Play Misty for Me – 1971
The scream you hear may be your own!
Jo Heims (story)
Jo Heims and
Robert Daley producer
Jennings Lang producer
Bob Larson associate producer
Clint Eastwood – David ‘Dave’ Garver
Jessica Walter – Evelyn Draper
Donna Mills – Tobie Williams
John Larch – Sgt. McCallum
Jack Ging – Frank Dewan
Irene Hervey – Madge Brenner
James McEachin – Al Monte
Clarice Taylor – Birdie
Don Siegel – Murphy (as Donald Siegel)
Duke Everts – Jay Jay
George Fargo – Man
Mervin W. Frates – Locksmith
Tim Frawley – Deputy Sheriff
Otis Kadani – Policeman
Brit Lind – Anjelica
Paul E. Lippman – Second man
Jack Kosslyn – Cab driver
Ginna Patterson – Madalyn
Malcolm Moran – Man in window
Cannonball Adderly and His Quartet – Themselves
Cannonball Adderley – Himself (leader, Cannonball Adderly and His Quartet) (uncredited)
Robert S. Holman – Policeman (uncredited)
Johnny Otis – Himself (uncredited)
Walter Spear – Policeman (uncredited
Review by Theo Robertson
A Film That Launched A Sub Genre Years Later,
It’s strange but PLAY MISTY FOR ME influence didn’t seem to have an effect on Hollywood until many years later when every studio seemed to be making ” person from Hell thrillers ” every week . This is the first movie to use the plot and dare I say it’s possibly the best?
Clint Eastwood is not a great character actor and it’s difficult not to think of him as anything other than Clint Eastwood but in PMFM he plays one of his most affable roles as Dave Garver a radio DJ who has a one night stand with Evelyn a fan. Come on guys it’s not like he’s married and we’d all probably do the same so he’s easier to empathise with unlike say Michael Douglas in FATAL ATTRACTION or Bill Clinton in The White House who probably did bring their troubles on themselves , so to all intents and purposes Dave is a relatively ” innocent ” victim.
There is some sex and violence but since we’re talking 1971 it’s not as naseauting or as explicit as it would be in late 80s/early 90s with only the last ten minutes being anywhere over the top . It’s a film whose dialogue keeps you entertained than than ridiculous set pieces as in : ” Why don’t you chase some sailors ?
” I hate sea food ”
” What is this ? Be kind to seniir citizens week ? ”
” Why don’t you play some Al Monte ”
” I never knew you liked the show ”
” I don’t . I just like Al Monte ”
Ah the days when dialogue was well written without being post modernist
Eastwood’s directing while not exactly being Oscar standard does at least show signs of great competence and manages to wring most of the potential tension from the story but there’s one sequence that is every bit as influential as the premise when the story stops and we see a montage disguised as a pop song . I don’t know if Eastwood should take the blame/credit for this but we’d see the same thing in APOCALYPSE NOW followed by just about every single movie of the 1980s having several musical montages.
PLAY MISTY FOR ME is a very memorable thriller, though since the premise has been stolen by literally dozens of movies in the last 30 years the familiarity of the story perhaps lessens the impact it originally had.
Play Misty for Me (1971)
Review by Wayne Malin
A horror film by Clint Eastwood!
Eastwood plays a disc jockey who has a fling with Evelyn (Jessica Walter). He thinks it’s a one time thing. She thinks otherwise–she wants to possess him and will stoop to anything to get him. And she loves sharp objects…
A very impressive directorial debut for Eastwood. It’s interesting that he did a slasher-type film seven years before “Halloween”. But this isn’t just an ordinary horror film. It’s quiet and (until the end) non-bloody. There’s just incredibly beautiful shots of Carmel CA. The script is well-written and sharp (no pun intended) and has interesting, believable characters. You even feel sorry for Evelyn (sometimes)! There’s also a wonderful love montage between Eastwood and his girlfriend (Donna Mills) set to Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw your Face”.
The acting is great. Eastwood is stone-faced all of the time, but he manages somehow to convey his chasracter’s fear. Walter is just incredible as Evelyn–she really chews the scenery and is downright terrifying. Why wasn’t she even nominated for an Academy Award for this? Mills is given nothing to do but looks great doing it! Also Eastwood has some near-nude scenes (in the R-rated version). Thanks Clint! But be warned…the attack scenes are scary and the ending is very violent and VERY bloody.
The film isn’t perfect. There’s some bad 70s dialogue, horrible fashions and a needless, lengthy sequence at a jazz festival. I have nothing against jazz, but it has nothing to do with the plot and stops the film dead in its tracks–and goes on for about 10 minutes!
Well worth seeing. Avoid the horribly edited TV print and rent the R-rated original.