21 October 2014

Play Misty For Me (1971)

103 min.
Directed by Clint Eastwood.
With Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, Jack Ging, Irene Hervey.
Stunning directorial debut for Eastwood - and a bonafide classic of deadly romantic obsession!

Suave Carmel disc jockey Dave Garver (Eastwood) meets spunky Evelyn (Walter) in a bar and the two consent to a one night sexual liasion.

Alas, the far-reaching consequences!

After pushy Evelyn expresses interest in a long term relationship, Dave makes it clear he's not ready for commitment.

Dave soon discovers that Evelyn (Walter, in a masterful turn) is a violent psychotic who intends to have his love...at ANY cost. Even in death.

The adult theme is well serviced by the performances of Eastwood and Walter, of course. But just as good is Mill as Eastwood's sympathetic - and threatened - girlfriend Tobie.

And the whole thing is buttressed by several authentic moments of sheer terror (the attack on maid Birdie, for example).

The extended finale at the beachhouse atop the cliffs remains as memorable - and as creepy - today as it was in 1971.

The fact that Eastwood crafts an ultra-suspenseful thriller here, and at the same time is able to find a use for live footage from the 1970 Monterrey Jazz Festival - well, it's a testament to his prowess as filmmaker.

And the moody use of Roberta Flack's soul hit "Killing Me Softly" as a love theme for Dave and Tobie is hands down sublime.

Misty provides way more than a detailed blueprint for Adrian Lyne's Fatal Attraction (1987).

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