I knew the twist from the start, if you don't it might work for you.
I'm not going to talk about the plot--you can read about that elsewhere on this page. But the problem with a show where the real heart of the thing working is that you don't see the ending coming is that if you do there might not be much that will hold your interest. And in this one I knew it from the first scene. I'm not sure who to blame for this, maybe it's just part of the source novels problem too, though I think that would be a better format to pull this off in. I also saw, but don't remember if the 80's remake of this episode works better or not.
And of course if you're a fan of this series you should be well aware that many of them will feature what in some circles is called a "snap" ending. Now true this story goes on a bit after that so it's not the whole story.
Rather than have a big speech at the end to explain it all this episode instead goes another direction with a long very complicated--and only partly effective, flashback montage played out in a mirror. It must have taken a good amount of the shows 4 day shooting schedule to create the material for this scene--which is like, though perhaps more complicated--than the key nightmare scene in VERTIGO. It has a ton of optical effects, one striking image of an eyeball, and a lot of pretty cheesy lightning bolt transitions. It's really elaborate. Some of it does work and a lot of work went into it. I don't think this kind of thing was director Newman's strongest skill.
But another thing here is this is just an elaborate way to explain it all and having that sort of conventional explaining at the end is still a bit of a dull moment even when they jazz it up this way.
A good try and the most interesting element of this episode but not a total success this sequence.
Joan Hackett was a terrific actress who died far too young, but even she can't totally pull off the admittedly almost impossible to pull off final scene, though it's nice to see her try. The show has an original score by Leonard Roseman which works and he does a lot of work for that dream scene--but he can't beat Herrmann's music for the same thing in Vertigo. Not that he's trying to necessarily.
Other elements of this show move pretty quickly. The whole episode follows a sort of Italian Giallo format. Including the quirky detective who, in this one, is chomping on sugar cubes. At one point he says "It's good for quick energy." The sequence with the photography studio is kind of shrilly acted.
Hitchcock wrap around is one of the simplest of the series with one very funny throw away statement in the opening, though the station break and warp up segments are pretty dull.
I rate this episode a good swing but a clear miss. Decide for yourself maybe it's a home run.
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