Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Audrey Hepburn is a blind woman being terrorized by Alan Arkin in an attempt to get a drug-filled doll from her apartment.

Really, do I need to say anything else? But since I've been neglecting you, my poor readers, I suppose I'll try to flesh out as to why you should see this movie.

First of all, let's get to the plot. Audrey Hepburn is Susy, a woman was recently blinded and still learning how to live in a world she cannot see. One day, he husband brings home a doll that a woman asked him to hold for her at an Airport, claiming that she didn't want her daughter to see it and ruin a birthday surprise. In reality, she was hoping to prevent her partner Roat (Alan Arkin) from getting the doll, which is filled with heroin.

So the doll ends up in Susy's apartment, and one a day where her husband is working, Roat and two associates create a story about Susy's husband Sam being involved in a murder and that this doll is evidence that could implicate him, hoping Susy will hand it over since they can't seem to find it. Unfortunately for them, Susy begins to grow wise to their plan, setting up a confrontation between the murderous criminal and a blind woman adjusting to life.

One issue with the plot, it's a bit ridiculous. In fact, Susy seems to never lock her door, allowing for Roat and his henchmen to walk in and out without Susy noticing. This may bother some people, and I can totally understand that, though if you consider that for the majority of the film, one of Roat's henchmen pretends to be an old friend of Sam's, it makes sense that she would leave the door open for him.

Now the acting. Audrey Hepburn is magnificent in the role of Susy. She creates a character who is hanicapped, but not useless. She's realistically limited because of her blindness, but it's not to the point where she has to rely on other people to bail her out, she can hold her own. And Hepburn adds gallons of likability to the character, making Susy a smart kind woman who is able to catch on to what's going on, hitting every emotional note perfectly as she has to run the gamut from being angry, terrified, suspicious and happy.

Alan Arkin is good as well, effectively portraying a character that is essentially a killer Beatnik. He's menacing as Roat, and he adds a twisted pleasure out of his dirty dealings, elevating him from a simple criminal to a psychopath.

And the film totally works. Audrey Hepburn makes you care about Susy, which makes it all the more gripping as we see the noose tighten around her neck as she unravels the lies around her, forcing Roat and his men to take action, making for a very tense viewing experience.

I can't recommend this movie enough. As I said, it may turn some people off with what they may feel to be the "Idiot Plot", but I happen to love this film.

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