The Unknown (1964)

TV Movie   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Near Aix-les-Bains (South-East of France), two women, Kassia and Leonora, are driven by a fanatical blackmailer, named André, in a white Rolls Royce at full speed. Suddenly, they stop near ... See full summary »

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19 August 2003 | urick
| The Fear of the Unknown
"The Unknown" is an elegant, oddball and symbolic tale that pays tribute to many classic works: first, the core of the drama comes from Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Les Diaboliques"--the drowning of a man--and then borrows elements from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"--the old dark house and composer Dominic Frontiere's music remind the shrill violin of "Psycho" during the murder in the lake scene--, Val Lewton's 1940's noirish productions--fear created by the power of suggestion--, injects some literary references to William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (see David McCallum's monologues delivery) and anticipates the mood of Ingmar Bergman's "Persona"--see the close-ups combined with quick cuts of both actresses inside the mansion. The camera works of Conrad L. Hall and William A. Fraker are superb and innovative: see how they transform Nature to give it a dreamlike texture during the lake scene. The general art direction and the dramatic structure are so refined that make this TV movie almost like a feature film. I think this is a work of art for 1964's standards. For the anecdote, the rip through main title by Wayne Fitzgerald as well as Dominic Frontiere's original score was re-used in 1967 for Quinn Martin's "The Invaders".

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