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Experiment in Terror
Experiment in Terror
Actors: Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers, Roy Poole, Ned Glass
Director: Blake Edwards
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2003     2hr 3min

Experiment in Terror, a stylized noir thriller, was director Blake Edwards's second film in 1962, the first being a devastating portrait of alcoholism, Days of Wine and Roses. Neither film would seem standard fare for a ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers, Roy Poole, Ned Glass
Director: Blake Edwards
Creators: Philip H. Lathrop, Blake Edwards, Patrick McCormack, Don Peters, Gordon Gordon, Mildred Gordon
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/10/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 21
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
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Movie Reviews

Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 07/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Take an early, lean Blake Edwards, a tension filled script, a cast of fine actors, great San Francisco location shooting and a suspenseful score by Henry Mancini and you have "Experiment in Terror"---one of the best suspense thrillers ever made. Adapted by the story's authors, it pits innocent bank clerk Lee Remick against asthmatic madman Ross Martin who terrorizes her in an extortion plot to rob her bank. His threats include harming her kid sister Stefanie Powers. When Remick contacts the FBI, agent Glenn Ford and his associates barrel into action. The result is a bizarre cat & mouse game between Remick, Martin and Ford. Martin is slick and murderous. But he manages to finance expensive hip surgery for a 6 yr.old Asian boy whose mother he's seeing. His heavy breathing is some of the most realistic I've ever heard in a film. Edwards directs "Experiment" in a fast paced style that keeps you glued to the screen all the way to the Giants game finale. Again, his on location shooting is superb. He never goes for the cheap shot in this film. Some scenes are just down right creepy. "Experiment in Terror" gets my vote as one of the best DVD finds around and deserves collector's status. It's wonderful b&w photography is preserved in a nice crisp print and the sound is fine. This is a first rate keeper all the way. Enjoy."
"Next Time, Kelly, I'll Kill You For Sure!"
David Von Pein | Mooresville, Indiana; USA | 11/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The calendar year of 1962 sure was a fantastic year for movies! Just look at this impressive lineup of cinematic gems released in '62 ---

"Lawrence Of Arabia", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "The Longest Day", "The Music Man", "Mutiny On The Bounty", "The Miracle Worker", "Cape Fear", "Days Of Wine And Roses", "The Manchurian Candidate", "How The West Was Won", "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?", "Advise & Consent", "Birdman Of Alcatraz", "Requiem For A Heavyweight", "Lonely Are The Brave", "Long Day's Journey Into Night", "Knife In The Water", "Dr. No", and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".

Holy smoke! What a great year for moving pictures it was. (The first five films I listed above were the five nominees for "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards, with "Lawrence", starring Peter O'Toole, taking home first prize.)

And -- in addition to that grand laundry list of goodies above -- there is also the 1962 film contained on this exceptional DVD -- "Experiment In Terror" -- which is one of my top '62 favorites.

"Experiment In Terror" was produced and directed by 39-year-old Blake Edwards, who also directed one of those other memorable '62 flicks on my list above ("Days Of Wine And Roses", which co-starred Jack Lemmon and "Experiment" star Lee Remick). Both Lemmon and Remick were nominated for Oscars for "Wine And Roses". The trophies, however, were won by Gregory Peck and Anne Bancroft.

"Experiment In Terror" is a brilliant and compelling black-and-white thriller. It makes you squirm in your seat from the extraordinarily-eerie beginning right through to its climax, which takes place on the pitcher's mound at San Francisco's "Candlestick Park". (Glenn Ford was firing bullets alright, but not the kind of "bullets" you might expect to see fired from Candlestick's pitching rubber.)

This underrated gem of a flick runs for a tad more than two hours and is methodically slow-paced, which is a good thing here IMO. It gives you time to absorb each scene and think about what's coming next.

The city of San Francisco, California, has been used as a backdrop to many a motion picture over the years, and "Experiment In Terror" is one of the best for showcasing that beautiful western U.S. city. Lots of outdoor footage is used in the film -- from cable car close-ups to Coit Tower to Lombard Street to Candlestick.

26-year-old Lee Remick is superb (and stunning as all get out) as the terrorized "Kelly Sherwood"; while Glenn Ford is rock-solid as the FBI agent ("John Ripley") attempting to crack the case; and Ross Martin is completely convincing as "Red Lynch", the wheezing bad guy.

And I certainly don't want to forget about the sensational Henry Mancini music score, which is fabulously creepy from beginning to end. Mr. Mancini's very fitting theme that is played as the Main Titles roll is truly chill-inducing, especially that very first elongated note, which (from its timbre) lets all viewers know right off the bat that what they're about to see isn't going to be a Walt Disney-like, laugh-a-minute cartoon-fest. It's an ominous and downright spooky-sounding opening theme that sets the tone for what's to come.

"Experiment In Terror" debuted in movie theaters on April 13, 1962, and was just Miss Remick's 8th film; but she had already appeared in some excellent movies by the time "Experiment" hit movie screens -- such as her very first motion picture, 1957's "A Face In The Crowd" (opposite Andy Griffith) and 1959's "Anatomy Of A Murder", in which she couldn't have been any sexier if she tried (co-starring with the great James Stewart).

Stefanie Powers, age 19, has a very good supporting role in "Experiment", playing Remick's victimized sister, "Toby". Stefanie, like the rest of this top-notch cast, is outstanding in her part here. This was Powers' fifth film role.

Moviegoers in the United Kingdom might also recognize this film by its alternate U.K. title -- "The Grip Of Fear".

This DVD version of "Experiment In Terror" became available for purchase on June 10, 2003 (from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment), and it exhibits virtually perfect picture quality. The DVD's Anamorphically-enhanced Widescreen transfer is so clear and free of "noise" and all other video blemishes that this black-and-white film actually takes on a "multiple tone" quality from the depth of the B&W imagery that can be seen here. Excellent "PQ" indeed! You can distinctly discern between the different "shadings" of gray, black, and white throughout the movie (which is something that I've always considered to be indicative of a very well-done transfer of any B&W material to DVD).

The cinematography that can be found within "Terror" is one of the superb features of the film. It is a movie that is well-suited for black-and-white, with its nerve-racking, shadow-filled opening sequence providing a prime example of the admirable photography composed for the film.

The DVD displays the film in the originally-seen Widescreen Aspect Ratio of 1.85:1. Audio is English only (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono).

Special Features are very minimal here (three Theatrical Trailers and three different Subtitling options for the feature film), but the movie itself is certainly "special" enough for this DVD release. And it's a treat being able to see this flick in its intended "Widescreen" format; and, as I gushed previously (but it's worth repeating) -- Man, it looks good here!

The Trailers on the disc include one for "Experiment In Terror" itself (with a running time of 2:48), plus "Bonus Trailers" for two other movies, "The Big Heat" (from 1953) and 1947's "The Lady From Shanghai".

Other information about this DVD:

>> Feature Running Time -- 2 hours, 3 minutes.
>> Subtitles -- English, Japanese, and French.
>> Scene Selections? -- Yes (28 Chapter Stops included).
>> Menus -- All "static"; No animations; No music.
>> Paper Insert Included? -- Yes (A one-sheet / two-sided Chapter Guide).


"Experiment In Terror" has everything a great suspense thriller needs -- A fine cast of characters, great actors to portray them, a first-class script which builds mounting tension and drama, superb on-location scenery, and a goose-bump-raising musical score from one of the best composers ever. And the film is made all the better via this winning DVD presentation.

Friendly warning -- You might not wish to watch this movie's opening scene alone! It's very realistic .... and scary."
Alan W. Armes | Mountain Home, Arkansas USA | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"this one was very daring for it's time. the opening score is one of the most ominous music compositions i've ever heard. it's simple but terrifying. you know from the beginning that "something" is going to happen and it does. a woman is manipulated and extorted and threatened all in the first 10 minutes, inevitably compelled to involve the FBI. to divulge any more of this ominous little film would be unfair. a thriller in the most definitive form of the word. it boasts two of the best actors ever to grace the silver screen: Glenn Ford and Lee Remick. this was director Blake Edwards sole attempt at a dramatic film. this attempt proved to be sufficient. it's a cinematic masterpiece. watch it with the lights out!!!!as for the DVD, not much in extras but the transfer and audio are very good."
Solid Crime Story With Nice Cast
Craig Connell | Lockport, NY USA | 04/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although it's two hours long and there is nothing much resembling today's blood and guts-action-a-minute thrillers, this 1960s crime story still entertains, thanks to an interesting cast.

Sure, they could have chopped off 15 minutes of this to make it a bit tighter but watching Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers and Ross Martin isn't all bad, especially Remick, a gorgeous woman with one of the sweetest, softest voices I've ever heard. Powers, 19 when she filmed this, was easy on the eyes, too. Martin is effectively creepy as the asthmatic killer and Ford is good as the no-nonsense FBI man after him. I look at Ford as one of the better and underrated actors of his generation.

The DVD also shows off some nice film noir-type photography to its best. The clothing, cars and hairstyles might be a little out-of-date but the dialog isn't, and it's refreshing to watch a crime film without today's profanity laced through it.

Overall, it''s solid film-making."