Play Misty for Me - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Play Misty for Me Reviews

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November 20, 2016
Well, well, well....who knew Lucille Bluth was such a nutcase!

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.
½ November 5, 2016
A taut thriller, with an outstanding performance by Jessica Walter. Maybe the best movie ever for showing off the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula ?
August 27, 2016
tedious. Sure, the thrills come, but only after over an hour of trying to understand (a) how Eastwood's character was ever employed as a DJ, (b) why anyone would be interested in the character, and (c) how Eastwood was ever employed as an actor. Walters' excellent work only accentuates Clint's woodenness.
½ July 28, 2016
You still can't fix crazy. So this is about a radio DJ (Clint Eastwood). Every time he spins, he gets a female caller (Jessica Walter) who requests that he plays the song Misty. They meet up in a bar one night and hook up, which turns out to be a gigantic mistake, given the fact that she is obsessive and completely out of her mind. I am a gigantic fan of the manly and forever squinting Clint Eastwood, but I am mostly familiar with his Westerns and not much else. I must confess that I thought that this was one of his cop movies, so I was understandably surprised when he hit the screen as a smooth talking radio DJ. I also didn't know that this had a very young Jessica Walter in it (this was a movie that I was truly unfamiliar with other than in name), and she is an actress who I somewhat thought was just born old a la Morgan Freeman. The movie that this most immediately reminded me of is Fatal Attraction, and you would be blind if you cannot connect the dots. It's funny, because you can go so long, thinking you watched the original template of something only to stumble on a precursor and realize that you've been completely wrong for years. For example, I thought Halloween was the original slasher until I watched Black Christmas, and I thought the same thing about that movie until I saw Peeping Tom. It's totally the same thing here... and there's nothing wrong with treading traveled waters, you just kind of know how it is going to go, because you've seen this movie before. You know the size of the situation right away once you see the instant attachment, as it is not something that any sane or rational person would just jump to. It's trashy, but it kind of sucks you in, because on a base level, everybody loves to be distracted by a soap opera if it is done right. This was just the right movie for me on a lazy Saturday afternoon dog sitting at an in-law's house. The way that Eastwood delivers lines is worth the price of admission in itself. He also directs as well, and he does a fine job, although there are a few minor technical things that I had gripes with, namely a few voiceovers over distant shots that feel awkwardly pieced together. This is a very valid argument on why you should always pass on crazy, and this is a fine movie for all of the Eastwood fans out there.
½ July 23, 2016
The blueprints for Fatal Attraction.
½ May 14, 2016
Good film which will surely ring a few bells with many poor geezers who have regretted a one night stand with one of the many women who have stepped across the line of being mentally unstable to complete nutterness.
½ February 23, 2016
There are too many signs of Eastwood's then-amateurism, but Jessica Walter's performance lives up to its reputation.
½ January 6, 2016
Awesome thriller, and great debut for Eastwood as a director.
½ December 18, 2015
Good effort for a directorial debut, the intrusive stalking was quite over the top.
½ November 30, 2015
One of the first, i guess, films about woman's stalking. Good debut of Clint Eastwood as a director. Leading actress played very impressively.
October 24, 2015
Clint Eastwood is a very talented director there's no question but here it seems like there needs to be some more chills in the process
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
October 7, 2015
Great suspense film. Only one question: Why does it take so long for Clint to get the police involved?
September 5, 2015
A brief fling between a DJ and an obsessive fan leads to deadly events. Classic " fatal attraction " style thriller.
August 14, 2015
Movies can work wonders when it comes to scaring audiences straight. "Basic Instinct", a sleek exercise in noiry eroticism, ignited a fuse within us that caused one to wonder if the person sleeping next to them is really one to be trusted. "Fatal Attraction" deterred married men from screwing around in fear that the other party might turn out to be, you know, a crazy person. 1971's "Play Misty for Me", the directorial debut of the inimitable Clint Eastwood, is of the same category as the latter, working as a supremely suspenseful tale of a one-night-stand gone wrong.
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.
August 10, 2015
liked it. Especially cuz i love Carmel, California, and was stationed at Fort Ord in 1970.
August 2, 2015
Despite its age, there are still some genuine shocks and surprises in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, a proto-slasher that was more or less remade 16 years later in the form of Fatal Attraction and would which influence a spew of similar psycho-stalker thrillers to come. Inevitably, a lot of it seems cliched today but Eastwood's suspenseful grip still holds up, as does Jessica Walters' effectively edgy performance as the obsessed fan who doesn't like coming second best very much.
April 17, 2015
Clint Eastwood's directorial debut is a very different kind of film, especially for the director himself. It's a small tale and a very unique one for him to tell, as one would probably expect a Western to be the first thing he directed but this is an example of what would go on to be a fantastic directing career. It is also a very different film as it is regarded as popularising the sub-genre that has spawned some very successful films, 'Fatal Attraction' is the obvious first connection but I even thought about 'The Cable Guy' whilst I watched this.

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.
April 11, 2015
Play Misty for Me is an amazing film. It is about a brief fling between a male DJ and an obsessed fan. Clint Eastwood and Jessica Walter give fantastic performances. The screenplay is well written. Eastwood also did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the mystery and romance. Play Misty for Me is a must see.
February 13, 2015
Yes, this film is a fantastic portrayal of erotic obsession and is a classic of the psychological thriller. But I cannot give it five full stars because of ONE scene. The scene at the jazz festival goes on too long and adds nothing to the otherwise suspenseful, terrifying mood permeating the rest of the film. Sure, the music's nice, but we'd much rather spend the time looking around corners to see where Evelyn pops out next! Luckily, the film slips right back into the right atmosphere after that scene ends. But in the hands of a less skilled director, the whole ship would have sunk. So while I highly recommend this film as the Grandmother of All Erotic Thrillers, just fast forward through the jazz festival scene. You'll be glad you did.
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