Play Misty for Me (1971)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Story by Jo Heims
Screenplay by Jo Heims and Dean Riesner
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills
Dave Garver (Eastwood) is the nighttime DJ at a local radio station. When he has a one-time fling with Evelyn (Walter), one of his loyal listeners, he finds himself the subject of her unhealthy obsession. This obsession soon becomes dangerous when Dave’s old flame (Mills) returns to town.
This thriller is based on the story by Jo Heims (Dirty Harry). Heims also assisted in writing the screenplay along with Dean Riesner (Coogan’s Bluff). Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) stars in this one, which also served as his directorial debut. In addition to Eastwood, the film stars Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) and Donna Mills (Dangerous Intentions).
This is a twisted thriller that keeps a fantastic pace from the very beginning. The intensity of the story builds consistently throughout the movie, resulting in an excellent finale. Throughout the movie, there are so many nice little twists and turns that keep it almost unpredictable. Like most good thrillers, everything has a purpose. The details are wonderfully built into the story that features interesting characters as well. In the end, this story does a great job sucking you in. There is no obvious progression, so the predictability of the film is very low.
The acting in this movie is pretty good. Eastwood, Walter, and Mills all do nice work with their roles. Each of them have some major character flaws that are brought out nicely through their performances. For Eastwood, this was also a nice chance to see him play a more vulnerable part. Mills and Walter also had interesting roles to work with. For Walter, this was a role that would’ve easily been over-played. Instead, she used great skill in keeping it from pushing into melodramatic. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is good, but not great. Overall, this is a good movie from the acting standpoint.
The score in this movie is a nice mix of music from great musicians like Roberta Flack, Cannonball Adderley, and many other jazz greats. The song Misty was chosen by Eastwood after he heard it being performed by Erroll Garner at the Concord Music Festival in 1970. Additionally, the movie featured great cinematography, lighting, and many of the other technical aspects. The lighting is particularly helpful in helping to build the suspense.
This is a wonderful thriller that has aged nicely. The production really brings out the intense nature of the story. If you’re a fan of twisted thrillers, this is one for you. This would be a good choice for someone looking for a great story in a film. I would also suggest this to fans of any of the stars. I give this one 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Incredibly dated. So much so that I just didn’t really enjoy myself here. Good review.
I didn’t mind the age of the film as much as you. I understand why it would bother people though. thanks for the comment, and for checking out the review!