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|Index||168 reviews in total|
My title sums it all. I was very surprised at how good this film was. I found it very similar to a movie like "Rear Window". One other person's comments was titled "The best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made". It think that is very true. Most of the film is shot within this basement apartment unit. And the thriller is so great because of Hepburn being blind and these three bad guys freely walking into her unit and introducing themselves as her husband's friends, or police, or some neighbour. But they all forget one thing: She uses her ears like no regular person does, she doesn't need eyes. But that is where the thriller kicks in. Sometimes it is pretty painful for us to watch (us who can see) because she seems so vulnerable. Wrapping around of all this is Henry Mancini's music. He is using a technique that he also used in the film "Night Visitor" where there is this melody on the keyboard and after everynote there is the detuned note following it. Pretty cool effect. One thing I didn't get though, There is a scene where the room looks pretty dark and Alan Arkin still has his sun glasses on. I loved this film, 10 out of 10.
I watched this movie out of sheer "desperation" -- I couldn't find any
current movies on that I wanted to see or that I hadn't seen before, so I
just ended up on the channel this film was on. It was fate!! What a fun,
If you have not seen Audrey Hepburn in a movie, see this and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and you will *really* appreciate her talent and beauty. Also of mention is Alan Arkin. I read that critics didn't like his role as the heavy in this film when it was first released, but personally I think he is great in it -- intimidating and kitschy at the same time.
This film builds the suspense throughout perfectly. There is not a lull or a let-down to be found! Also, this has a twist ending and a classic suspense/horror plot element that has been done many times since, but not as well!
The Bottom Line: 4 1/2 Jiffy's Out of 5
"Wait Until Dark" has lasted for 23 years as one of the scariest movies ever made. Audrey is fabulous as a blind woman who is harassed by three men trying to find an object in her apartment without her noticing. The cinematography is excellent, especially at the end when the audience is practically struck blind as well. A wonderful choice for viewing on a dark night.
Never in my life have I ever seen 800 people fly off their seas like I did the night I saw WAIT UNTIL DARK at the cinema in 1970. And I was up there with them. Moaning away in shock. Screaming! (and I don't scream) ............In the run up to the final 20 mins the cinema management slammed the foyer doors, switched off all the aisle lights one by one all around the cinema, and turned up the volume; ripples of creepiness washed over the audience....and then....whammo! The noise from the audience, the screaming and the shifting about in our seats.....I haven't heard shocked noises like that in a cinema since. Do yourself a BIG favour...........get the DVD and watch this at home, by yourself, in total darkness! You will scream your head off and tell everyone you know what a great thriller this is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be blind, deprived of the power even to see the danger that
threatens you, is a frightening experience... It also, obviously, gave
director Terence Young the opportunity to carry out one of the most
important rules of suspense: let the audience discover more than the
When we can see imminent danger which the victim, by definition, cannot see, the emotional impact is increased on the viewer... We desire earnestly to cry out in warning, but we cannot... We can only sit helplessly, and wait to see what become apparent... And when the sightless is a young and lovely woman, there are many twists and turns, disturbing moments, claustrophobic atmosphere, great suspense...
Most of the drama is played out in Hepburn's apartment in NewYork, and there is an outstanding development when Susy Hendrix (Hepburn), alone with her telephone cord cut and awaiting the return of the gangs, decides to use her disadvantage as a defensive weapon... Her one advantage in being blind was that she required no lightand she methodically destroyed all the light-bulbs...
After three brutal murders, only the master-criminal, a merciless villain (Alan Arkin) is left to confront her He selected the most terrifying way of terrorizing her... Susy lost her sight in a car crash or really the fire from the crash
Audrey Hepburn earned her 5th and final Academy Award nomination for her brilliant performance
Albeit obscure, 1967's "Wait Until Dark" is a fantastic movie in many regards. It may not have epic chases, mushy love scenes, or even a plot involving robotics, but it does capture the mind for that hour and a half. To its credit are the performances of Audrey Hepburn as an insecure "champion blind woman," Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as her encouraging husband, Julie Herrod as her helpful (but rebellious) young friend, and a whole host of (well, three) others as a variety of crooks, cops, and impostors. The plot is well thought-out, with twists and turns to keep you busy from even before Hepburn sets foot on the stage. It almost entirely takes place one or two rooms of an apartment, utilizing the limited set to a "Rear Window"-esque advantage. There is suspense, emotion, crime, passion, and a delve into the world of the blind- and its potential symbolism. Convincing performances, death and devilry, and an almost mother-daughter relationship are all found within this obscure classic, "Wait Until Dark."
At first I thought this movie would only be mildly suspenseful, but how wrong I was. This is quite a clever movie. I was really amazed by the thorough attention that is given to even minor details. Everything in this movie just fits together perfectly....the pace, the setting, the overall mood, the way one thing leads to another....everything. The director of this movie did a great job. Of course, what would this movie be without the excellent performances given by its cast. Who would've known that Audrey Hepburn, one of the classiest ladies of the twentieth century, would be so appropriate for a thriller like this one. She plays a blind woman, and she is so right for this part. Her performance is remarkable....I cannot picture any other actress of the day in that role. Also, Alan Arkin is awesome, playing a psychotic killer. For the most part, this movie contains some shocking moments that will make you jump. Definitely wait until dark to see this movie....turn off all the lights and watch it after midnight if you can, for an even greater suspenseful effect.
"Wait Until Dark" was recommended by a friend of mine because I
complained that "Psycho" was good, but not thrilling enough. "Wait
Until Dark" is a great thriller that works mostly because of it's story
line and performances.
Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman named Susie, whose husband is out. She doesn't know it, but she posses a doll full of heroin, and three men are working together to get it. Like some Hithcock thrillers such as "Rope" and "Rear Window," "Wait Until Dark" takes place in an apartment. Another similarity is that strange events happen that turn out to be very shocking!
The film is interesting because Susy alone figures out the trio's plan to take the doll. She works with he friend, Gloria, to unravel the plan. Twists and turns come and go throughout the film. The scariest, or most shocking one involves a telephone. I won't tell you what it is, but it made me gasp. The twists get a bit confusing at times, but they provide good shocks for the audience.
Audrey Hepburn does a good job of playing a blind woman, and knows exactly how to act.
Men come and go throughout her apartment, and it's up to the audience (and her) to figure out the plan.
Fans of this will also like: "Rear Window,"(1954) "Memento," (2000) and "Vertigo." (1958)
Feel free to send me a Private Message regarding this comment.
In "Wait Until Dark", I really felt sorry for Audrey Hepburn's Susy Hendrix: blind, lied to by a 'nice' guy who is actually in cahoots with a murderer, sassed by the bespectacled neighbor girl, and then--after a hellish night spent being terrorized by thugs--husband Efrem Zimbalist Jr. walks in and doesn't even give her a hand. "I'm over here, Susy", he tells her, mildly condescending. Film is based on Frederick Knott's popular play, and has an elaborate but obtuse set-up involving a missing doll filled with heroin. There's a great deal of talk about where it is, who had it last, etc. The filmmakers bide their time before getting to the showdown between Hepburn and Alan Arkin, cool and collected as a self-assured psychopath. If you can make it through the first half-hour or so, you'll find that "Wait Until Dark" gets cooking thereafter. There are some terrific jolts, and Hepburn is a great, stubborn fighter. The frosty, subdued color photography is 'realistic' and very stylish, as is Henry Mancini's spooky music. The end-credits theme song (by Mancini, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans) seems a throwaway, but is nicely sung by the uncredited Sue Raney. *** from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Everyone's afraid of the things that go bump in the night. For people who
are blind, things that go bump in the day can be just as
Terrence Young's "Wait Until Dark," starring Audrey Hepburn, capitalizes on just that fear. A man in an airport is handed a doll by a complete stranger. The doll, unbeknownst to the man, is being used to transport heroin into the country. When some crooks want the doll, they track down the man. Their search leads them to his New York City apartment ... and his wife, who is blind.
Audrey Hepburn turns in a wonderful performance as Suzy Hendrix, a woman who has been coping with blindness for a year. Just starting blind school and learning how to relive her life, Suzy is a functioning -- albeit frightened -- mass of walking vulnerability. Her husband (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) is intent on making her learn how to do things on her own, and she is eager to please him, while at the same time desperate for help. Her stress and fatigue is palpable.
When the crooks -- played by Richard Crenna and Jack Weston, and led by a heavily accented Alan Arkin -- begin their elaborate confidence scam against Suzy, she has no way of knowing they are lying. If Crenna says he is an old war friend of Suzy's husband, how does she know he is making it up? If they tell her there is a police car watching her from outside her window, how is she supposed to know the street is empty? If the leader Roat is a different character each time he comes into her apartment, how can she tell?
Sadly -- and very suspensefully -- she is unable to tell truth from lies without the help from both her young neighbor Gloria and her own heightened senses. The suspense shifts halfway into the film from us wondering if she will be swayed by the conmen to if she will be able to outsmart them, and, ultimately, if she will be able to outlive them.
"Wait Until Dark" is an amazingly suspenseful film with wonderful performances by Hepburn, Arkin, and Crenna. It keeps you both on the edge of your seat and at the end of your patience as you wait for Hepburn to realize what we already know. Not only are the men out to get the doll, but they are out to destroy Hepburn's confidence, as well as her life.
Hepburn is totally believable as a blind woman, and she certainly did enough background work to earn the commendation -- as well as an Oscar nomination. Studying at a school for the blind before filming began, Hepburn learned how to use a walking stick, how to do her hair and make-up with her eyes closed, and even wore special contact lenses to impair her vision. Watching her, you truly feel her desperation and her vulnerability.
Perhaps what makes this feel so good is the boldness of its approach. Just as Hepburn smashes out the light bulbs in her apartment to nullify her enemies' advantage, so too does director Terrence Young put the audience in the same spot as both the victim and the attacker. With moments of pure darkness in the film's final, nail-biting scene, the audience is also rendered blind, forced to rely on their other senses, just as Suzy does. It is gutsy, and it is brilliant. The loss of vision only heightens our tension. It makes us the hunted.
Granted, there are some questionable plot points -- such as why Suzy didn't let young Gloria, who she soon found had the doll all along, keep it at her place, and out of the hands of the con artists, as well as the perplexing question of why a blind woman living in New York City very seldomly locks her door. But these are minutia in a sea of wonderful filmmaking, and nothing can take away from the "Wait Until Dark"'s wonderful, gradual climation of suspense. It is subtle, it is perfectly cast, and it is scary as hell.
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