Wait Until Dark: A Film by Terence Young, 1967  » Movies  »
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  • I thought such scenes would look good in theater, so it wasn’t expertly rendered at that point of the film
  • And how interesting that the feeling only struck me, when the camera’s captured scenes have turned pitch black, just as I was thinking how they could have manipulated them more skillfully at the start of the movie
  • Definitely, if you so wish to watch a blind woman beat a bunch of bad guys – the smart way – I guarantee this is one entertaining suspense-thriller, you shouldn’t miss


    • by jhunie

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      For most of Audrey Hepburn’s onscreen career, romantic films helped to greatly define her image as a beguiling female lead. It is why I feel a strong interest in seeing her other exclusive portrayals outside that “frivolous bubble,” yet all the while entertaining, of girl-falls-in-love flicks; I want to see her take serious roles. It strikes me that Hepburn played the role of a blind woman in the movie Wait Until Dark. Like the roster of theater-inspired pictures produced upon that time, Wait Until Dark was a film adaption of a play. Audrey plays a blind woman living with her photographer husband, who presses her to be her most independent self, despite her disability. I felt sorry for her at first and was offended by her husband’s indifference to her blindness, encouraging her to do things by herself.

      Roughly half of the film was filled by the monotony of events happening inside those equally dull interiors furnishing the suburban apartment. It makes you feel claustrophobic. The cinematography was devised more effectively towards the latter stages of the film, and less in the beginning, where I thought, one could comprehend better without necessarily watching what’s on the screen, than say, merely listening to


      the characters conversing because the story builds itself through those discourses. I thought such scenes would look good in theater, so it wasn’t expertly rendered at that point of the film. The upshot of the screenplay was that Susy, the main character, was supposed to believe that her husband committed a suicide, and it was all fictionalized by the bad guys who assumed false identities. But smart Susy did her bit of sleuthing as she began to suspect their stories and her sensitivity to sound made her scrutinize every detail – down to the squeaking of new shoes. There’s no point disputing how well Hepburn had acted the character of a blind lady, but what seemed a tad incredible, were the minor details, like her impeccably manicured hands and her sculpted coif. It’s hard to imagine a blind lady dressed in style.

      The suspense is lifted to a psychological level once the movie reaches the climax, in which, the audience, such as myself, feels the growing tension of the blind lead as the scene completely blacks out. I was able to put myself into the psyche of the character and one that demands intense sensual response, in the midst of a dreadful situation.


      • I was also watching in my bed and pajamas, with lights turned off, so I felt the scare quite palpably. And how interesting that the feeling only struck me, when the camera’s captured scenes have turned pitch black, just as I was thinking how they could have manipulated them more skillfully at the start of the movie. My most favorite scene was the mental torture highlighting the main character’s wittiness. The assailant and mastermind, Mr. Roat (Arkin) tried to pressure Susy to hand out the drugs-stuffed doll to him. What seemed like a petty chance for Susy to undermine her attacker, I liked how she quickly turned the cards and poured gasoline to, I suppose, put the villain in flames, and get the advantage. The movie managed to be suspenseful, without adequate violence.

        The scariest part, hands down, would be the jump: it was incredible how the stabbed assassin managed to leap that much distance and grab Susy’s ankle. I totally screamed in horror because I didn’t see it coming, and thanks to Audrey’s lithe frame – she’s able to squeeze herself into that tiny space beside the fridge and the wall, as the crippled assassin, though visually capable, crawled in

        the floor to expend every ounce of strength he has to kill Susy. Part of my film-viewing tradition is checking Wikipedia for some added insights about a movie and the wiki app in my phone is practically indispensable for that. I caught some trivial information, but nothing much, one worth knowing was that Hepburn and director, Terence Young, who happened to serve the war during the German occupation, had already met each other before the production of the film. Hepburn also served, in the course of the war, as a teenage nurse, and came to know the soon-to-be director, as one of the patients. It appears to me that kindness really reaps rewards later in life.

        On the interim, this is not my highly recommended Audrey thriller – Charade remains to take that spot, for me. Definitely, if you so wish to watch a blind woman beat a bunch of bad guys – the smart way – I guarantee this is one entertaining suspense-thriller, you shouldn’t miss. And without further provoking your thoughts on the movie, I will disclose substantial information not requiring too much sleuth work, which you might find utterly helpful: I watched the whole film in you-tube. Yup! So go figure.




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