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Alan Alda plays a classical piano player on the rise who befriends a famous player himself who's at death's door. Unknown to Alda, the guy is a satanist, who arranges to have their souls switch places at his death, so that he can be young again and continue to play piano (thus needing a skilled piano player like Alda to switch bodies with). Written by
At one point in the film, there is a very subtle reference to the "Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald first published in 1922. When Myles is having his facial mask done by Paula, Duncan comes into the room and after a few moments says "People should be born at seventy, and live their life backwards!" This is the exact age of Benjamin Button when he is "born" in the Fitzgerald story. See more »
Excellent occult thriller with a surprising end, worth to be seen
This is one of the best occult thrillers ever made. Direction, acting, cinematography and the music score are superb as is the script based on the Fred Mustard Stewart novel with the same title. Curd Juergens plays a famous concert pianist and Barbara Parkins his adoring incestuous daughter. Wanting to make their illicit love eternal they feel compelled to make ritualistic human sacrifices to Satan. The film aided by an excellent Jerry Goldsmith score manages to create an unsettling and more and more threatening atmosphere as the true nature of these two becomes clearer and a journalist played by Alan Alda gets drawn into their web. His wife, played by Jacqueline Bisset, sees the imminent danger in nightmares. These dream sequences that gradually unveil the shocking truth are extremely well filmed and the music enhances the emotional impact even further. This one is a real chiller with some very frightening moments and a very surprising end. Its many disturbing images will haunt you for quite some time. It proves that elegant filmmaking becomes the horror genre very well. I'd love to see The Mephisto Waltz released on DVD!
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