Play Misty for Me Reviews
The first hour of this movie is absolute, stalker movie perfection but then the love montage between Eastwood and Donna Mills and overly long footage of the Monterrey Jazz Festival grinds everything to an unfortunate halt.
The twists aren't exactly revolutionary for today's audiences but I can only imagine how shocking and fun this movie probably was to those who got to see it fresh in 1971. For Eastwood's first effort behind the camera this ain't too shabby at all.
another tale of obsession and a psychotic state of mind that turns menacing
Jessica Walter plays the role of Evelyn so wickedly as Dave's most recent flame constantly calling him up asking to play her fav song, be around him, and makes him believe they share feelings for one another
I suppose from a certain point of view its his own fault since he rotates from one person to the next without establishing where he is in terms of romance but Evelyn doesn't take so kindly to it
only a couple of shock moments here and there and the rest of the film just relies on Dave's love life and very little horror actually going on
I was just expecting Clint to give me actual jolts
too much drama, not enough thrills
It stars Eastwood as Dave Garver, a disc jockey living the life of a carefree, contented bachelor. He sleeps around not as a nympho waiting in the wings but as a man at ease with treating himself on a regular basis, picking up women in bars, dropping them the next day, continuing on with his cushy job. One night, while residing in the comfy confines of his regular tavern, he captures the attention of Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter), a sexy brunette. It only takes her a few moments to admit that she's a huge fan of his show, and that their meeting isn't so much a coincidence as it is the result of her eager listening (she noticed a promotion for the bar earlier that day).
Dave is intrigued, and the two, throwing caution to the wind, end up spending the night together. Evelyn promises that strings won't be attached as soon as their few hours together ends, but she, as it turns out, isn't so good at keeping her word: the following afternoon, she shows up at his doorstep, groceries in hand, acting as if they've been together for years. Red flags are strung up everywhere, but Dave isn't one to do away with good manners, and they end up casually continuing their fling. But once his ex (Donna Mills) comes back to town after a prolonged vacation, they rekindle their relationship, igniting the jealousy of the unstable Evelyn, who slowly begins to let sanity slip away and let murderous fire clog her pores. As her actions become increasingly alarming, Dave is forced to decide whether to take matters into his own hands or let the law figure things out. But considering that Dave is portrayed by Clint Eastwood, it's easy to tell which direction he'll go.
The story of "Play Misty for Me" has been played out dozens of times, sexily or unsexily - but what makes it sting so greatly can only be indebted to Eastwood's understated directorial choices and Walter's tour-de-force performance. As the lead, Eastwood is as drily masculine as ever; but as director, we see talent even more prominent, magnificently effective.
Even in its quieter moments, the film bears an acutely ominous foreboding, as if we can see a lion ready to lunge miles away but can hardly tell when that instantaneous shock will let itself be known. The mini-climaxes, found through Evelyn's many unsettling violent outbursts, are edited with a precision so electric that one can only be reminded of "Psycho" or artfully minded giallo flicks of "The Black Belly of the Tarantula" label. Never do we feel safe throughout "Play Misty for Me"'s entirety, and that's what makes it such an unforgettable thriller: we're thrilled even when it's not trying to be thrilling.
Walter, in an archetypal role made more famous by Glenn Close some 16 years later, is spectacular. Delicately unhinged but not campily so, her mounting aggression is terrifyingly believable. Walter is so in control of her performance that we can subtly see the insanity creeping behind her eyes even before we know of her true mental state. As she moves past clinginess into obsession into homicidal intention, we are hardly surprised - it's a natural progression, and Walter hits all the right notes. A performance of this category is hugely difficult to pull off - an actor doesn't want to appear over-the-top nor predictable - but Walter finds middle-ground between unusually toned-down Joan Crawford territory and Anthony Perkins likability. It's a superbly frightening performance, and Walter convinces.
In "Play Misty for Me", Eastwood toys with us like it's some sort of sick game, but it's the kind of toying that seduces us, abandons us, yet still manages to bring us back wanting more. It's latter-day, more adult Hitchcock. Since its release, Eastwood has managed to have a filmmaking career more fruitful than most actors could ever imagine: the first introduction to his powers remains to be one of his finest.
The whole film is very well put together and everything escalates in a very realistic way, it had a great feel and the suspense was excellent. I knew what was going to happen, but still, Evelyn seemed very cute at first but boy did that change quickly and Jessica Walter gave an excellent performance and didn't just go off the deep end like, in the hands of a less talented film crew, that character probably would have. The first scene with Evelyn in his house with the knife I thought could have went an interesting direction if she was still in the house but everything builds up fantastically. Clint Eastwood also put himself in a very unique role and did a very good job, seeing his escalating paranoia was great and he is also rocking a great hairstyle! Although I was kind of confused why he said, 'it goes out to Evelyn', but I guess he was just trying to be nice, she was going off of the rails a little bit at that point, but it wasn't as crazy as it'd soon become. My only real complaint is with some of the editing of the film, the opening credits felt like they went on a little too long but seeing as how all of the credits were at the start, it made sense. However, the sex scene in the lake and the concert scenes felt like they went on a little too long.
Clint Eastwood didn't overreach for his first film and took a solid and simple story and really did something with it, and like I have said, it went on to spawn a plethora of other films. I never seem to have much to say about Clint Eastwood films and it's just because of how watchable and enjoyable they are, but you'll never be able to hear 'Misty' the same way again.