A photographer's blind wife, trapped in her New York apartment by an evil trio who are ready to murder to retrieve a heroin-filled doll hidden in her apartment, cleverly outwits them. Music by Henry Mancini. Based on the l... more »ong running Broadway play by Frederick Knott.« less
"Wait Until Dark (1967) is based on a popular play by Frederick Knott and directed by Terrance Young who also did the 007 classic Thunderball (1965). The lovely Audrey Hepburn plays Susy Hendrix, a woman left recently blind by a car accident, who is learning to adjust and cope with her new perspective on life. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is Sam Hendrix, Susy's photographer husband, with whom she shares a basement apartment in New York. Also starring is Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, and character actor Jack Weston.
The story involves illegal substances being smuggled into the United States within a doll, and then the doll being passed along to Susy's husband at the airport under curious but strictly coincidental circumstances. Alan Arkin plays Roat, a seedy character who was supposed to be the intended recipient of the doll/drugs, and Richard Crenna and Jack Weston are two thuggish types who get roped into helping Roat try to retrieve the doll.
Hepburn plays her role wonderfully, never once giving the viewer the impression that she isn't blind. A number of subtle points are made to allude to the strengthening of her other senses, hearing, smell, etc., that one finds common with the loss of sight. As the criminals construct their elaborate plans to liberate their illicit merchandise, Hepburn's character, being somewhat naive in the beginning, soon realizes the true sense of the danger she's in, and reacts perfectly within the nature of her character. Arkin plays his character(s) with the smooth cunning of a predator hunting its' prey, maliciously savoring the moments before the figurative kill. His beatnik appearance and demeanor mask his true form, which is revealed later on within the unfolding of the plot. This film is very suspenseful for those with the patience to follow it through to the end. It may not have the out and out scares the title might imply, but the gradual building of tension and suspense is delicious as the viewer is 'in the know' while the main character is left to struggle with the situations. Although an exceptionally strong supporting cast helps, Hepburn really makes this film, and was awarded with an Oscar nomination for her performance. She even went so far as to attend a school for the visually impaired and learn to read Braille to better understand her character.
The print on this disc looks very nice and is in wide screen anamorphic format. Special features include a featurette on the film, an essay about transferring the play to the silver screen, and trailers for the movie. This is truly a taut thriller worthy being released on DVD, and I am appreciative of Warner Brothers for putting it out, even if I find their plastic and cardboard packaging to be cheap and annoying.
Audrey Never Lost Her Stuff
Dave | Bethel Park, Pa | 11/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I learned about this movie when my mom was telling me about the scary movies of her day, and she went on about how it was one of the scariest movies she ever saw, and when she and her kid sister left the theatre, her sister was crying great crocodile tears, claiming she'd never let herself see another movie again.While my aunt will never live that down, my mom is still haunted by this movie, and I can tell why. I saw it on AMC in August at midnight, and that was a mistake. This movie scared me beyond my expectations. Audrey Hepburn was fantastic as Susie Hendrix, the recently blinded woman persued by Alan Arkin, a narcotics dealer who will stop at nothing to get to a stash that is in Susie's apartment.Many claim this movie isn't scary, but coming from a generation that grew up on Scream, Halloween, Nightmare on Elmstreet and other cheap movie's that use gore and `don't-turn-that-bend' suprises for scares, it doesn't mean much.`Wait Until Dark' is so much more than the typical slasher flick, it is a psychological thriller that takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride to hell and doesn't stop turning and tossing until the last frame of film fades to black. On second viewing, if you feel the *sparkle* is fading, just position yourself in Susie's shoes, and you're in for a whole new experience.Praise `Wait Until Dark' - and trust me, if you wait until dark to watch this, you'll be rewarded greatly with a heart-stopping finale!"
A Gripping Psychological Thriller
Steve Rawlings | Denver, CO USA | 03/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Wait Until Dark" is a suspense film in the finest traditions of Alfred Hitchcock. The direction by Terence Young ("Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love") masterfully blends a stellar cast with mood, music, and atmosphere to create a compelling psychological thriller. The story involves a blind woman (Audrey Hepburn), who has unknowingly come into the possession of a child's doll filled with heroin. Three con men (Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, and Jack Weston) create an elaborate scheme to locate the doll in her apartment without arousing her suspicions.Like Hitchcock, director Young reveals the identity and intent of the con men right from the beginning of the movie. He lets the audience in on their secret. It is left to the blind and isolated victim to decipher their intent and her own personal danger over the course of the film. Hepburn is engaging in the role of a woman who is at once vulnerable yet possesses unfolding inner strength. She knows she is alone and ultimately responsibility for her own fate. The suspense grows as her suspicions are slowly aroused until all is revealed to her in one terrifying moment of confrontation with the cunning and evil Arkin. The stark confines of the apartment and the dramatic musical score by Henry Mancini accentuate the dark and foreboding atmosphere. This is a film you will not soon forget..."
Wait Until Dark
Beverly Kaynes | San Francisco, CA | 11/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lock the front door, turn down the lights and don't forget that tub of popcorn! Here is a thriller sure to make the hair on the back of your neck stand upright. Susie Hendrix, played by the wonderful Audrey Hepburn, is a blind woman being spied and terrorized upon in her own apartment. When Susie's husband Sam is asked to hold an antique doll for a woman who mysteriously disappears, little does he know the horror that will unfold. Unknown to Susie, the drug-filled doll is in their home and a psychopath, played by Alan Arkin, must retrieve it by any means necessary. Hepburn adds much suspense to this movie; she may be blind, but she's not stupid and she quickly unravels the mind games of Arkin. For those of you who thought blind people were defenseless, think again!"
Wait Until Dark To Watch!
Jeremy Difene | Bowling Green KY | 10/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In her last Oscar nominated role, Audrey Hepburn brings her role as Susie Hendrix to life in this thrilling film brought together by Hitchcock influence. Susie is learning to adapt to her blindness, which resulted from a recent auto accident, she recieves help from Gloria, a girl who lives in the upstairs appartment & her loving photographer husband, Sam. Sam who does a great deal of traveling in his line of business, excepts a doll as a favor to a young woman, on his way home from Canada. He takes it home deciding to give it to a child in the hospital only to have it dissapear. But what Sam & Susie don't know is that the doll is actually filled with small packets of herion & that a murderous drug dealer (Alan Arkin) will stop at nothing to get his hands on the doll. He inlists two con-men (Richard Crenna & Jack Weston) to help him trick Susie into handing the doll over while posing as policemen & Sam's friends. The plot thickins as Susie begins to realize the truth behind the criminals & turns her weakness into a powerful strength. Many claim that the movie is a pathetic excuse for a horror & that the movie isn't at all scary but I guess they consider films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, & Halloween scary because of the cheap scares & gore. But if your not hooked on the slasher genre you should watch this classic, & try watching it in the dark, if you don't scare easy."