Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wait Until Dark (1967)

A woman, trafficking drugs inside a child's doll, gives it to an unsuspecting man to hold at the airport. When she later asks for the doll back, he can't find it. While the man is out, three criminals try to shake down his blind wife (Audrey Hepburn) for the doll.

Audrey Hepburn plays the Audrey Hepburn character, only pushing 40 this time. Efrem Zimbalist Jr played her husband. Folks might remember him from The FBI (in color!) Or as Stephanie Zimbalist's father. Or maybe not at all. Zimbalist sounds like the guy who plays the zimbals. Hate that guy.

Hepburn got the Oscar nomination, but the real story is American hero Alan Arkin as Evil Ringo. He is truly diabolical as he coerces the other two criminals to assist recovering the doll. Arkin, then a two-time Oscar nominee, was asked if he felt overlooked for this part. He replied "You don't get nominated for being mean to Audrey Hepburn!" It'll be almost forty years before he wins. We will be seeing him again soon.

The movie was produced by Hepburn's then husband, who then divorced her. I don't think there was a connection. Richard Crenna (you know, from the earlier Rambo movies) was interesting in an early role. He was older than I thought he was, pushing 60 come Rambo. Here is before he started wearing the porn stache.

Wait Until Dark isn't without its flaws. All problems could have been avoided if they'd just lock their damn door. And what apartment doesn't have a back exit? That can't be to code. Also, the criminals plot was overly elaborate. They put on disguises for a blind lady, then they use their real names. And there are more, but what's the point.

Despite its flaws, Wait Until Dark is an excellent thriller. There are some real thrilling moments and your attention is never released. AMRU 3.5.
"I cannot negotiate in an atmosphere of mistrust."

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