Friday, 7 June 2013

Play Misty For Me (3½ Stars)

Clint Eastwood stars as Dave Garver, a womanizing DJ who plays easy listening jazz during the night in a five-hour show. Jessica Walter plays Evelyn Draper, a lonely woman who sits listening to his show. Every night Evelyn calls and requests the song "Misty" by Errol Garner. One day Dave finds her waiting for him in a bar and he takes her home for a one-night stand. This is a fatal mistake. After this she pursues him, not leaving him alone when he decides to turn over a new leaf and be faithful to his girlfriend Tobie. First her jealous rage is against Tobie and any other woman in his life; then she turns against Dave himself.

When this film was made in 1971 it was a shocking portrayal of a spurned woman. Today we would call her a stalker, but the word wasn't in use at the time. The film stands in the shadow of "Fatal Attraction", a better handling of the same subject matter in 1987. It could have been made better. The wooden acting of Donna Mills as Tobie is annoying. In fact, none of the characters have real depth.

As well as starring in the film this was the first film that Clint Eastwood's directed. That's something I've never understood. How can a person act and direct at the same time, especially if he's in the main role? It seems to be a contradiction in terms, since the director is the puppeteer and the actor is the puppet.

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