A lot of directors have taken a shot at making a movie in the Hitchcock style. No one has succeeded yet, but few have failed so disastrously as Robert Benton did with this turkey.
?Still of the Night? was doomed from the start because its two leads, Scheider and Streep, are both miscast.
Scheider is persuasive in action films, where he plays someone who is not just a dumb killing machine, but someone actually capable of a thought or two; but as a psychiatrist, he is in way over his head.
Hitchcock?s leading ladies were always great beauties. Streep is a great actress, but she is not a great beauty. Watching her impersonate a Hitchcock beauty is embarrassing. I kept thinking,'She could open beer cans with that sharp nose'. I?ve never thought in any of her other films, because in Streep's other films I was paying more attention to her acting than her face.
The suspense should have come from the fact that the more Scheider is attracted to Steep, the more he suspects she is the killer. But there is no chemistry between Streep and Scheider. He never seems attracted to her. I assumed he was only pretending to be in love with her, in order to trap her. The ending therefore came as a surprise to me.