Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'Wait Until Dark' Open Thread

  What did you think?


  1. Okay kids, here it is! Get the big blanket and put all the lights out. We'll watch this show tonight!!

  2. Alan Arkin looks pretty good as a bad guy. Somewhat disconnected from society, it would appear.

  3. Since it is almost impossible to talk about this movie without including Spoilers, I'll limit my comments at the moment to this: Alan Arkin does indeed make an effective bad guy, although perhaps he overdoes, just a trifle?

    More later!

  4. "Is the room dirty?

    "No. Why?"

    "Sargeant Carlino keeps dusting everywhere he goes."

  5. I thought Audrey Hepburn was very good in this. I enjoyed watching her take the measure of the hucksters and slowly put together inconsistencies in their actions that they were not even aware of, but that she was.

    To tell you the truth I wasn't to high on Sam. So she stabbed to death that twisted shell of a man Roat, and then let him slowly die while blocking his efforts to knife her, and with the room out of order, broken glass on the floor, a garbage can out, chairs tipped over, Sam doesn't take a step toward her, but just stands there looking at all the mess that somebody (my guess would be Suzy) will have to clean up, and what does he think is the most important thing to do? Time for Suzy to take another little test on independent living... "I'm standing right here in front of you! Get your buns over here" Tell you what, I coulda knocked that guy into next week. But she was happy enough to see him, so I guess it's all right.

  6. I like a movie where people do things that make sense, things I might do. Like when Susy (correct, btw) hides behind the refrigerator door when she gives up trying to close it--then finally thinks about pulling the plug. Or Arkin thinking of using the refrigerator light to begin with. Or Susy dousing Arkin with his own gasoline earlier when she found the can. Little things like these are often missing from modern films because the writers have something else in mind and the action is just filler until they reveal the "trick" they had in the script.

    Yes, Sam's teachable moment is more than a bit much. He should have taken a lesson himself from Gloria who rushed to comfort her. The apartment itself showed that Susy had enough lessons on handling herself already that day.

  7. Well, there were a lot of things that were kind of good about this show, like the slow revelations that Susy (thank you, Darrell) experiences through the show. You could tell that things weren't adding up quite right for her, but when that phone rang twice after she was just speaking with Mike, you could feel a pit drop in your stomach as you watched her realize what we already knew. Or her distress at hearing the condenser of the refrigerator turn on, as she realized the sound meant that her edge was gone. Or tracking down the phone cord and realizing they had already taken steps to ensure he quiet demise. Not good. I liked the scene where Mike and Carlino first met Roat, and at the very end, while watching Roat walk away, Carlino softly says "Trouble"

  8. A couple of things didn't sit right with the story, though. First off, Roat doesn't seem to be the kind of person that would need to involve
    Talman and Carlino into his search for the doll.
    In fact he seemed like the type that would enjoy torturing the location out of Susy and Sam. Now there may have some reason for involving the two con men (they seemed to have known Lisa) so that may have been just a ruse to kill them--maybe pinning what he planned to do to Sam and Susy (and what he had already done to Lisa) on them. And then there is the quantity of heroin (I'm guessing) that's involved--say 20 street bags? What would that be in 1967--$400? I'm taking that it's already been cut because it's packaged for individual sale. Roat is paying Carlino and Talman $1000 each, $500 up front, to get it.

    Then there is the gasoline. I take it that none of the writers ever dealt with gasoline much. The odor in the apartment without ventilation would have been unbearable. I'm sure those two cops would have shouted it out when they came in
    to total darkness so that no one would have struck a match. Roat would have been in a rush to get out of his clothes as the gasoline started to cause welts and chemical burns on his skin. At least that how it affected me whenever I got it anywhere other than on my hands, working on cars.

    Forget my diversions. . . It might interest fand to check out the filmography of Terence Young, the film's director. Besides from the first three Bond movies--all clasics--he had quite an interesting career. Including shelling Audrey Hepburn in the fight for the Arnhem bridge in WWII.

  9. I think Audrey Hepburn is amazing in this. I love watching her sense the things Susy can't see, and the nuances of expression when she's putting together those inconsistencies, all the while keeping that steady blank stare.

    Richard Crenna was good in this, too, and I liked very much that his Mike redeemed himself somewhat before being killed -- especially the moment when he lets Susy know how much he admires her.

    And the development of the relationship between Susy and Gloria was wonderful. Initially Gloria was "the kid upstairs" who was willing to pick up some groceries, but wasn't above a bit of sneakery here and there. But in the big fight scene we see her pain and loneliness, as well as her open heart. The sincere embraces when they make up are so lovely, and the richness of their friendship from that point is delightful.

    As for Zimbalist's Sam, I have a completely different take on the character, and his behavior. Susy had lost her sight shortly before meeting Sam, and in her near-miss crossing the street she lost what confidence she had. Sam saved her then, and she "knew" that she needed Sam at her side to be OK. Early on we see Sam being increasingly stern with her, insisting she push through the challenges she's encountering. He doesn't sound tired of her dependence on him so much as determined to prevent her from failing. One of the most painful moments in the film for me is when Susy, realizing the danger she is in, cries out for Sam, even though she knows he's hours away. But it is after she faces the fact that Sam cannot save her this time, that she begins to prepare for the battle to come.

    She wages a tremendous battle, finally finishing Roat off by pushing the kitchen shelves over onto him -- but it leaves her traumatized, cowering behind the refrigerator door. Gloria's assistance was welcome, and appreciated, but if Sam had gone to her and removed her from that place of anguish, he would have been saving her again. He knew that she needed to be make her way to him in order to solidify the self-sufficiency she had begun to realize when fighting for her life.

    I loved seeing him stand there, watching her take more and more confident steps, with tears streaming down his face.

    Funny - the first time I saw this, I was about Gloria's age. I thought Audrey Hepburn/Susy was the Best. Heroine. Ever. as I watched her doing everything in her power to defend herself. (I thought she was totally genius to swap out the water in the vase for the darkroom chemicals.) And that scene at the end with Roat was TOTALLY scary, because at that age I didn't know they'd never bump off Audrey Hepburn!

  10. Well I agree about Sam: always annoyed the hell out of me at the end.

    But I love the claustrophobic structure, the way it's obviously based on a one-set play. A lot of people don't like that, but I always do. Same with Dial M For Murder, by the same guy I think.
    Even watching it for the third time I still found it pretty tense, and got a real jolt when Audrey's room - and yours, if you did as you were told - suddenly went pitch black. Apparently the effect of this was amazing in the cinemas.

    Isn't it terrible when the world catches up with and outpaces the evil of evil characters? Darrell touched on this but made a point about the individual characters; I think it's more fundamental.
    I bet if you show this to any teenager today, they'll say it was totally unrealistic. And if you ask them what they mean, they'll say: the idea that they went to such absurd lengths, cooking up that convoluted scheme, when all they had to do was torture her...
    I fear the world has moved on and left this film by the roadside. This is of course a criticism of the world, not the film, but it does lessen the effect the film once had.

    Other than that, good stuff. Audrey too thin but utterly convincing as a blind woman: that girl could act all right. She's so adorably vulnerable that her resourcefulness and eventual triumph gives the film a real kick. And make Sam's boorishness even less excusable at the end: surely all you'd want to do when you got into that apartment was scoop her up in your arms and never let her go?
    Or is that just me?

  11. "He doesn't sound tired of her dependence on him so much as determined to prevent her from failing."

    Yes, he wanted her to be able to stand on her own two feet, out of his care and love for her. He wanted her to see that she was not a dependent person, but was okay on her own.

    "Her resourcefulness and eventual triumph gives the film a real kick."

    It made the movie for me.

    Hey, thanks everybody for coming by for the show.

  12. Just got done watching Season Of The Witch with Nicholas Cage. Yes, Nicholas Cage. And I recommend it. It's basically an action movie centered around Good versus Evil.
    Well, human "good" with all its frailties anyway. An enjoyable diversion. They didn't wimp out in calling evil by its true name. Rare these days. No sexuality and not a gore fest, for anyone that's keeping score.

  13. Okay, well someone should pick another show to watch. Darrell do you have another good one that is little known and lots of fun, or perhaps a classic that you want to watch again with us?

    Oh, and keep in mind that the holidays are coming up. We should do another Christmas Festival!

  14. I propose another film everyone probably missed
    Possession (2002), starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. No, it's not a horror film--Halloween is but a memory--it's a little fictional literary mystery (how's that for a small niche?). And it's a romance. Avoid the reviews and recaps and just take it in. Set in the UK, I'll pretty much bet that it will hold your interest

    Check this out, too. I'm sure you've seen my comment at April's
    Seeing a murmuration, is there any wonder how those English/Irish writers got notions of spells being cast by an evil witch or sorcerer? Can you imagine faces and other images appearing in the formations? Maybe even something that looks like a word if only for a fraction of a second? Bathe in the wonder and laughter of those two English girls! Incredible.

  15. Wow - that was something! I had never seen that before, and it was really something. Just to be out on the water there would be a tad breath taking - the water is quite cold and deep, and if they go over for any reason they would be in serious trouble, and then this wild, whirling thing appears, and ebbs and surges and whistles through the air. And finally, as it slips away, those lovely young girls look across at each other and just have to smile and giggle at the scariness and wonder of it all. Excellent.

    So, Possession it is. I should have it up in a couple of days, and hope to see it by the end of the weekend.

  16. Oh, Darrell, I'm glad you picked this! I remember being intrigued when Possession came out, but I never got around to seeing it in the theater.

    Did somebody say "Christmas Festival"??? :)

  17. I aim to please, Cathy!
    It has the best fictional poems, too. ;-)

    They say that women change
    'Tis so
    But you are ever constant In your changefulness
    Like that still thread Of falling river
    One from source to last embrace In the still pool
    ... Ever-renewed and ever-moving on From first to last
    From first to last A myriad of water drops
    And you, I love you for it
    Are the force that moves And holds the form

    Never have I felt such a concentration of my entire being.
    I cannot let you burn me up. Nor can I resist you.
    No mere human can stand in a fire
    and not be consumed