A man wearing an expensive gray suit finds himself in Central Park in New York City not knowing who he is or how he got there. His amnesia even extends to the fact that he doesn't know how he takes his coffee. All he has on his possession are a crumpled piece of paper wrapped around a couple of pills, the paper also with a scribbled telephone number. He is also wearing a ring with a broken stone, the ring engraved from its giver with his or her monogram, G.V. The telephone number takes him to a woman who doesn't know who he is. Based on what she calls him and some item association, he begins to call himself Sam Buddwing if anyone asks him. As he wanders New York City in a daze, he believes he may be an escaped mental patient based on a newspaper story, his clothes and the monogrammed ring. But a vision of a young brunette makes him remember a woman in his life named Grace. He manages to spend time with a few women during the day, many times he believing that woman is Grace herself. ... Written by
Teamed with "Mirage" an amnesia double-bill to remember.
Maybe because I've woke up on my share of park benches--this film hits home. James Garner is perfectly cast as the lost and befuddled gent who cannot recall his name or identity. Some may feel perplexed by his choice of name: Buddwing, taken from an air plane and beer truck. This makes perfect sense to me insofar as he spent the previous evening in a bar drinking and has suffered a shock of some kind. The movie begins with the camera as Buddwing's eyes and moves and walks off into the urban landscape. The technique is groundbreaking and striking. I like how Garner checks his pockets and hands looking for some clues to his name and identity. But when he finds only a Metro-North train schedule, a scrap of paper with a phone number and two pills, the mystery deepens. Acting honors go to Suzanne Pleshette, Jean Simmons and Angela Lansbury. Billy Halop, the original leader of the Dead End Kids, shows up as cab driver #2. He would later gain fame as another cabby, "Munson," on All in the family. TCM shows this movie with a "making of" documentary proceeding it. Someone must have felt they were creating something special. And they did.
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