London psychiatrist Clive Riordan, royally fed up with the repeated affairs of his wife Storm, plots a seemingly 'perfect' revenge against her latest lover, American Bill Kronin. Catching them in the act, he marches Bill off at gunpoint; and from the viewpoint of Storm and the rest of the world, Bill simply vanishes. But there's far more to the meticulously worked out plot than Clive's victims suspect, with the end slowly preparing in his private laboratory. Enter a mild-mannered Scotland Yard man, who seemingly has no clue beyond a missing dog... —Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
visually and psychologically claustrophobic
Why only 29 votes when it is presumably inspiration for Vertigo, even written by the same author (Alec Coppel) and with music by probably the greatest (besides Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass) composer in cinema Nino Rota (Godfather, Amarcord, 8 1/2, Il Gattopardo)? Vertigo seems like a degenerated 'Obsession' to me. Brian De Palma's Obsession (1976) was probably inspired by Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), which was probably inspired by Dmytryk's masterpiece Obsession. This thriller surpasses most Hitchcocks. The suspense is gruesome, the music is memorable, the great cinematography by Pennington-Richards (Scrooge (1970?), 1984 (1956)) is dynamic and claustrophobic and the performance of Phil Brown as 'Bill' is more interesting than any character of James Stewart or Cary Grant. There is a lot of psychological terror, but what else would you expect from a fight between a psychiatrist and a diplomat? 'When a man's intelligence is insulted he is reduced to the most insensible and uncivilized behaviour.' Universal Pictures must have kept this hidden treasure securely hidden to prevent the success of Vertigo of fading out. This should have been a classic and will be one day. The black-list-era should have been over by now, don't you think?
- Jul 30, 2001
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