Walking down twenty-seven flights of stairs after the power goes out in the New York City office building he is in, David Stillwell emerges outside on the ground level to find that a man he didn't know either jumped or was pushed out a window to his death. That man was Charles Calvin, the head of Unidyne, a humanitarian organization that works toward world peace. David notices other unusual goings-on. What he considers his normal routine that others he knows should recognize, don't. People that he doesn't know seem to know him, such as the beautiful young woman with who he walked down the stairs but who ran off when they got to the bottom. And things that he thought he saw or thought he knew end up not being the case, such as the multiple sub-basement levels he thought were in that office building which don't seem to exist in the clear light of day. When he finally thinks about it, he believes he has some form of amnesia. As an example, he knows that he works as a cost accountant, but...Written by
The television set at David's (Gregory Peck's) apartment was the Zenith with mechanical wireless remote control. The spring-loaded remote produces commands via the ultrasonic clicks which are picked up and processed by the television. You can clearly hear the specific loud click when David turns it off with the remote. See more »
When David Stillwell is in the police office reporting that a man threatened him with a gun, when the officer is filling out the form, he asks for Stillwell's date-of-birth. For this procedure the police would not have asked the victim of a crime for his date-of-birth. See more »
[Talking about the Major]
Those people aren't even ants to him! They're articles of commerce! And I'm the cost accountant, trying to cut down his overhead with what you and he call "progress"!
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I've always had great affection for this film, ever since seeing it in a theatre as a teenager.
First, a major innovation in thrillers - flashbacks done as direct jump-cuts into the actual flow of the film (no wavy lines or warped visuals to announce to the audience that they're seeing a flashback) This movie demanded that you keep up with what was unfolding and trusted you to figure out what was past and present.
Peter Stone's script - sharp, thrilling and funny, very much like Ernest Lehman's work on "North By Northwest" and Stone's own work on "Charade" and "Arabesque".
The villains...priceless...the grumpy, elderly hit-man who accosts Peck in Central Park...brilliant idea. Jack Weston's wisecracking hit-man..(a seemingly jolly joker, who lets his mask drop briefly in a pivotal scene with Peck) And of course, George Kennedy as Willard, a rampaging psycho who nurses grudges against victims who dare to defend themselves. I almost forgot Kevin McCarthy as the quintessential sniveling corporate toady.
A true classic....and a total crime and injustice that it's not on DVD yet.
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