“There are no strings… But I never said anything about not coming back for seconds.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
He writes that while “Eastwood’s come up against great villains, from Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to Andy Robinson in Dirty Harry,” the “superpsychotic Evenlyn… takes a back seat to no one.”
Peary notes that “the film is exciting, weirdly amusing, and scary (many critics compare the knife scenes to Psycho), but the most enjoyable thing about it is watching Eastwood’s cool-talking disk jockey become increasingly confused, perturbed, and terrified by this lunatic he has no control over.”
He adds, “Significantly, no future Eastwood character would become involved with two women at once; in fact, Eastwood never again exploited his image as a romantic lead.”
I agree that this remains an enjoyably taut and tense stalker film — though I’m frustrated by a couple of plot points that don’t make much sense (or at least position the characters as waaaay dumber than one would expect). However, Walter’s powerhouse performance makes this worth a one-time look despite its flaws, and the overall gist of the movie — that fame and sexual attraction can lead to incredibly risky encounters — remains just as powerful as ever. Excellent use is made of location shooting in Carmel, California, where Eastwood eventually became mayor.
Note: Highly recommended is the 2001 documentary Play It Again: A Look Back at ‘Play Misty for Me’, in which Eastwood, Walter, Mills, and others reflect back on their experiences making this movie.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: