Play Misty for Me Reviews

Page 1 of 31
Super Reviewer
October 16, 2010
This is most noted for being the directorial debut of Clint Eastwood, who also starred in it as the protagonist Dave Garver. The film was a good starting point for Clint Eastwood as a director, who would later venture into filmmaking that was bold and original. Here he works as both an innovator and a skeptic, playing with a genre he hasn't yet become aware of, and yet masters with a thoughtful eye. The film itself is not up to par with modern day thrillers because many of the choices are extremely dated and cloying. The choice of character, I thought, was interesting, as it's a nearly philandering jazz disc jockey, who commonly reads poetry in a low growling voice. The scenario is that of a stalking former lover now hell bent on keeping or destroying Dave, who she's obsessed with. In the role of the stalker is Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) who balances between crazed, malevolent psychopath and sweetheart bimbo with a creepy ease. The reason it's not worthy of timelessness is the fact that Dave's character is unlikable and isn't very concerned about the actions of his possible murderer. Even in the thick of the hunt he threatens the leading detective with annoyance, and gives his girlfriend platitudes when she expresses concern. His own insincerity makes the rest of the film anti-climactic and the ending is as empty and restless as the plot. Garvey uses women, and it's almost as if he deserves the wrath of this crazed lunatic. The later film Fatal Attraction, which took many liberties from this, is better done for this significant reason. There was more to lose with that instance, and here Dave can tell others about his troubles, the danger he is imminently in. The ending is also very disingenuous, as it ends with a simplicity that borders on negligence. Stalker films, and crazed female films have come a long way and it's exciting to see this first, tantalizing step.
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2012
Evelyn: Careful! I might put your eye out. 

"The scream you hear may be your own!"

An interesting, if poorly dated, thriller. The only reason that Play Misty for Me is a notable film is because it was Clint Eastwood's first directorial effort. If I look at the movie compared to what Eastwood would go on to make; this would be near the bottom. I'm not going to do that though because it would be unfair to this movie. By no means do I think that Play Misty for Me is really good. It has some entertainment value in all of the craziness of Evelyn, but it really isn't that good. As I said, it has dated extremely poor. There are tons of flaws in the film, from the acting to the editing. 

Play Misty for Me follows a disc jokey named Dave who meets his number one fan. He hooks up with her, and believes that is all he signed up for. A one night stand is all he expected, but that isn't what Evelyn wants. She starts following him and interfering in his life. By now, we've seen this movie done many times over. It has pretty much been made into a whole new sub genre of thrillers. There are some good ones out there, and there are some piss poor ones out there. This falls somewhere in-between. I didn't think it was terrific, but it also isn't horrible. I'd lean more towards the bad side though. There's just too much wrong with it to overlook. 

Looking back, this was a good experience for Eastwood. He got that first film under his belt, and back then it played to audiences well. Today, it just doesn't have that shock value it did then. It also isn't well made enough to still be considered anything other than average, at best. It does a few likable qualities to it though. I especially enjoyed how they pulled the very end of the film together. It made up for a lot of the middles mistakes. Worth the watch for the diehard Eastwood fan, but by no means should you consider this a must watch.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2009
The original Fatal Attraction. Still effective, though the soundtrack is slightly dated. Creepy, ominous and thrilling.

*NOTE: Maybe it's just me, but I've never seen Donna Mills look this good.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2009
The scream you hear may be your own!
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2009
When a Radio DJ (Clint Eastwood) has a one-night stand with his #1 fan (Jessica Walter), she refuses to play nice and go away quietly, instead wrecking havoc on his simple, relaxing lifestyle. This movie is painfully dated, but I still liked it, only for different reasons. I had a great time making fun of it, Clint and his girlfriend take like 2-3 10 mile hikes it seems, just talking about simple matters bugging them. My main fear was taking Jessica Walter seriously after watching all three seasons of "Arrested Development", but she is terrifying in every aspect. Overall, it does have some good elements in it, it's not a four-star classic like Ebert and the like claim, but it's still a solid little thriller.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2008
A great little thriller and the first film directed by Clint Eastwood. I imagine quite powerful in its day, one of the first obsessive, stalker thrillers. No doubt encouraged the likes of Fatal attraction and countless others.
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2009
Eastwood's directorial debut, and man what an awesome one it was! Spectacular suspense and different from any other movie.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2009
In the early 70's Clint Eastwood was very anxious to direct a movie of his own and the producers gave him the opportunity to do so with one simple condition: he wouldn't be receiving a paycheck from his work. Eastwood accepted this offer eagerly, directed "Play Misty for me" and the rest is, as we all know, movie history. "Play Misty for me" is a modest little thriller but it's more effective than a thousand electric shocks. Plot is rather simple but quite spectacular and Clint had the talent to tell it in a real exciting, stylish, strong, gripping and entertaining way. If someone's claiming that the story could never happen in reality I can only answer that it's impossible for me to agree. I actually used to date a girl who was annoyingly lot like Jessica Walter's Evelyn. More realistic the movie feels like, more powerful the experience obviously is and to me this film was almost frightfully realistic. Acting is superb. Eastwood's delivers a fantastic performance as Dave Garver and Jessica Walter is insanely great. One of the most sympathetic details of "Play Misty for me" is the fact that Clint gave a small supporting role of Murphy the bartender to his dearest friend and mentor Don Siegel.

Siegel himself directed Clint in five movie classics: "Coogan's bluff", "Two mules for sister Sara", "The Beguiled", "Dirty Harry" and "Escape from Alcatraz". In the famous scene Dave Garver and Murphy are playing an absurd game called "Cry Bastion". Clint admitted in the DVD documentary that there's no such game at all - they were just fooling around and improvising the game while playing it and that makes the scene twice as amusing. I adore almost every moment of "Play Misty for me" but unfortunately somewhere in the middle of the film there's couple of totally unnecessary sequences. Other one is like an overromantic music video of a song "First time ever I saw your face" and afterwards there's a scene that makes the movie look more like a jazz festival documentary than a serious thriller and it needlessly breaks the excitement. Without those two scenes I would give "Play Misty for me" 10 out of 10. But now I'll have to settle with "only" 4 and a half. "Play Misty for me" started Eastwood's directorial career and it still remains to be one of the most powerful motion picture debuts acting director has ever made. It is such a terrific and marvelous suspense film it's almost touching to watch. This movie is an adorable classic and after 21 movies Clint has directed since, "Play Misty for me" has definitely place in the better half.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2008
Actors always want to be directors. It seems to be a right of passage that every actor seems to think that they can do a better job than the guy behind the camera. Clint Eastwood seemed to be one of those actors and in 1971 Universal allowed Clint Eastwood to take a crack at directing, thinking that if we throw him a bone he'll do another western for the studio. Instead he gave them a little thriller called Play Misty For Me that planted the seeds of a second career as an actor.

Clint Eastwood stars as Dave Garver, a small town jazz disc jockey tom cats around town on a wave of popularity. But good old Dave is trying to change his ways and get back with his steady girlfriend Toby (Donna Mills). The problem is he's gotten involved with a fan who requests Misty nightly named Evelyn (Jessica Walter). Dave saw their relationship as a typical one night stand. Evelyn is more clingy than that. And a little more violent as he tries to juggle his new problem with his old flame.

Play Misty For Me represents Eastwood's first work behind the camera and shows that he had been studying a bit. Misty is a solid film that delivers it thrills with a cast that is above average. Eastwood and Walter really carry the film with Donna Mills over acting a bit in her damsel that doesn't know she's in distress role. For all of Eastwood's good direction, there are a few sequences that tend to show how green he was behind the camera, particularly the long winded Robert Flack and Monterey Jazz sequences that drag the film to a grinding halt. Thankfully, Eastwood gets the film back on track after these horrendous segments.

For a directorial debut Play Misty For Me is a solid piece of film making from Clint Eastwood. It's a film that was ahead of it's time in that it led the obsessed love interest craze that have filled cinemas by over fifteen years. It's also a representation of the first effort of a director whose career has exploded into better films as time has past. Yes, Misty is dated, but it's still a classic thriller that stands the test of time (wardrobe excluded).
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2008
In "Play Misty For Me", Clint Eastwood (Dave) plays a radio D.J. who acquires a stalker, played by Jessica Walter (Evelyn). Evelyn seems sort of harmless at first, but after Dave starts sleeping with her, it quickly becomes obvious that she's a raving mental patient. Clint's not a pushover (never has been, never will be), but this lady clearly scares the bejesus out of him. What's great about this movie is, while Clint's playing "Dirty Harry" (a toughguy badass who happens to be a poetry-reading D.J.? Hmmm...), Evelyn is being played in an over-the-top campy manner that puts her on a level similar to Freddy Krueger. In fact, when the 2nd half of the movie starts to drag, it's only due to the lack of screentime being dedicated to Evelyn. When she returns in the final act, it's as a less-effective, knife-welding maniac that's so typical of horror films (the obsessed fan, "stalker" aspect of her character was much more terrifying). The way Clint/Dave finally ends this movie is simultaneously hilarious and awesome at the same time, and it's good, campy fun for everyone all around.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2007
Clint Eastwoods's curious directorial debut. Despite the amateurishness, dated look and some arrhythmic narration, Eastwood manages some pretty intense moments. A fun 70s funky thriller.
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2007
Eastwood's fine first directorial effort. The great thing about this film is the way he subverts his heroic onscreen persona by playing a womanizing sleaze-ball, terrorized by a clingy conquest. Jessica Walter is so good in this that I find it astonishing that a string of impressive movie credits didn't follow; I remember seeing her in a substandard episode of "Columbo", made a couple of years later, but that's about it. The movie is a little rough around the edges and considerably dated but the shocks still work. Nice views of the California coastline, too.
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2007
I enjoyed this movie, but there are too many fairly severe flaws in it for me to really consider it that great. What Play Misty For Me wants to be is a tonal big sister to Psycho; it almost succeeds, except for this agitating ten-minute stretch toward the end where nothing fucking happens. The plot is not advanced, the characters are not developed, the atmosphere is not furthered. I just can't understand why he decided to include these scenes, especially in the twilight hours of the film.

There are also problems with Clint Eastwood's character, and some obvious vanity that he infused the project with (he spends about 20% of it missing his shirt). If you can suspend your disbelief, then it makes for a pretty damn good thriller. If not...this one's gonna drive you crazy. Crazier than Evelyn. That's pretty crazy.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
A jazz radio DJ (Clint Eastwood) is stalked by a crazy admirer Evelyn (Jessica Walter). They date for awhile, but she tries moving into things too quickly and he dumps her; she becomes threatening and scary; possibly homicidal. Great direction, and great acting. Features the great song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. A classic suspense thriller. There are some rip-roaring funny scenes when Evelyn starts freaking out.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2006
The original stalker film. Slightly dated, but infinitely better than Fatal Attraction.
Super Reviewer
½ October 31, 2006
This Clint Eastwood's movie is a doubly encouraging directorial debut, successful both as a controlled and original psychological thriller.
Super Reviewer
July 10, 2012
Clint Eastwood's directorial debut and a great thriller. Jessica Walter is wonderfully creepy, and her performance makes this a really fun movie.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2012
The choice to not give Jessica Walter's character any real motivation or back story outside of her just being an insane person was a huge miscalculation because it gives the film an almost misogynistic tone (I know that Eastwood was really trying to avoid that conclusion, but its still there). Also the ending is foreshadowed way too much.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2010
A captivating psychological thriller with an auspicious directorial debut by Clint Eastwood. About a popular jazz disc jockey of a small California radio station named Dave Garver, marvelously played by Clint Eastwood in a richly textured and charismatic performance; and his steamy sexual involvement with a possessive, staking psychotic woman named Evelyn Draper, played intensely by Jessica Walter in a truly frightening performance who keeps requesting that old standard "Misty," Miss Walter does make a unforgettable impression as the dangerous listener who takes charge of Garver's life, and turns it into a living hell, when he makes the big mistake of ending what he thought was a casual affair, Evelyn begins an increasingly violent and deadly reign of terror against him and all his friends, an effective and suspenseful script by Jo Heim and Dean Riesner, with beautiful cinematography by Bruce Surtess, the supporting cast all deliver solid performances they include Donna Mills, John Larch, Clarice Taylor, Duke Evers, George Fargo and Eastwood's dear friend and mentor Don Siegal as Murphy the bartender, Seigal directed Eastwood in several of his films, most notably the classic 70's cop thriller "Dirty Harry." The film also features the memorable hit song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face sung by Roberta Flack, "Play Misty for Me" is a audacious classic shocker that is the original fatal attraction, it clearly shows all the aspects that would develop into a long and distinguish body of work for Eastwood, who is now a highly respected two-time Academy Award winning director. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2006
This contains everything I hate about 70's movies, and Clint Eastwood is the complete wrong person for this role. However, Jessica Walter's performance as the psycho stalker girlfriend is beyond describable, and completely elevates this otherwise average movie.
Page 1 of 31