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A gem of a thriller..if you overlook the main character
The premise of the movie is simple enough..Cathy, a young, beautiful girl arrives in America to find work, meets Kenneth, a handsome young photographer, they fall in love, but it turns out the young man isn't all he seems to be, and when she learns she's pregnant, she decides she doesn't want him-or the baby and has an abortion, and he decides to seek revenge.
The setting is San Francisco, and the visuals are well played out in the city, along with a taut, tense script by Lorenzo Semple and Larry Cohen, with sure footed direction by Mark Robson, fresh off of his smash hit 'Valley of the Dolls' two years earlier. The cast includes Mala Powers as a sympathetic coworker of Cathy's who talks her into the abortion, Paul Burke (fresh off of his work as Lyon Burke in 'Valley') as Cathy's new husband, a senator wanna be, and of course, Scott Hylands, who as Kenneth, brings a creepiness to his role, but at the same time, you do feel for him as the spurned lover who wants revenge for the abortion that Cathy decides to get.
The only weak link in this movie is Carol White as Cathy. Beautiful as the young Brit who arrives to seek work and becomes involved in a nightmare, is harsh, childish, and for most of the movie, a total bitch. You never feel how Paul Burke's character fell for her, suddenly they are wedded, and there is very little passion between them in their scenes. She comes across shrill, completely obnoxious, and downright hateful. You wonder if she really wanted to have a baby in the first place with the way she acts. For the most part, this movie is a fine addition to the 'damsel in distress' genre, but having a heroine that is more sympathetic might have worked much better.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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