Play Misty for Me (Eastwood, 1971):

IMDB Summary: A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

Clint Eastwood’s first directorial debut is a standard entry into the psycho stalker woman type of horror film, later to be populated by Fatal Attraction. Jessica Walter fills the film with life, giving an unpredictable performance. It is admittedly fun to see increasing desperation play on Eastwood’s face. The scenes between Dave (Clint Eastwood) and Evelyn (Jessica Walter) are the high point. Evelyn constantly walks the line between assumed “cutsy”-talk and aggressive outbursts. Contrasting those scenes, it is difficult to get involved in the subplot between Dave and Tobie (Donna Mills), a former flame who he is in the midst of reuniting with. The two actors have no chemistry and deliver their lines monotonously when together.

Eastwood also mistakenly forays into lengthy scenes that completely remove us from the narrative and offer nothing in return. These include a scene at a jazz festival that chops up the final act and a corny extended sex scene in the woods between Eastwood and Mills. Play Misty for Me is certainly enjoyable but its standard issue packaging offer little else beyond killing a couple of hours.


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