Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

USA, 1971

Shown in 1971


Clint Eastwood
Jo Heims, Dean Riesner
Bruce Surtees
Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, Jack Ging, Irene Hervey, James McEachin, Donald Siegel


prod co
Malpaso Company
Universal; A Jennings Lang Presentation
Play Misty for Me

An exciting debut as director brings the career of actor Clint Eastwood to a memorable peak in contemporary American filmmaking. The works of such actor-directors as Brando, Hopper, Newman and Nicholson have given audiences some indication of the growing tendency of film artists to take this daring step; and like some of his predecessors, Clint Eastwood has chosen modern American society as a vehicle of social malaise. In the environment of the Monterey Peninsula, a disc jockey, Dave Garland, hosts a popular conversation-and-record program. He becomes fascinated by the voice of a mysterious woman who calls the station regularly, requesting that the tune, “Misty,” be played. The quality of the woman’s voice haunts Dave, and on the air, he makes it clear to his listeners that his favorite hangout is a specific bar on Cannery Row; it is hoped, of course, that the woman might appear there. Soon, she does arrive, encouraging an affair, which Dave accepts. The understanding between them is that their liaison is simply a temporary interlude of physical satisfaction, without complications. However, Dave’s life becomes totally changed by his involvement with his admirer, who simply identifies herself as Evelyn Draper. The drama of thwarted passion is not an entirely accurate description of this film, because the plight in which the hapless disc jockey finds himself is part of the tradition of unexpected terror—the fear of having a diabolically clever maniac as an adversary. Play Misty for Me is a psychological thriller with sociological undertones; one responds to its witty slangs and beautiful locales with enjoyment and the acting, realistic and forceful, shows that this new director understands the subtleties of his craft. From the stuff of jazz, booze and the American dream of the femme fatale, Play Misty for Me dramatizes the nightmare that might ensue when pursuing that dream.

—Albert Johnson

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