I tend to agree. Equal props must go towards Niall MacGinnis in a “superb” performance as Dr. Karswell; he projects arrogance and creepiness (note his clown costume during the orphan party) in just the right proportions.

P.S. Note that one widely circulated American version of the film leaves out about thirteen minutes of the story (discussed at length in DVD Savant’s review).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Niall MacGinnis as Dr. Karswell
    Night Demon MacGinnis
  • Tourneur’s suspenseful sense of direction
    Night Demon Direction
  • The truly frightening demon
    Night Demon Demon
  • Edward Scaife’s atmospheric cinematography
  • Several effectively spooky scenes

Must See?
Yes, as a certifiable cult favorite. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies 2 (1983).

Categories

Links:

Scarlet Street (1945)

Scarlet Street (1945)

“How can a man be so dumb?”

Scarlet Street Poster

Synopsis:
A middle-aged accountant (Edward G. Robinson) henpecked by his wife (Rosalind Ivan) falls for a beautiful prostitute (Joan Bennett) whose pimp boyfriend (Dan Duryea) convinces her to con Robinson into renting her a studio apartment. Soon Bennett is pawning Robinson’s amateur paintings as her own, with unexpected consequences.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Fritz Lang’s American noir version of Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931) is a rare remake which succeeds entirely on its own merits; indeed, Peary nominates it as one of the Best Films of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book. As in Renoir’s film, the male protagonist — in this case, a perfectly cast Edward G. Robinson — is “the weakling husband of a domineering nag” who “forces him to paint, his dearest hobby, in the bathroom”, and whose life is changed irrevocably by his chance encounter with a duplicitous femme fatale. Peary notes that “Robinson is such a pathetic man that some viewers find no enjoyment from this film”, which “delves into [Lang’s] familiar serious themes — a man falls for a femme fatale and falls into fate’s trap, everyone becomes his enemy, an innocent man is convicted of a crime, and the startling ending is unbearably cruel” — but he argues that “scriptwriter Dudley Nichols regarded the piece as a comedy, with ironic twists, witty dialogue…, and a pathetic, wimpy character who somehow turns the tables on everyone”. Indeed, Robinson’s henpecked, boring life is so dismal before he meets Bennett that it’s difficult to feel too bad about the events that eventually transpire — especially given that he finally experiences romantic pleasure (however false) for the first time, and finds his artwork (his true passion) validated by critics. Plus, as Peary notes, Robinson’s effect on everyone he knows — including Bennett, Duryea, and Ivan — involves “either ruining their lives or ending them”, so nobody emerges unscathed in this world of masochists and manipulators.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

Must See?
Yes, as one of Lang’s minor masterpieces.

Categories

Links:

Maltese Falcon, The (1941)

Maltese Falcon, The (1941)

“I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble…”

Maltese Falcon Poster

Synopsis:
When his partner (Jerome Cowan) is murdered while doing investigation work for a beautiful, mysterious woman (Mary Astor), private detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) digs more deeply into the case, and soon finds himself caught up in a desperate search for an invaluable relic known as the Maltese Falcon.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this third cinematic adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel (following Roy Del Ruth’s 1931 version, and William Dieterle’s Satan Met a Lady in 1936) is a “rare imitation that was more impressive than the original”. The story itself — which remains remarkably faithful to Hammett’s vision — is rather convoluted, and requires multiple viewings to fully absorb; instead, what’s really special about this “true masterpiece” is its “incredible pacing” — accomplished “by Huston’s rapid-fire editing within scenes and dialogue that shoots back and forth” — and the “impeccable casting” choices, most notably 62-year-old Sidney Greenstreet (in his screen debut) as obese Kasper Gutman; the “incomparable Peter Lorre” as Gutman’s “neurotic, emotional, effeminate, gushy partner” (as Peary notes, “one second he’s giggling, the next he’s crying”); and, of course, Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a “complex character” who’s simultaneously “witty, patient, sadistic, and cynical”. Arthur Edeson’s impressive “low-key camera work” deserves mention as well, given that it “helped make film noir the dominant style of forties detective films”. As Peary notes, this “landmark picture” — which he nominates as one of the Best Pictures of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book — “set the style and tone for hardboiled detective films”, and is most definitely worthy repeat viewing for all film fanatics.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade (Peary nominates him as Best Actor of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book)
    Maltese Bogart
  • Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo
    Maltese Lorre
  • Mary Astor as Brigid O’Shaughnessy
    Maltese Astor
  • Sydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman
    Maltese Greenstreet
  • Lee Patrick as Effie, Spade’s loyal secretary
    Maltese Patrick
  • Elisha Cook Jr. as Gutman’s wide-eyed “gunsel”, Wilmer
    Maltese Cook
  • Arthur Edeson’s noirish b&w cinematography
    Maltese Cinematography Still
  • John Huston’s masterful directorial style
    Maltese Direction
  • Huston’s screenplay (by way of Dashiell Hammett’s now-classic pulp novel)

Must See?
Yes. This acknowledged cult classic should be seen and enjoyed multiple times by film fanatics. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies (1981).

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

High Plains Drifter (1972)

High Plains Drifter (1972)

“It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.”

Synopsis:
A nameless gunfighter (Clint Eastwood) is hired by the cowardly inhabitants of Lago to protect them against three vicious killers (led by Geoffrey Lewis), who brutally murdered their former marshal.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
This “well-directed, exciting, oddly amusing film” — which was “inspired by the tragic case of Kitty Genovese, who was brutally murdered in New York while her neighbors pulled down their shades, locked their doors, and turned off their lights” — remains one of the most provocative films in actor-director Clint Eastwood’s oeuvre. A darkly satirical “anti-western”, High Plains Drifter spares no effort in exposing the cravenness of an “entire population [who] did nothing while three bad men killed their marshal”; it boldly posits that these cowards deserve the descent of Eastwood’s nameless stranger (“a ruthless, avenging angel dosing out retribution for a wrathful god”) onto their town, which turns into a literal hell on Earth. As in Roger Corman’s The Haunted Palace (1963), the moral of the story here is that a town’s collective actions against truth and justice will inevitably return to haunt them. Note that the opening scene — in which Eastwood brutally “rapes one woman” (Marianna Hill) — remains difficult to stomach, despite one’s eventual understanding that Eastwood’s actions should be read on a metaphorical level.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Billy Curtis as Mordechai the Midget
  • Geoffrey Lewis as Stacey Bridges
  • Bruce Surtees’ cinematography
  • Effective set designs (built along the shores of Mono Lake in California)
  • A powerful, visually stunning denouement
  • Ernest Tidyman’s boldly satirical script

Must See?
Yes. This provocative western should be seen by all film fanatics.

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Twentieth Century (1934)

Twentieth Century (1934)

“She loves me; I could tell that through her screaming.”

Twentieth Century Poster

Synopsis:
An egomaniacal Broadway producer (John Barrymore) tries to convince his former protege and lover (Carole Lombard) to star in his latest show.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that this Howard Hawks classic (co-written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur) “was the first sound comedy to have the male… and female leads… not only carry the brunt of the comedy… [but also] have their characters make absolute fools of themselves” — which, combined with the film’s “frenetic pacing”, is why it’s often considered to be the first “screwball comedy” (rather than Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, released earlier the same year). The story itself is essentially a no-holds-barred contest of egomaniacal wills between Barrymore (Oscar) and Lombard (Lily), both of whom remain “in a state verging on lunacy” until the “very end” of the story; indeed, Lily ultimately “becomes just as pretentious” as Oscar, proving “Hecht and MacArthur’s cynical point… that once the theater gets in your blood, you lose your humanity”.

As Peary points out, while “at times the script is slight… the film itself is consistently funny because of the bravura performances by Barrymore and Lombard” — both of whom are perfectly cast and in rare form here (Peary accurately notes that Lombard is likely the only actress who could come close to matching Barrymore’s hamminess). However, given that Oscar and Lily — who scream their way through the film — aren’t particularly sympathetic characters, I find myself admiring Twentieth Century more than I actually enjoy it; they deserve each other, but I was glad to say goodbye to them by the end of the film. The most memorable thread of the movie, for me, remains the hilarious subplot involving a lunatic passenger (Etienne Girardot) who wantonly posts “Repent” stickers all over the train. Given its place in cinematic history, Twentieth Century, should be seen by all film fanatics, but it may or may not become a repeat favorite.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • John Barrymore as Oscar Jaffe (Peary awards him an Alternate Oscar as Best Actor of the Year)
    Twentieth Century Barrymore
  • Carole Lombard as Lily Garland (nominated by Peary as Best Actress of the Year in his Alternate Oscars book)
    Twentieth Century Lombard
  • Etienne Girardot as mad Mr. Clark
  • Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s madcap script

Must See?
Yes, for its historical relevance, and for its lead performances. Nominated as one of the Best Pictures of the Year in Peary’s Alternate Oscars book.

Categories

Links:

Satan Met a Lady (1936)

Satan Met a Lady (1936)

“I’m supposed to be a detective solving a crime case, and everybody thinks I committed the crime!”

Satan Lady Poster

Synopsis:
While investigating the mysterious death of his partner (Porter Hall), detective Ted Shane (Warren William) becomes embroiled in a competitive search for the infamous Horn of Roland, desired by a femme fatale (Bette Davis), an Englishman (Anthony Travers), and an old woman (Alison Skipworth) with a pudgy son (Maynard Holmes).

Genres:

Review:
William Dieterle’s lighthearted adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel has suffered a most ignoble fate: that of being constantly compared with its more illustrious remake, The Maltese Falcon (1941). Indeed, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum dismisses it as simply an “inferior and unacknowledged adaptation”, while TCM’s reviewer refers to it as a “cinematic train wreck” (!), and Bette Davis reportedly deemed it one of the worst films of her career. Yet, as noted in Time Out’s review, while Satan Met a Lady can’t hold a candle to Huston’s classic version, it’s “nevertheless enjoyably and quirkily funny”, and certainly not a complete waste of cinematic space. Several key changes have been made — most notably in the (inexplicable) exchange of a jewel-filled ram’s horn for the falcon, the alteration of most supporting characters’ names, and the casting of a woman (Skipworth) in what would later become Sydney Greenstreet’s signature role as the Fat Man. The most significant change, however, is one of tone, given that there’s a lot more overt humor (particularly in the character of Shane’s secretary Miss Murgratroyd, nicely played by Marie Wilson), and Warren William portrays “Sam Spade” (actually Ted Shane) as a debonair, wisecracking ladies’ man (not necessarily a bad choice — he’s simply not as memorable or enigmatic as Bogart’s more cynical Spade). Despite its somewhat dense plot — which requires some hasty explanation near the end of the film — Satan Met a Lady is worth a look at least once for its cast of fine performances and for its infamous reputation.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine comedic performances by the entire cast
    Satan Lady Performances

Must See?
No, but most film fanatics will likely be curious to check it out, given its historical relevance.

Links:

Frenzy (1972)

Frenzy (1972)

“Just thinking about the lusts of men makes me want to heave.”

Frenzy Poster

Synopsis:
When he’s seen leaving the apartment of his recently murdered ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt), a down-on-his luck bartender (Jon Finch) is accused of being London’s infamous “Necktie Murderer”; meanwhile, the real culprit (Barry Foster) roams the city freely, and continues to put innocent women — including Finch’s girlfriend (Anna Massey) — at risk.

Genres:

Review:
In his next-to-last film, Hitchcock returned to his native England, bringing with him a modern sensibility in horror. Gone are his masterfully oblique references to violence (as epitomized by the shower sequence in 1960’s Psycho); instead, we’re shown gruesomely overt murders with unmistakable sexual underpinnings. Indeed, it’s thoroughly unpleasant watching the first murder victim (sympathetic Leigh-Hunt) being raped and graphically choked to death — so we’re relieved when the next murder happens behind closed doors (btw, don’t read any reviews if you want the identity of this victim to remain a mystery). Fortunately, the film’s violence is balanced in Anthony Shaffer‘s script by a healthy dose of levity (a police inspector wryly notes, “We haven’t had a good juicy series of sex murders since Christie.”), and Hitchcock’s sense of direction is in prime form, as shown in several notable sequences: the unexpected delay before Leigh-Hunt’s secretary (a humorously snippy Jean Marsh) finally lets out a scream upon encountering her boss’s body; Foster’s desperate struggle with a cadaver in a truckbed; Hitchcock’s camera slowly panning away from an apartment where a murder is about to take place. Finch is ultimately too morose and unsympathetic as the film’s unwitting protagonist, but Foster is appropriately duplicitous as his murderous mate, and the lead female performances (by Leigh-Hunt and Massey) are both solid. While Frenzy may not be prime Hitchcock, it’s certainly a worthy suspense film, and will likely be of interest to all film fanatics.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Barry Foster as the Necktie Murderer
    Frenzy Foster
  • Anna Massey as ‘Babs’
    Frenzy Massey
  • Barbara Leigh-Hunt as Brenda
    Frenzy Leigh-Hunt
  • Jean Marsh as Brenda’s mousy, suspicious secretary
    Frenzy Marsh
  • Strong, suspenseful direction

Must See?
Yes, as a late-in-life film (his 55th!) by a master director.

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links: