Wait Until Dark (1967)

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I stumbled across this gem of a DVD (released August 5, 2003) starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin. Apart from Psycho, I never really though the 60's to be much of a source for suspense/thrillers, but this film is something special.

Hepburn plays a blind woman living in a basement suite who unknowingly is in possession of a doll filled with heroin. Arkin and two others are the criminals who attempt to con their way into her apartment to find it. The two men aside from Arkin are just regular, low-on the totem criminals, but Arkin plays possibly one of the most evil and psychotic criminal mind to grace the silver screen. At such a young age, he is barely -- if at all -- recognizable by today's look. I've always enjoyed his acting, but this could be the performance of his career. The finale has jumping at Hepburn in such a way to shock even the most thick-skinned viewer -- easily the standard by which most thrillers since have failed to match.

The DVD carries the original theatrical warning: that the house lights should be turn off during the last 10 minutes of the film (once you see it, you'll understand and appreciate why). It seems a little gimicky, but it is worth it, and it'll only work once -- once you've seen it, you've spoiled it.

Of course, Audrey is fantastic -- again. I've seen her in many roles, but this may be one of her best performances. She was nominated for an Academy Award but lost -- understandly to Katherine Hepburn for her role in "Guess Who is Coming to Dinner?" (another classic).

It's available at Videomatica on 4th & Burrard.
 

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