Wait Until Dark (1967) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Terence Young
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Warner Archive Collection
Susy was recently blinded and recently married. Susy’s husband, Sam, is asked to hold a doll for a woman he doesn’t know as they get off an airplane. The woman disappears. Later, she’s found dead by her former associates, Mike and Carlino, small-time hoods, in Susy’s basement apartment. (Both occupants of the apartment are then absent.) The doll woman’s newer partner in crime, Harry Rote, who murdered her for self-dealing, presses Mike and Carlino into a scheme to recover the doll, which contains a fortune in smuggled heroin. After disposing of the body, the thugs return while Susy is present to continue their search. They assume Susy’s blindness will enable them to search her apartment under her very nose for the doll. In Sam’s absence, Mike pretends to be an old friend of Sam’s, while the three together spin for Susy a story of a murder investigation of her husband from which only the finding of the missing doll can save him.
The plot for Wait Until Dark is simple in a number of ways but it still holds your attention and can pack a lot of tension. A doll causes a whole lot of trouble for a recently blinded woman and the movie proceeds to put her in a lot of bad trouble with the bad guys trying to trick her and manipulate her for a good deal of the film. You can’t help but feel bad for our poor lead that is brought to life on screen by the great Audrey Hepburn. I will admit that she tends to overact a tad at some points but I guess it wouldn’t really be her if that wasn’t the case. When you need her to hit that look or react in a way that makes you feel bad for her and get behind her she does and that’s about all that matters. The plot the crooks cook up is also a very well-rounded one and each of them is very different people in their own right. The one played by Richard Crenna of Rambo fame is a lot more complex and deep than you might have expected. He’s a crook and does terrible things apparently but you can sense times of he being torn when with our blind lead. The main evil man in the film is called Roat (among other things). He’s on a whole other level of creepy and keeps things very interesting.
I came aware of this movie after having seen the recent movie about a blind woman in a pickle called Hush. While it is apples and oranges in difference in a lot of ways, you can still see where this movie could have been a bit of inspiration for that movie. Both leads are blind but still very clever. Great film reviewer was a bit more picky about this movie than I’m going to be. He said the movie wasn’t a bad movie but due to some minor stuff with the plot and what our lead does he gave the film a zero star review. As much as I admire and respect that guy I just can’t go along with Roger Ebert on this. I think Wait Until Dark is a bit dated by today’s terms but is still very solid and interesting film to see. I think anyone who appreciates a good thriller will more than be happy with what they get with this one here. It also comes with a very solid transfer and even some extras to boot to keep you interested after the credits roll. If nothing else, it is a good watch just to see Audrey Hepburn in something different than what you might be used to seeing her in.
– Interviews with Alan Arkin and Mel Ferrer
– Warning Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 90%