The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun
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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Dwells Outside the Realm of Good and Bad

Author: Jennel2 from Arizona
29 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Lady in the Car..." is not a great or even good film, yet I agree with the person who called it "oddly hypnotic." It's true that the last third of the movie is terrible, and the explanation of why and how the Reed character framed Eggar's character is ludicrous. Still, the first two-thirds are a wonderfully rendered time capsule of the late sixties. Samantha Eggar was fresh and beautiful, and her performance gave the film (or at least that first two thirds of it)a degree of interest the plot itself did not deserve. It's been fifteen years since I saw this film, but I would love to see it again. I would turn it off when the John McEnery character is introduced.

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16 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A gripping French Thriller made into a mediocre American movie

Author: gerdd from Johannesburg, South Africa
16 May 2005

Contrary to what some said here earlier, the novels by Sebastien Japrisot are gripping and full of atmosphere. There is no way that Dany Lang's trip to Marseille can be transferred to the States. If you didn't like the movie too much - like me - try to get a copy of the book, so you can enjoy the story fully. Japrisot's novels are usually characterized by a carefully constructed claustrophobic atmosphere and a precise resolution of all the details at the end. It may well be impossible to do them justice in movies that are less than four hours long.

Unrealistic? Probably, but I don't read a novel or watch a movie for a reality check - the News give me too much of that already. A difficult read it is, but so rewarding. By the same author: One Deadly Summer, Trap for Cinderella, The Sleeping Car Murders. To me, the Lady in the Car was the best.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Flawed But Oddly Hypnotic Thriller

Author: Jennel2 from Arizona
1 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Samantha Eggar was at the highpoint of her career in 1970, and she is very appealing as the victim of an elaborate (too elaborate?) frame for the murder of her boss' (Oliver Reed) wife. The plot has a few gaping holes, and the last third of the film, during which Eggar meets up with a character played by John McEnery, loses its focus completely. Still it is a strangely attractive, even fascinating film for the first two thirds. It captures the flavor of the late sixties quite well. That is surprising, as director Anatole Litvak, best known in the US for his late forties melodramas "Sorry Wrong Number" and "The Snakepit," was in his eighties when he made this, his last feature film. I saw this film on cable about ten years ago, but the version I saw was definitely in English. Dubbed? In sum, an odd combination of road movie and pseudo-Hitchcock thriller. Could have been great, if only the payoff were better.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great film marred by bad editing choices

Author: TidalBasinTavern from United Kingdom
26 June 2014

The film could be described as 40% Alfred Hitchcock and 60% Raymond Chandler. It initially starts out as a very glossy chick-flick with our heroine Danielle Lang (Samantha Eggar) working as a PA in a chic Paris advertising agency for her dashing boss Oliver Reed. The Christian Dior dresses perfectly capture the glamour of very late 1960s Paris. I would have been happy enough with just that, but it gets darker and better as the movie progresses. Although Mademoiselle Lang plays the confused and helpless heroine for most (but not all) of the film, it does pass the Bechdel test. Samantha Eggars performance is first rate, but I have to say I think Stéphane Audran steals the show as Samantha Eggars former flatmate. However, as a long time Stéphane Audran fan I may be biased, and in fact that was the main reason I watched the film in the first place. Most of the supporting cast is very good also.

Where the film goes wrong is that it spends far too long on the 'mystery' aspect of the plot and when the 'reveal' happens it is too rushed. I think this may simply be bad editing since there are many many scenes in the 'reveal' sequence which are cut together in the space of a few minutes. Maybe if they'd been stretched out over 30 minutes it would have made everything feel more balanced. Particularly as the 'mystery' segment starts to drag toward the end.

It didn't help that I saw a really poor print of this. I would love to see the original, I'll bet the colours look sumptuous.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Head-swirling collage of mystery, deception, and Christian Dior...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
25 August 2009

Secretary at a Paris fashion agency borrows her boss's car for a weekend drive down the Mediterranean coast, but her lighthearted holiday is fraught with trouble after she continually runs into complete strangers who appear to know her. U.S.-French co-production, adapted by Sébastien Japrisot from his novel with assistance from director Anatole Litvak, is beautifully designed and mounted, with attractive photography by Claude Renoir in mod-popping shades. Samantha Eggar has never been better (nor lovelier) than she is here, confusedly finding herself in turbulent situations yet determined to figure out what's really going on. Japrisot and Litvak lay on the paranoia undercurrent fairly thickly, though they also play fair with the viewer and give us a journey well-wrought with engrossing entanglements. It's also one of the chicest mysteries to mark the end of the 1960s, with gorgeous locales, cars, and costumes to hold the attention whenever the script gets too talky. **1/2 from ****

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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Suspense ersatz.

Author: dbdumonteil
9 May 2002

This movie had high pretensions.Sebastien Japrisot is a poor man's Boileau Narcejac whose scripts are far-fetched and fall apart at every twist.Stephane Audran's presence could give a Claude Chabrol feel.And the heroine was Samantha Eggar, of "the collector" fame (1965).Add Oliver Reed and a director,Anatole Litvak, who succeeded brilliantly in suspense in former days (sorry wrong number,1948)

Eggar has been framed and she tries to understand as the plot thickens.Would her boss (Reed) do very bad things behind her back?Don't expect "les diaboliques".The ending is trite and disappointing.

Anatole Litvak called it a day after this thriller.The sixties had been pretty disastrous for him,encompassing Françoise Sagan (Aimez-vous Brahms?/Goodbye again) and absurd "historical" thriller(the night of the generals)

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

for me it brightened up when John McEnry comes in

Author: christopher-underwood from United Kingdom
16 October 2013

This is okay and Samantha Eggar very good but is just not sinister enough. My print was not a very good one which didn't help but I didn't feel particularly engaged early on and although for me it brightened up when John McEnry comes in, his character is too enigmatic to seriously help one's involvement in trying to work out just what the story is. The final denouement and cumbersome and involved flashback details as outlined by Oliver Reed did not annoy me as it has some (I've watched many a giallo where the 'explanation' is more ludicrous than the earlier tale) indeed it struck me as more interesting. There just wasn't enough actually happening in the bulk of the film for one to get one's teeth into. I suppose in some giallo these gaps would be filled with rising bosoms and falling dresses but here alas were left with the best of efforts by Ms Eggar, not particularly well dressed at all.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Samantha Eggar's Finest Performance

Author: info-627-664439 from United States
8 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film version of Sebastien Japrisot's novel, "The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun" (one of my very favorite novels) is an excellent filming, wonderfully realized by the great director, Anatole Litvak (his last film). I could not imagine that the film would do the novel justice, but it is very faithful, and honestly, I did not think the novel was particularly film-able as Japrisot's books speak very cinematically but are more so ultimately cerebral. The visualization gets edited to pieces with plot mechanics, in this case, the screenplay as written by Richard Harris and Eleanor Perry sums up some of mystery of the storyline with a large piece of edited flashbacks, and even then, when the plot is neatly defused, the beauty of the thing requires multiple viewings to tie still more loose ends in one's mind. A review on the Turner site, titled his review "A Samantha Eggar Fizzle." If Samantha Eggar were wrong for "The Collector" as John Fowles and Terence Stamp suggested during the making of it, and one were to not consider her performance in "The Walking Stick" as indeed very good, then one should see her performance as Dany Lang here as "magnificent," a role she brings the character's fluid beauty and resilient vibrancy to realization as the excitement she brought to audiences with "The Collector" (earning her an AAN and the Cannes BA Award) is brought to this film, even though audiences were not especially looking. Roles like "Walk Don't Run" and "Doctor Doolittle" had not done her career much good. Also very good was John McEnery as "Phillip" (who in my mind was not my choice for the role, but he is anyway very good and fitting as was Bernard Fresson (from Polanksi's "The Tenant") as one of the truckers (he looks very like the part with his cohort, "Toothpaste Smile" from the book). The 16mm print I saw was faded with the Eastmancolor not holding up well, and Michel Legrand's soundtrack is one of his best and most unusual. The pairing of Ms. Eggar with Oliver Reed years later in "The Brood" is not because of their chemistry here. But I think Columbia would be so heroic to put this out as one of their Screen Classics.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

In spite of its faults, a very intriguing mystery

Author: kirksworks from Marin County, California
15 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd been looking for this film for years and finally found a poor quality but watchable dub.  I only saw it once when it was first released in 1970.  It stars Samantha Eggar and Oliver Reed who teamed up again many years later in David Cronenberg's "The Brood." I remember "Lady in the Car" as being very hip, with nicely atmospheric European locations, and a story that was very compelling until the denouement.    It's got a great premise.  Samantha Eggar plays a woman who drops her boss and wife off at the airport in their car and she is supposed to drive the car back to Paris. Instead, she heads towards the southern French coast - curiously finding that where ever she goes people remember her from earlier in the day, even accusing her of having left things behind and creating a ruckus.  It's like she was retracing tracks she never made even though she doesn't really know where she is going!  Whoa!  It gets weirder and weirder, even surprising and intense.


Unfortunately, the final fourth of the film is a let down when we find out the truth is nothing more than a silly murder plot. And to make the murder plot make sense, the script gets very contrived. And I dislike a mystery where someone has to explain what really happened. In this case, it's done with flashbacks, but I'm sure they were only used because the explanation was so convoluted, it needed pictures to clarify. Even then, it's confusing.


There is a character Eggar meets along the way that is just so absurd in terms of coincidence and the relationship that unfolds, that believability just catapults out the window.  With that character either changed or eliminated and the ending revised, I think this film would work very well as a non-Hitchcock Hitchcock film.  It really made me want to be in France in 1970.  Eggar is quite good as the confused woman. She was very appealing back then. This movie is hard to see, so beware of inaccurate descriptions. Leonard Maltin's book says "Lady in the Car" is about someone trying to drive Eggar insane, which is completely incorrect.  This is not a classic by any means, but something about a big chunk of it is very intriguing. It is based on a very popular French thriller with the same title. In spite of its problems, I have to say it was really great to see it again. I'd recommend it for Eggar fans, the developing mystery, and for some wonderful south of France locations.

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