JayDee's Movie Musings

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Rep for Assault on Precinct 13. Bonefied Classic!

I would give it 10/10



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Originally Posted by gandalf26 View Post
Rep for Assault on Precinct 13. Bonefied Classic!

I would give it 10/10
Thanks Gandalf. And I think my next review is another of your favourites (unless I'm getting mixed up), The Day of the Jackal. Should be posted at some point later today I hope.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
mirror
mirror


Year of release
1973

Directed by
Fred Zinnemann

Written by
Kenneth Ross (script)
Frederick Forsyth (novel)

Starring
Edward Fox
Michael Lonsdale
Alan Badel
Tony Britton
Cyril Cusack


The Day of the Jackal

+

Plot – After a failed assassination attempt on French President Charles de Gaulle, the OAS (Organisation of the Secret Army) realise they must turn to an outside source to get the job done. After some investigation they settle on a man who will come to be known only by the codename, The Jackal. This man is a true professional. However before he can accomplish his task, his intentions are learned, and an intensive investigation begins to locate him before he can strike.

While this film and my previous viewing, Assault on Precinct 13, could both fall under the umbrella term of a thriller, they probably couldn't take two more different approaches to the task of achieving thrills and suspense. While Assault on Precinct 13 was a furious, flash bang affair this is a much more methodical, calculated piece. A film revelling in the minutiae of the whole thing. This political/spy thriller has a real air of quality. What is particularly interesting is that the film starts with a true life event, a failed attempt on the life of de Gaulle, before branching off into a world of fiction. A what if? situation.

The real draw here is the intelligently scripted cat and mouse game that takes place between The Jackal and Inspector Lebel. It plays out like a chess match, each man aiming to get the advantage over the other, countering the other man's moves while devising new strategies of their own. The issue over who will succeed is what powers the enthralling intrigue. Will The Jackal be triumphant in his assassination attempts, or will Lebel get his man before he strikes. Now I may not know much about history (don't know much biology...what a wonderful world this would be. ) but I know Charles de Gaulle was not assassinated. So unless they massively broke from history I kind of know the outcome, which makes the fact it remains so tense and suspenseful all the more impressive.

Grounded in reality (at least I feel it is) it presents a fascinating insight into the lives of both men and their respective processes. The sheer level of detail we are shown, in regards to The Jackal's assassination plans makes it a very chilling and tangible prospect. In fact with such meticulous detail it almost feels like a docu-drama. We see him doing research in the library to plan the hit, we see him commissioning false papers and passports, we see him buying hair dyes to change his appearance and we see him acquiring a unique gun, specifically designed for the job. In a way it almost works as a worryingly plausible handbook for potential assassins. Cutting back and forth, we have that paralleled with Lebel's efforts to hunt down the hired gun before he can strike. It's a very intriguing example of an investigation as after all how do you go about finding a man when you have no knowledge of his name or appearance; a man who is basically a phantom. It's a very in-depth look at the immense work that goes into such an investigating. It shows the great deal of resolve they have, as they rely on their experience and intuition, as well as the massive task of fact checking they have to go through.

Edward Fox is terrific as the ice cold assassin The Jackal (aka Charles Calthrope aka John Oliver Duggan aka god knows who else). As an embodiment of the phrase 'a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, within a mystery' no one really gets to know who The Jackal is; he's a ghost. As a result we, the viewers, don't really get to know him either. Therefore without much room for characterisation Fox has to do all of his work on the surface. And on that front he succeeds. He is able to create a killer who is calm, composed and blessed with a high level of mental acuity. The character is a true professional and a highly skilled one at that, so much so that I admired him in a way. While I wouldn't go as far to say I was cheering him on, his charms and downright 'cool' exterior brought me pretty close.

On the opposite side is Commissioner Lebel, brought to life by a strong, understated performance from Michael Lonsdale. Lebel is not the kind of cop you will frequently find in films, he's not a big kick-ass action hero. He is a put upon, slightly weary seeming detective who has been given this incredible task. To accomplish it he employs all of the intelligence, intuition and experience that he can call upon. The main strength of Lonsdale's performance is just how believable and relatable he makes the character. The supporting cast are also first rate, with even minor roles being well played. Delphine Seyrig is very alluring as Colette de Montpellier, and despite the briefness of the role, there is a very memorable showing from Cyril Cusack as the Gunsmith that the Jackal employs to create his gun. Instead of the tough thug we may expect he is instead a charming, well mannered gentleman.

Seemingly shot almost entirely on location there is a whole lot to admire visually. Shot in London, Vienna, Paris, Nice and Genova it's a terrific array of attractive locations. Without resorting to obvious, tourist shots fine photography allows us to admire the architecture of the cities and the stylish 60s cars on show, and really create an atmosphere of these places. And it is all given a lovely warm, golden gloss which just adds to it's glamorous façade. Indeed the European locales, in conjunction with that golden glow, made it feel very reminiscent of Connery's early Bond efforts.

Without a doubt the movie's best moment, and absolute classic scene, has to be The Jackal's target practice scene. First of all it's just another nice little touch in his preparations, as we see him making minor adjustments to his makeshift gun. However what makes it is the result of his work as the watermelon he is firing at explodes. Now it could come off as really goofy. I mean a watermelon exploding in slow motion? But it's wonderfully effective. The reason I think is that it's shot in quite a detached fashion. Instead of an immediate close-up, or showing Jackal shooting and then cutting to the watermelon, we are shown the watermelon from a fair distance and we are left in silent limbo for a few seconds before it explodes. It really works as an unsettling moment.

Conclusion – A first rate thriller. It has a deliberate but compelling pace, and its level of intrigue remains high throughout. No technical element can really be faulted as the direction, acting, writing and cinematography are all top notch. A really classy effort.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Just realised I've hit 10 films in my season of 70s thrillers. I feel as if I've been drowning in quality as I begin to realise just why so many people hold the 70s in such high esteem. So far in order of favourite to least favourite we have -

Marathon Man -
+
All the President's Men -

Assault on Precinct 13 -

Three Days of the Condor -
++
The Day of the Jackal -
+
Dog Day Afternoon -
-
Charley Varrick -
++
The Conversation -
+
Deliverance -

The Boys from Brazil -
+


And here are the films that I could still watch as part of the season -

Sleuth/ Dirty Harry/ Frenzy/ Family Plot/ Duel/ Andromeda Strain/ Capricorn One/ Silent Partner/ Stepford Wives/ Coma/ The Parallax View/ Omega Man/ The China Syndrome/ Play Misty for Me/ Prime Cut/ The Manchurian Candidate (even though it's from 1962)

How many I'll get to I'm sure. And thanks to Mark and HoneyKid for suggesting some films I've gone and bought, and for reminding me of some others I already have taped from TV.

And if I felt like it (not that I need any more options) could also rewatch some favourites such as The Taking of Pelham One Two Three or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.



Registered User
Originally Posted by JayDee View Post
Just realised I've hit 10 films in my season of 70s thrillers. I feel as if I've been drowning in quality as I begin to realise just why so many people hold the 70s in such high esteem. So far in order of favourite to least favourite we have -

Marathon Man -
+
All the President's Men -

Assault on Precinct 13 -

Three Days of the Condor -
++
The Day of the Jackal -
+
Dog Day Afternoon -
-
Charley Varrick -
++
The Conversation -
+
Deliverance -

The Boys from Brazil -
+


And here are the films that I could still watch as part of the season -

Sleuth/ Dirty Harry/ Frenzy/ Family Plot/ Duel/ Andromeda Strain/ Capricorn One/ Silent Partner/ Stepford Wives/ Coma/ The Parallax View/ Omega Man/ The China Syndrome/ Play Misty for Me/ Prime Cut/ The Manchurian Candidate (even though it's from 1962)
Most of these are very good to excellent films, but there's more. Take these into consideration:

- Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
- Klute (1971)
- Magic (1978)
- ... And Justice For All (1979)
- Murder By Death (1976)
- Black Sunday (1977)

And I'd highly, highly recommend The Andromeda Strain. Not just one of the best sci-fi thrillers on the 70s, but absolutely one of the very best films of that stellar period for cinema. I'd rate it higher than any of the other films you've watched already, save The Conversation.



Unreliable Narrator
These are some films that I like from the 70s (other than those already mentioned):

McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Network
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
The Holy Mountain
The Hourglass Sanatorium
Five Easy Pieces
The Sting
__________________
Mubi



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Originally Posted by Brodinski View Post
Most of these are very good to excellent films, but there's more. Take these into consideration:

- Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
- Klute (1971)
- Magic (1978)
- ... And Justice For All (1979)
- Murder By Death (1976)
- Black Sunday (1977)

And I'd highly, highly recommend The Andromeda Strain. Not just one of the best sci-fi thrillers on the 70s, but absolutely one of the very best films of that stellar period for cinema. I'd rate it higher than any of the other films you've watched already, save The Conversation.
'Mostly very good to excellent'? Sounds very promising. Seems I still have a lot of quality ahead of me.

Thanks for the recommendations. Was aware of some of them (and HK also recommended a few of the same) and quite fancy a couple, Le Cercle Rouge in particular. Will try and track that down at some point. I actually have Murder by Death taped somewhere to watch but I thought that was a comedy (assuming I'm thinking of the same film)

Wow that's quite high praise for The Andromeda Strain. Based on that it may be the next film I go with. Either that or Frenzy I think.

As for The Conversation I feel quite bad seeing it languishing in the bottom 3. Based on just pure quality it deserves to be a lot higher. It's just that the other films I 'enjoyed' more. Though The Conversation is the kind of film that can grow on me over time. Whereas films that are just straightforward entertaining can slip over time once you've seen all they have to offer, more subtle and cerebral fare like The Conversation I can grow to appreciate and rate higher over repeat viewings.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
mirror
mirror



Year of release
1972

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock

Written by
Anthony Shaffer (script)
Arthur La Bern (novel)

Starring
Jon Finch
Barry Foster
Anna Massey
Alec McCowen


Frenzy


Plot - Richard Blaney is a down on his luck guy, who drinks too much and has just been fired from his job as a bartender. When his ex-wife is raped and murdered by the notorious 'Necktie Murderer', Blaney is seen as the absolute prime suspect. The police have the wrong man, but the true murderer is actually so very close to Blaney that he goes to him for help.

The plot is a familiar one for a Hitchcock film. An innocent man is falsely accused of a serious crime and goes on the run until he can clear his name. However this time we don't find ourselves in an escapist world of espionage, spies and global conspiracy. This time we are in much darker, seedier waters. Coming towards the end of his career (it's his penultimate film) it almost plays as a scrapbook of elements from his previous work. Along with the familiar plot of an innocent man wrongly accused which was found in many a Hitchcock film (The 39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Saboteur etc) there is the relationship between Blaney and Rusk that evokes feelings of Strangers on a Train's 'friendship' between Bruno and Guy. There is the sexual deviance of Psycho (even featuring a brief appearance by the killer's mother, perhaps a little nod to Psycho) and a scene where the killer is trying to frantically retrieve a pin from a body (more on that later) which once again brings Strangers on a Train to mind. And even just the fact that he still has his little bag of tricks when it comes to filming techniques.

The film opens with a particularly impressive shot as we swoop along the River Thames, through Tower Bridge and over onto the banks where a politician is pronouncing about pollution in the river, just as a naked female body washes up in said river. This is just one example of Hitchcock's typically macabre humour which makes frequent appearances throughout, though even by his standards some of it is a touch on the morbid and nasty side.

While Hitchcock frequently dealt with some of life's more sinister elements, here it all feels just a bit grislier and lurid, with the violence and sex the most explicit of his career (as far as I'm aware). The horrific rape, and ensuing murder, of Brenda Blaney is deeply unsettling. With a large series of quick cuts it feels in the same style as Psycho's famous shower scene, except in Psycho we never actually saw the stabbing. While numerous people swear they remember it, it was all just implied . Yes we knew fine well what was going on but much of it was created in our minds. Here however it is presented in a full-on graphic manner. And Rusk's coarse uttering of the word 'lovely' over and over again just adds to the sleaziness. It's not even just the vile act and the way it's shot that contribute to this feeling of unease. There is the uncomfortable moment where the victim actually realises what is going to happen and accepts it, no longer struggling. She feels the rape is the worst that is to come and just wants it over with. And then there's her horrific realisation of what is really going to happen as he removes his necktie.

As a result of that first rape scene we don't even need to see the next one to feel its power. All we need to hear is the chilling phrase “You're my type of woman” to know what's coming and pity the woman for her complete ignorance to the fact. It's also here that Hitchcock breaks out one of his cinematic tricks. As the door closes we don't follow them. Instead Hitchcock delivers an extensive and uninterrupted reverse tracking shot away from the door, down the stairs and out onto the street. While all the time we know exactly what is going on. He forces us to picture it in our minds again.

The standout scene for me, the one that will stay with me, takes place in the back of a truck transporting sacks of potatoes. Following the murder of Babs he forces her body into a sack and places it in the back of the truck, only to realise afterwards that he cannot find his monogrammed pin. As it dawns on him where it is, he returns to the body to search, only to have the truck take off, with him trapped in the back. He embarks on a frantic search for the pin, locating it clasped in her hand. Even then he has a problem; he cannot remove it from her hand, frozen by rigor mortis. His solution? To forcibly open up her hand, one finger at a time, breaking each with a cringing loud snap. What is odd, and morally unnerving, is that in a way I felt myself rooting for him to find the pin. It's such a fine scene; in such confined, claustrophobic conditions and with so much desperation on show that I began to identity with the killer's predicament. It also feels like another callback to an earlier piece of Hitchcock's catalogue, coming across as very similar to Bruno's frenzied efforts to retrieve a vital lighter from a sewer.

While there is frequent gallows humour on show, there is also a series of scenes between Inspector Oxford and his wife which are delightfully entertaining in a much lighter tone. While they discuss every grim detail of the case, of greater concern to the Inspector is how to avoid participating in his wife's gourmet food experiments. It may not have much bearing on the film as a whole, but it was perhaps my favourite little facet of the film.

While the 'innocent man accused of a crime he did not commit' angle is nothing new for Hitchcock, what is different is the character who has been falsely accused. Instead of classic everyman James Stewart (The Man Who Knew Too Much), or likeable and sympathetic Farley Granger (Strangers on a Train), we have Richard Blaney, a character who I didn't really care for or sympathise with. He is a man short of temper, and short on redeeming qualities. However he doesn't have to be likeable to still be innocent of murder. Just as Rusk's appealing and charming surface hides a cold hearted sadistic killer inside. While I wanted the true killer to be caught, it was more a feeling of wanting justice served than for Blaney to be saved

The film just exudes the vibe of the 70s. From the fashion to the hairstyles, right down to just the look of the picture it leaves us in no doubt what decade this is from. Except for Hitchcock it's aesthetic is a bit different. These aren't the glamorous streets of San Francisco (Vertigo) or the exotic locales of Morocco (The Man Who Knew Too Much) or the French Riviera (To Catch a Thief). The action takes place on the grittier and murkier streets of London, and we don't have his trademark set-piece set on a famous landmark.

As Hitchcock was frequently blessed with during his career, he has a great script at his disposal. Its main strength for me was just how believable it made all the circumstances seem which make Blaney's guilt seem almost certain. And while none of the actors are particularly big stars (at least not to my knowledge) they provide performances that are certainly worthy of stars. Barry Foster just oozes a creepy menace as the murderer, Jon Finch feels perfectly cast as the innocent but discreditable Richard Blaney. And Anna Masey is very alluring and sexy as the fiery barmaid Babs, even if she is not perhaps the most traditionally attractive of women.

What I did find unusual, and indeed weak, was the stretch of the film following Blaney being picked up by the police. The revelation that Rusk has framed him by placing Babs' clothes in his bag feels rushed, as does Blaney's trial, imprisonment and fake suicide attempt. We don't see Blaney's furious denials and implication of Rusk in court. And what about the couple who could provide him with an alibi for Babs' murder, where were they? And while I could guess at it there seemed to be no real sense of time in play. Has this all taken place in a matter of weeks, months, years? Oh and how did Blaney convince the other patients to aid him in his escape?

Conclusion – Falling a touch short of Hitchcock's truly great works, and not the entertaining flight of fancy many of his films were, this is still a wonderful piece of suspense and thrills. It's a dark, often disturbing, creation that will most likely stay with you for a good while after the credits have rolled. And it proved even at this stage in his career the Master of Suspense still had the ability to shock and wow.

Last edited by JayDee; 04-06-12 at 04:32 PM.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Just wanted to post this great trailer that was on the Frenzy DVD. Why are there no wonderful trailers like this anymore? It perfectly captures the film's and Hitchcock's style in general. Dark thrillers mixed with a macabre sense of humour




Anther great review, JD, and I'm pleased you liked Frenzy so much. As I've said before, had Hitch always been this seedy or sleazy, I'm sure I'd be a devotee. After the greatness that is Psycho, it's between this and Shadow Of A Doubt for my next favourite Hitch film.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Originally Posted by honeykid View Post
Anther great review, JD, and I'm pleased you liked Frenzy so much. As I've said before, had Hitch always been this seedy or sleazy, I'm sure I'd be a devotee. After the greatness that is Psycho, it's between this and Shadow Of A Doubt for my next favourite Hitch film.
Thanks HK. Is it a great review just because it's a great review? Or because you agree with it? I really did like it, so much that I've been swaying back and forth between a 4 and a 4- all day, finally settling on a 4. I'll really need to gve Shadow of a Doubt another shot at some point as while I did enjoy it I feel I should have done more so.

Out of interest why don't you like more Hitchcock films? Is it just the plot/genre of most of his films you're not a huge fan of, or is it actually something about Hitchcock's style that puts you off? If another director (one of your favourites perhaps) had filmed the same script for North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Rebecca etc do you think you'd have been able to like them more?

Also you quite like Rope and The Trouble With Harry don't you? Were would they rank?



I think it's a very good review... That I happen to agree with.

As for Hitch, I don't know why. Few of his films interest me and, even those that do, I don't go for them the way others/most do. I don't go for suspense and I don't find his films tense. I've always been impatient with suspense. You're usually sure what's going to happen anyway (will they get there in time? will they find the thing? etc) so, if I'm not enjoying the ride, I'm just sat there going "C'mon! Stop pissing about and get on with it!"

Then there's the casts. I don't usually care for his stars and, before people start banging on about Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and whoever else I've not mentioned, yes, I mean those people. I don't necessarily hate them or even dislike them (well, not all of them, anyway) but I don't care for them. At best I'm indifferent towards them.

It doesn't help that some of his best work happened during the 50's which, for reasons I don't know or understand, I really don't like. I don't like the films, the art, the literature, the fashion, the music or anything else that springs to mind. That's not to say I hate everything that happened or that there aren't think I like, Marilyn Monroe, for one , but I like Marilyn the icon. Niagara is, probably, the only Marilyn film that I really like.

Also you quite like Rope and The Trouble With Harry don't you? Were would they rank?
They'd probably be third and fourth, in the order you put them, maybe with Lifeboat rounding out the top 5? I've not seen it for a long time, though, so it could be Rebecca. I will say that there's a big gap between 3 and 4.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Originally Posted by honeykid View Post
I think it's a very good review... That I happen to agree with.

, but I like Marilyn the icon. Niagara is, probably, the only Marilyn film that I really like.

They'd probably be third and fourth, in the order you put them, maybe with Lifeboat rounding out the top 5? I've not seen it for a long time, though, so it could be Rebecca. I will say that there's a big gap between 3 and 4.
Will maybe go back through that post to see if there's anything else I want to reply to tomorrow but just for now thank you very much. Although how has it already dropped from a 'great review' to a 'very good review'?!

I thought you liked The Seven Year Itch no? Am I getting mixed up?

Not seen Lifeboat yet and don't have access to it either at the moment. Didn't realise you were a fan (relatively so anyway) of Rebecca.



You looked good, awful good.
Originally Posted by honeykid View Post
I don't go for suspense... Niagara is, probably, the only Marilyn film that I really like.
But Niagara is suspense.
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
mirror
mirror



Year of release
1971

Directed by
Robert Wise

Written by
Nelson Gidding (script)
Michael Crichton (novel)

Starring
Arthur Hill
David Wane
James Olson
Kate Reid


The Andromeda Strain

-

Plot - A satellite has crash landed on Earth, in the small town of Piedmont. Bringing with it a virus of extraterrestrial origin, it leaves everyone in the small town dead. All that is except for a young baby and an old man. For the scientists recruited to work at Wildfire discovering why these two escaped unharmed could provide the answer that will save everyone.

While I may be greatly enjoying my 70s thriller season I've came across a problem. I've never felt so paranoid in my life! I feel myself constantly looking over my shoulder and eyeing up shifting-looking people. And that cough/runny nose I thought had been caused by everyone cutting their grass of late? Turns out it's an alien virus!

For people raised only on modern sci-fi films this may not be for them. There aren't any explosions, little action and a real lack of any special effects. This is certainly a film that would fall into the category of 'adult sci-fi'. While it may be science fiction (and let's hope it remains so) it is presented in a very factual manner. It's a film that depicts scientists as scientists. These aren't unlikely action heroes, they are just intelligent people doing the job they're meant to do, using their logic. It presents an accurate portrayal of their process in its methodical and precise, even tedious manner. While the catastrophic event may seem to call for great urgency the process to solve it can be meticulous. In that sense it reminded me of both the journalists process in All the President's Men, and the investigation displayed in Zodiac.

Right from the off I found myself gripped. With little information as to where we are, or what's going on we are dropped right into the middle of a disastrous event. Over the radio we hear two men describing the situation they are seeing. We are shown nothing, which means that right away our brain is engaged, imagining and picturing the scene. And then we see what they see and it is truly haunting, dozens of people cut down right in the middle of going about their lives.

The film is shot in a fairly simple, unflashy way which does create quite a cold, clinical atmosphere. The result is similar to what I mentioned for Day of the Jackal I think in that it comes across as a bit of a docu-drama. The one element that veers off from the simple is a number of examples of a multi shot, split screen technique. Now while this may purely be for show, and nothing more I saw it as a way of showing the sheer complexity and copious amount of the work involved, and just how much of a team effort it is.

For those who do stick with it through what they may find it's slow pace, the final act of the film does move off into more traditional Hollywood ground as the virus begins to break out of the centre and the scientists find themselves in a race against the clock. It is a thrillingly tense finale. After such a long and ponderous wait the eventual burst of action really does capture its frantic and desperate nature. We watch as Hall frenziedly attempts to get to a terminal where he can stop the self destruct, all the while trying to avoid security lasers and poisonous gas.

At times the film does feel very dated, especially in terms of the technology on show. However as part of the impressive production and set design (quite reminiscent of 2001's space station if memory serves me right) the technology is still well constructed. very well done and well shot. And as a piece of 70s cinema it wouldn't feel quite right without a touch of anti-authority sentiment. And we are not disappointed as late on in the film a degree of government conspiracy is unearthed.

With no real background given for any of them, the characters don't have a great deal of depth, frequently coming across as just thinly sketched characters who are slightly different from each other just to present slightly varied actions and reactions to developments. That said the actors are still able to provide solid performances in a restrained fashion; of particular note are Kate Reid, Athur Hill and Paula Kelly.

To keep the suspense going there are a couple of slightly contrived events, essential to prolong the situation. The first, that one of the scientists has epilepsy which proves integral to the plot, at least has an attempted explanation as to why she would cover it up. The second however, that a little piece of paper almost brings everything to a crashing halt, feels a bit thin.

The biggest example of the disaster actually comes right in those opening moments. We don't see anything close to that scale again throughout the next two hours. What we are given however are a number of very striking images which punctuate the action throughout. Whether it be the sight of blood pouring out like a green sand, the melted face mask of a pilot struck down by the disease or the various test animals who we see in distress before they fall still there are a number of powerful moments which mean they threat is always at the forefront of our minds. The animal deaths in particular are very distressing in how realistic they seem, so much so that I actually went and googled to see if they had actually killed any animals on set.

While the slow pace may be off-putting for some I felt like it actually added to the tension. If the film had been Hollywood-ised (by today's standards) there would likely have been more action, more heroics and probably an ill-fated romance between two of the scientists working on the cure. It may have been fun but the tense atmosphere would have been put on the back burner. The meticulous pace and heavy attention to detail make the whole premise more plausible, and as a result a good deal more chilling.

Conclusion – An intelligent, absorbing piece of paranoia-inducing cinema. While it is a great film, it's so cold and calculated that I'm not sure it's a film I could ever truly fall in love with.



Registered User
I loved every bit of it: the attention to detail, the focus on the essentials to keep the story moving, the performances, the calculated pace, the sets. I think pretty much everything in The Andromeda Strain made sense. Like you said, the film hooked me from scene 1 and kept me engaged until the ending, which I thought was terrific by the way. There are just a number of elements in that film that I think are really good, tailor-made to my taste in fact. I'd seriously consider it to be a borderline top 10 film of the 70s.

Nice review btw.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Thanks Brodinski. I actually feel I should perhaps have rated it slightly higher, maybe just a solid 4. I always feel like that a few days after posting my initial score that it should either be higher or lower.



I suppose I better see this film, then.
__________________
"George, this is a little too much for me. Escaped convicts, fugitive sex... I've got a cockfight to focus on."



You looked good, awful good.
I certainly think that The Andromeda Strain is a solid flick worth a
, but nothing tops the opening scenes for strange uniqueness. I showed it to my classes a short time ago. The novel is obviously a classic.