George Bynum, a patient of Manhattan psychiatrist Dr. Sam Rice, is brutally murdered. Soon afterward, Dr. Rice is visited by Bynum's co-worker and mistress Brooke Reynolds and by the investigating officer Detective Vitucci. As Dr. Rice reviews the case notes on his sessions with Bynum, he starts his own investigation. At the same time, he finds himself falling for enigmatic blonde Brooke, despite her increasingly suspicious behavior. The closer Rice comes to the truth, the more he puts his own life in danger... Written by
Doctor Sam Rice:
Now listen to me! On account of you, I'm an accessory to something. I don't know what! I'm withholding evidence. I'm obstructing justice. I'm gonna get my license revoked if I'm not thrown into jail first. And on top of that, I've just spent fifteen thousand dollars for a painting I don't even like!
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I remember trying to get into this film in New York City on a Friday night, and it was sold out. IMDb doesn't list its box office, but I remember that it was quite popular. It was around the beginning of Meryl as Goddess - this was her 10th film and before "Sophie's Choice." The rest of the stars are Roy Scheider and Jessica Tandy. Scheider gets drawn into the murder of one of his patients after a visit from a mysterious woman (Streep) who worked with and had an affair with the victim. He goes back in his mind over some of his sessions with his patient, including a vivid dream, and finds himself living it.
If you know and love the big guy, Hitchcock, as much as I do, you'll enjoy this film just picking out all the Hitchcock touches. Others on this board have mentioned the cool blonde (Streep, looking gorgeous), the psychiatrist mother and the dream (Spellbound), a shot reminiscent of Rear Window, the presence of Jessica Tandy (The Birds), the ordinary man drawn into strange circumstances, the auction scene (North by Northwest), and of course, the Shadow of a Doubt reference - Scheider's Uncle Charlie.
"Still of the Night" is gimmicky, cold, and strangely memorable. Look at the various posts and see how many people remember where and when they saw it. Streep is excellent in her cool blonde role, though it's not a great part; however, her monologue toward the end of the film is very compelling. Scheider is just right as the psychiatrist, and Tandy is wonderful as his mother, though her role is too small.
Others mention that the film moves slowly until the end. The ending is very suspenseful and exciting, but I didn't feel the rest of the movie was slow - I felt like I was being set up for something. As it turned out, I was.
Recommended for lovers of Hitchcock and those who have not seen much early Streep.
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