Friday, August 5, 2011

Wait Until Dark. B+

I think the best thing about Wait Until Dark is that it doesn't wear its time period on its sleeve, and thus doesn't feel dated. Certain movies from the 1960s suffer a great deal these days, but Wait Until Dark, from a play by Frederick Knott, rarely wanders into the obscure, wild, pretentious and unpredictable areas that so many thrillers from the time did. It has a smooth, tight plot in which a blind woman must defeat evil men (two ignorant, one vicious) who invade her apartment trying to find a stash of heroin hidden in its walls. Their scheme is not to terrorize, but to deceive. Taking full advantage of our heroine's lack of sight, they intrude in her apartment and essentially act out a game they created to get information as to the location of the drugs. I won't reveal more because to do so would spoil the real pleasure of the movie. It's very psychological, from the standpoints of both the blind woman and the villains, and clever, too. And that leads to the film's problem: by trying to be too clever it ignores logical escapes that the blind lady could make. But considering how many holes there could have been in a story like this, the plot for the most part comes together nicely. It's not the most convincing movie ever made, no, but it's a highlight among thrillers and certainly one to look up to.

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