Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

1962 again: Experiment in Terror

Back to one of our favourite years (I was 16 and seeing all these movies on the big screen) for a terrific, taut thriller: Blake Edwards' EXPERIMENT IN TERROR.  It has that early '60s vibe, its in glittering black and white (lensed by Philip Lathrop), it has a great Henri Mancini score, and it stars two dependables: our favourite, Lee Remick, and Mr Dependable - the oddly undercherished (these days) Glenn Ford. 

It starts with Kelly Sherwood (Remick) driving her thunderbird (or is it a cadillac?) though dark San Francisco - then she arrives home and is terrorised in her garage by the Mystery Man .... Kelly is a bank cashier and he wants her to steal $100,000 from the bank for him, or else she and her kid sister (Stephanie Powers) gets it, and she must not contact the police. He ups his game of terror but Kelly contacts the FBI - enter Glenn Ford as agent Ripley. 
There is no romance here - he is the guy on the case and she is the terrified victim. The plot twists and turns for all of its 1.58 running time to the exciting climax at a basebal game when the killer (who has managed to kidnap the sister) is finally cornered ..... Remick of course is marvellous and Glenn is his usual solid self. I liked it a lot. Lee said in her 1988 "Films In Review" interview, where she looked back at her career: "That movie still looks good. It's well made, tightly knit."

Lee, Blake and Mancini teamed again that year for the even better DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES - more on that at Lee labels 


  1. And of course the film was great inspiration for David Lynch.
    very obvoius in the opening of the film when Lee Remick takes a right turn and the sign on the road is: TWIN PEAKS.
    P.S. I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for that and all the best from Berlin.

  2. Michael! I love your site but, here, I politely disagree. In my opinion, "Experiment in Terror" is so much better than "Days of Wine and Roses." The courtship scenes between Jack and Lee are terrific, but everything that follows is like a disapproving lecture. Even the performances go downhill. I appreciate that I am in the minority here, but that's just me. By the way, Richard Brody, the film editor of The New Yorker has compared "Experiment in Terror" to a Godard film. Here's the link to his excellent essay: