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Film Box Retrospective: ‘Wait Until Dark’ with Kathleen Ellison

February 7, 2013

I was having a very bad day. I was left at home and ended up mindlessly flipping through channels not really caring to watch anything, but then I came upon a movie. It was obviously a crime

Photo courtesy of allmovia.com

Photo courtesy of allmovia.com

drama, and I wasn’t going to watch it, but then I saw that Audrey Hepburn was in it and I was just drawn into it and completely distracted from a horrible day, which I think is a sign of a good movie.

This suspenseful 1967 film, directed by Terence Young, stars Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and Jack Weston. When Mike Talman (Crenna) and his partner Carlino (Weston) arrive at an apartment to meet their old friend Lisa, they are surprised to find a man named Roat (Arkin) instead. Roat offers them each $2,000 if they find a special doll that belongs to Lisa. To find the doll requires an elaborate con to trick Susy (Hepburn), a recently blinded woman, to locate it. As Susy tries to unravel the mystery around the doll, the danger grows as night stalks nearer.

This movie had me hanging on to every word and screaming at the actors! I’m totally not surprised that it was nominated for an Oscar and that it’s in AFI’s ‘100 Years, 100 Thrills’ list. Even Stephen King praises it, especially Alan Arkin’s portrayal of the villain. I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. King, in that Alan Arkin is absolutely chilling in his cold blooded role. I don’t know what it is: the dark outfit matched with secretive sunglasses, that smile steeped in deep fried creepy, or that voice that reminds me of the big bad wolf.

And then there’s Audrey! Do I even need to talk about her? It is Audrey Hepburn, of course she is fantastic. I feel she is incredibly convincing in the role of a recently blind woman. Her character is so strong and quick, it is inspiring. Of course I was yelling at her the whole time. It is dramatic irony at its best and consequently so darn frustrating for someone like me who cannot handle watching the ignorant characters in the deadly situations.

This movie is so excellent especially at the immensely climactic scene at the end and will have you on the edge of your seat. It is the struggle of a blind woman in a game of survival against three criminals. Trust me, this thriller cannot be missed.

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