User Reviews (21)

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  • hew119 February 2005
    It's almost criminal that this lovely sweet film isn't available in any medium. Topol is hilarious. Mia Farrow is sweet and childlike. It isn't an action film; it's a character study and, as such, reveals the attitudes, emotions, and desires of the characters slowly and gently, allowing the viewer to savor the developments. One of the biggest stars is the city of London itself. It plays a major role and does it beautifully. Peter Shaffer of "Amadeus" fame shows how well he can reveal the essence of his characters. I don't really understand how anyone could see it and not love it. I can hardly wait for someone with insight and sensitivity to get this out on DVD!
  • Right from the start, I wish to say that this is a wonderful film. I caught it on cable television here in Tokyo several years back. Like so many others remarked in their own circumstances, the film just "accidentally" presented itself. Willing to give it a chance, I kept it on for a few minutes. When I heard Michael Jayston's comically sarcastic comments in the opening scene, and the magical Topol "hiding" in his office, I was certainly hooked.

    Hal Wallis produced, Carol Reed directed. If that weren't good enough for most film buffs, add John Barry to the list of those involved in this gem of a film. That's right, the same Barry who scored all of the great Bond films. You can hear his signature strings and brass right from the panoramic opening title sequence of London from the air.

    "Everything's got to be earned."

    The story is laid out as an explanation, a highlighting of the history of a couple to a private eye hired to investigate an alleged infidelity. Very cleverly done.

    "Who's Aldous Huxley?"

    The film touches on those precious difficulties couples face when both partners stem from different backgrounds. As an American living here in Tokyo for many years, I can deeply empathize with the situation portrayed in the film.

    "I don't much care for Tuesdays."

    Mia Farrow is captivating as the young American living in London. Michael Jayston is marvelous as the upright British accountant. As the "Public Eye", Topol is as addictive to the viewer as his character is to macaroons.

    "He who locks his door locks his heart."

    London is featured in all its bygone glory. I was impressed with the raw freshness of the street scenes. These are slightly reminiscent of the work of Richard Lester and his "mod" style of filming actual Londoners in action, such as in "The Knack" or "Help". Here, Barry's scoring of "The Public Eye" made these whimsical scenes a pure treat. Nothing less than soul moving cinematic moments are in store for you.

    There is a charming, nice touch thrown in: a tip of the hat to Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and their work in Hammer Films.

    I understand it is difficult to get a copy of this film. The fact that it was shown on Japanese television at least, means that good prints exist and are out there. Luckily, I was able to record it when it was shown again in that same week.

    "The Public Eye" or as it is also known, "Follow Me", is a truly marvelous film. See it.

    Addendum: A little bird told me the above version, recorded from Japanese TV, is online at Google Video.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Small spoiler: a quotation from near the end of the film.

    I first saw this film when I was about 12, on a late-night movie series, a year or two after it came out. Years later I got a chance to record it, and I cling to the fading video tape and will do so until someone brings it out on DVD. I loved it then; I love it when I watched it again tonight. It is one of my half-dozen favorite films ever.

    Note that I don't say one of the best films ever. It's not in that class, despite the talent in front of the camera (Michael Jayston, Mia Farrow, Topol) and behind it (Peter Shaffer, Carol Reed, John Barry). To boost it too high is to risk disappointing the viewers who eventually find their way to this film, because it isn't a masterpiece. And, as a few naysayers have said, it IS predictable. (Or, at least, it can only go in one of a very limited number of directions.) But it is sensitive, charming, literate, well-acted, and beautiful to look at. It is a celebration of taking joy in life's small moments. And, I might add, a celebration of free-spirits that doesn't try to make us admire labored wackiness. For what it is--slight, conventional in structure, a typical one-act play--it is a beautiful little character piece.

    The joys of this film are threefold: It is a valentine to pre-punk London, with gorgeous photography helped along by John Barry's lovely (if repetitive) music. The dialog, from Peter Shaffer's one-act play, is both witty and poignant. Why not have a movie that is mostly talk, if the talk is this good? And the actors doing that talking are up to the challenge. Even Michael Jayston is good, although something of a weak link because he is the sole element of the movie somewhat lacking in charm. (He has a mouth like the slit in a letter-box.) Mia Farrow is luminous: skinny and odd, sure, but definitely a "glorious girl," bright, dreamy, and sensitive.

    But the movie is really Topol's. Looking a bit like Ringo Starr, his Anglo-Greek Julian Christopherou is at first glance, as Farrow's character describes him, "a goofy little man in a white raincoat." By the end of the movie he has revealed so many facets to himself that many women will think him a model of romance. I would run away with him in an instant.

    I'm 50 years old, and since I was 12 I have been influenced in my view of life by a passage of dialog near the end of this movie: "Beware: there is no sin in the world more unpardonable than denying you were pleased when pleasure touched you. . . I gave you joy. Not eternal joy or even joy for a month. But immediate particular bright little minutes of joy--which is all we ever get or should expect." And that's exactly what this movie gives: immediate particular bright little minutes of joy.
  • studla13 January 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    (I'm not sure if my comments really are a spoiler but just in case, I included a warning.)

    I saw this movie on TV by accident years ago. It was one of those times when I was just wanted something to watch and this was on. SERENDIPITY!!! It turned out to be one of my all time favorite movies. I've been waiting for it to repeat or come out on DVD ever since. I got so excited when I thought it was on TV tonight but it was another movie with the title,"The Public Eye." It wasn't even a remake, just a rip-off of the title.

    It's a simple story but it works on so many levels. A stuffy British businessman marries a young, lively, beautiful American (Mia Farrow) and then starts to distrust her. Is he angry at her for what he once fell in love with? Does he not believe that she could love him? Is she cheating on him? He hires a private detective (Topol) to find out what she is doing when she goes out all day. The detective is the complete opposite of the husband. He's sloppy, unrefined and emotional but hilarious. It doesn't take the wife long to discover that she is being followed and what follows is one of the most interesting relationship studies I've ever seen. She starts playing a game with him and taking him to places she loves but they never speak. I've thought about this story for years. I wanted to experience that with someone but someone who wasn't a creep. If they made this movie now Topol would probably turn out to be a creepy stalker or Mia Farrow would be psychopath who lures him to his death. Nothing like that happens here.

    If it was on DVD, I'd buy it in a minute. If you ever get a chance, you must see this film. I've always wanted to find someone else who'd seen it just to know if they loved it as much as I did. No car chases or exploding bodies but what a sweet, funny, insightful movie.
  • This is one of the all-time masterpieces directed by Carol Reed. Mia Farrow is fascinating, Topol is funny and tender-hearted, and John Barry's music is simply superb. Peter Shaffer's script is charming with a good twist and warmth, which I actually prefer to his other (more popular but colder) works.

    I'm very surprised to find out that it's never been released as Video or DVD. Is there any copyright issue here? Anyway, we should complain to Universal and urge them to resolve the problem and release DVD as soon as possible. Many people are waiting in a long line to watch it again!
  • upland143 October 2006
    I am looking to "borrow" a copy of this film...been looking for years now! Anyone with information please message me, I'd very much appreciate it.

    I have not seen this little gem in many years, but it had a haunting quality, with many good life lessons, on appreciating the good things in your life, and not taking love for granted. An old theme but played differently here. A romantic movie for sure. Good one for couples, young and old to see...problem is, finding it, unless you are lucky enough to see it on late night TV.

    A rare film to find, despite the level of the cast and crew, and a brilliant sound track.
  • I remember seeing this movie in Bombay, India almost 25 years ago and could never forget this sensitive movie, If anyone has any info about getting this movie please let me know Thanks.D
  • A tax accountant in London, under the false assumption his flighty American wife is being unfaithful, has her trailed by a private detective; turns out, she enjoys being followed. Failed romantic comedy from director Carol Reed opens with uninteresting chatter and stagy action--and then goes into flashback mode, detailing the couple's initial meet-cute (excruciating) and courtship. In these roles, Michael Jayston and Mia Farrow are a reasonable screen-match (and when things go sour between them, Farrow has some sound dialogue about why and how their union has wilted). But all of this is irrelevant once Mia locks eyes with "public eye" Topol (only one year after his triumph as Tevye in the film-version of "Fiddler on the Roof", and nearly unrecognizable out of the costume). Topol has the exaggerated expressions and rubbery body language of the greatest comedians of the 1930s and '40s; once he is allowed to cut loose, the actor gives a star's performance. Unfortunately, screenwriter Peter Shaffer, adapting his own one-act play, is too enamored of the prim husband to give the lovably goofy Greek detective his due. The picture has noble intentions, but here that is practically a defect. ** from ****
  • I just saw this film a few months ago in a state run "art" cinema in Bucharest, Romania. I had nothing better to do and I saw some decent reviews in IMDb so I decided to see this movie. Plus, I'm a big fan of director Carol Reed.

    The print was quite poor but the acting, especially by Topol, who I loved in Fiddler on the Roof (one my favorite movies) was good. 70's London was well photographed and the music was perfect. The film was quite moderately funny as well. In the first scene where he introduced himself, I felt Topol was quite irritating. But as we slowly get to know the character and his free-spirited nature, he begins to become likable, especially when he starts leading Mia in the streets of London with funny 'edible' names which is a highlight of the movie. This film was supposed to launch Topol as a male romantic lead. Instead, it fizzled and he continued to sing "If I were a rich man..". I think there was something missing in the movie but I can't point out exactly what it was - its an eccentric, moody little film.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Hollywood remade this instead of well established classics like Psycho and Italian Job. This film never made it to the big league. Most film buff's would never have heard of it and the premise is quite interesting. The idea deserves a second chance with a better known cast (and packaging) although the original music theme should remain.
  • This film is no big name blockbuster, but it's undeniably my fourth most favorite flick of all times. The picture's whimsical feeling and dreamy musical score make it a must see for any B movie buff. Liberal Belinda's (Mia Farrow) growing impatience towards Charles' (Michael Jayston) stuffy attitude towards marriage's expectations set the scene for a delightfully entertaining comedy-drama. Julian Cristoforou (Topal) delivers a hilarious look at an impartial party's view on troubled life in the home place. I was fortunate enough to videotape the feature from television years ago in anticipation of it never making it to manufacturers release. I always had a soft spot in my heart for the underdog films, and in my opinion this one never garnered the kudos it rightly deserves. A definite 10 out of 10 !!
  • I must have seen the movie at least once in all the decades: once in the 70s, once in the 80s, about thrice in the 90s and twice in the 2000s. I think it's great: Mia Farrow, the gealous stiff husband, the funny moustached fellow in white, London, the love story, the food streets, the final scene on the boat and, of course,... the music, which has been haunting me for almost four decades! With all the new films to see, that I can hardly keep up with, and which I devour for hours every day, a classic like "Follow me" is a treat", it's like a magic box that you open and old memories pop up like pop corn!Really great!
  • LCShackley8 January 2007
    Topol's horrible 70s outfits aren't the only dated items in this movie. The biggest is the plot: stuffy husband must learn to loosen up to please free-spirit younger wife. Ho-hum, haven't we seen that a hundred times? And can't we see the ending coming about 30 minutes into the film? The acting is fine enough: Mia Farrow is the right type for the waif/wife, Michael Jayston is suitably stuffy as the husband. Topol seems an odd choice to play a Greek detective, except for the fact that he was a hot property right after FIDDLER and casting directors assume that all Mediterraneans look the same.

    John Barry's score is one of his worst. The theme is tepid and sung by what sounds like bad karaoke singers. The whole production suffers from being a very talky play "opened up" for the screen. What this means is sitting through long dialog scenes occasionally spiced up by long London montages (which are fun to watch for the scenery value).

    Of special interest is seeing an under-40 Annette Crosbie in a bit part, and in a WEE little bit part, Ann Way (playing a ticket taker). She was a regular on RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY as Mrs. Rumpole's friend Dodo Mackintosh.
  • but fast-forwarded quite a lot. Somewhere there's a Roger Ebert review that is right on the money and hilarious. It was called "The Public Eye" when I saw it on Sundance channel. It was endlessly talky, and I think it might have been a stage play. It was a kind of paint by numbers fey love story. Mia Farrow who's often beautiful and wistful was skeletal and actually scarier than she was in Rosmary's baby. Especially when she danced! These were the deadliest of stock characters, the stuffed shirt husband, the waifish sincere sensitive free spirit, and Topol as the earthy Real Person who helps everybody find him and herself. Ebert described him as Zorba in a lab coat. Dumb dumb dumb. Why did I watch all the way thru? "Cause I'm old and got to look again at the tail end of the 60's?
  • From time to time I like checking IMDb on some of my favourite directors, actors, writers, or even some adaptations from stage to screen. It's funny how some titles from some great artist have fallen into oblivion.....and FOLLOW ME! is a clear example of how unfair this is. Carol Reed, Mia Farrow, Topol, John Barry, Peter Shaffer, what went wrong? Nothing, sometimes it just happens. TV stations never show the movie, no DVD release and time goes by and nobody remember this little gem. It doesn't mean that the movie bombed in the box office or anything like that. Furthermore, the movie played OK that year.

    Thanks God I was lucky to watch this movie in youtube and just let me say that when the movie ended I was grinning from ear to ear. It's not the best movie of all time; it's not the movie that changed my life...but at the same time I understand Belinda and the way she thinks love and marriage must be. It is a well done film that tells a simple story....and Carol Reed knew how to tell ordinary stories and make good films on them.

    It's a beautiful love story with excellent locations of London and with a superb job by the three leading actors, especially Topol who is just wonderful in this movie. What a surprise to know that Topol had another leading role after The fiddler on the roof. I always thought that he never got one after the musical.

    Mia Farrow (not one of my favourite actress I must say)is perfect for the role thanks again to her physical appearance. She looks so sad at times, wondering around London that she is totally credible on her role.

    The script by Peter Shaffer based on his play works perfectly on the screen thanks to director Carol Reed and the use of beautiful locations all around London. Oh, don't you love how London looks in the early 70's? I do! And what about the music? Some people have criticized it...well, it's a beautiful tune with different variations through the movie. Sometimes it sounds like perfect for a James Bond movie. And the song "Follow" I didn't like it at the beginning but after watching the movie it was in my head for days and now it's a favourite of mine.

    I am so happy that both Mia Farrow and Topol were awarded in my home country for this movie. Difficult task to get the San Sebastian International Festival award for both leading actors of a movie. But I suppose the International Jury just fell in love with the story as well as the audience. As a reviewer mentioned before there is a lot of dialogue in the film and you can find some of the most beautiful lines ever said in a movie. The dialogue between Belinda and the detective at the end of the movie in the garden is just wonderful. It makes you cry and smile at the same time.

    So my final advice you can's worth it! If almost 95% of the users on IMDb describe FOLLOW ME! as a gem, they can't be wrong
  • I must have last seen "follow me" almost twenty five years ago. I'm not even sure I can remember the plot. However, it still continues to haunt me. I remember its bright and beautiful colours. There was a flourescent Topol and en elfin Mia Farrow. But the biggest star was probably London itself. A beautiful carefree uncrowded city. Tantalisingly evocative of the flower-power era.
  • Everything the two previous viewers have said about this film is on the mark. The direction, the performances, the photography and editing, the subtle score, and the play / screenplay by Peter Shaffer--all are superb. I would add only one point: Shaffer has done a clever variation / reversal on the Orpheus-Eurydice myth, with Jayston as Orpheus, Farrow as Eurydice, and funniest of all, Topol as Pluto, private eye, public eye, king of London, king of the underworld, and, and, and.... That the detective's raincoat is "white" is indicative of Shaffer's sense of humor. I suspect that this is one of those films that will reveal something new to the viewer each time s(he) views it. It is now being shown on the Sundance TV Channel, where I came upon it by accident.
  • I saw the film a couple of times at the Town Theatre in Highland, IN, which still caters to foreign film and indies. It was hilarious. Topol, from Fiddler on the Roof Played a private eye hired to follow a man's wife. He falls in love with her and there are some laugh out loud moments. One that involved a gumball machine. Ring any bells with anyone? It's hard to find. It's generally not listed under his films. Probably because it wasn't in wide release, and isn't on video. I'd love to see it again, too. It left you feeling good after seeing it - we need more of that!
  • The soundtrack audio CD for the movie "Follow Me" by John Barry was just released on March 2, 2009. You will note from all the reviews how viewers were impacted by the beautiful music score ever since they saw the movie. And this happened in spite of the fact that the viewer may have only seen the movie only once, perhaps decades ago. It is rare that a movie score would have such impact. But considering that the composer is John Barry who composed the first three decades of James Bond scores, and who also set the record for the most Oscars for motion picture scores, this makes sense. The same thing happened with another of John Barry's scores: "Somewhere In Time." That movie only had a fleeting appearance at the movie theaters. However, the score went on to become a classic. So did the movie after it was released on video. Do not wait to buy the CD soundtrack, it may go out of print soon.
  • I have seen this movie twice, have been searching for it ever since. The music is so incredible, I still sing it in my head and play it on the piano from memory, but its fading fast, it has been twenty years since I saw it. I am so looking forward to getting the video if only someone could help find it.
  • A wonderful quirky romance with a twist. The film unwinds at a slow pace at first, but wraps you up as you get involved in the "is she/isn't she?" story along with the hapless husband. TOPOL plays the type of charming offbeat character we all wish we knew at some time in our lives - and the ending, while not perfect for all parties, is certainly not a disappointment.
  • I Would love to see this movie again because my recollections are not clear. I just remember I loved it as an eighteen year old girl. Any way of finding a copy of this? I have tried on and off over the years to find this movie but most video stores do not have it listed in any way. I've checked under Mia Farrow's movies and they do not list. Any help would be greatly appreciated.