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Experiment in Terror (1962)
Topic Started: Oct 8 2017, 10:13 AM (141 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Experiment in Terror (1962) Dir. Blake Edwards

A Columbia Picture
123 min. / B&W / 1.85:1

DVD: Sony Choice MOD
BD: Twilight Time

An asthmatic weirdo is terrorizing bank teller Lee Remick and her teenage sister Stephanie Powers, trying to force Miss Remick into stealing $100,000 from her boss. G-Man Glenn Ford is trying to keep the gals alive while he tracks the villain across the dark streets of San Francisco.

Million-dollar Review from one of our Friday Night Films Attendees:
"You really screwed up this time - you booked a GREAT movie. How did THAT happen?"

I dunno if I'd go THAT far - this is a very good movie, but not a great one, and I can't help but think my review is going to come across as more negative than it should be.

What I liked...

San Francisco looks terrific, and the shots down by the restaurants at the wharf make it appear that the area hasn't changed in all these years. The climax in Candlestick Park is particularly good, too.

I'm not a big Glenn Ford fan, he's usually too stoic for me, but he's perfect for the FBI agent he plays here, although he makes a big mistake: Remick isn't the only woman our mystery man is terrorizing, and the other woman comes to Ford for assistance, too, but he concentrates on Miss Remick (for, in my opinion, obvious reasons) and that turns out to be very bad for the other lady (Patricia Huston).

The score by Henry Mancini is terrific.

Two supporting characters who know more than they're willing to share are excellent: the always fun Ned Glass as "Popcorn" the movie-loving stoolie, and Anita Loo as the single mom who can't believe the killer is a killer.

Philip H. Lathrop's cinematography is gorgeous.

What I didn't Like...

From the opening scene in Lee's garage through the final credits, the film is unrelentingly bleak, with no break or humor whatsoever to help us catch our breath. And yet since at no point does Miss Remick seem to be in real danger, the suspense impact of the film is lessened. With a two-hour running time, that's a long stretch to keep us going, which is why the cinematography and SF locales are so important.

Lee Remick didn't impress me, but Miss Powers - all of 19 at the time - did. Her scene in the basement is probably the most gripping in the film.

I'm not gonna mention who plays the asthmatic madman, but he's a pip and you'll know him.

We have the DVD (not the Blu-ray) and it's a lovely widescreen transfer. Definitely a film worth watching at least once.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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mort bakaprevski
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Balcony Gang, Foist Class
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And 2 more views of the film:

"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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