Don’t Look Now (1973)

casting card

 

Plot: A married couple grieving the recent death of their little daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Don’t Look Now starts as we see the Baxter family Laura (Christie), John (Sutherland) and children Johnny (Salter) & Christine (Williams) around the everyday home life before tragedy strikes as Christine drowns in the pond.

Trying to move on with their lives they move back to work in Italy as John is a historical restorer. When the two have a dinner two strange sisters Heather (Mason) and Wendy (Matania) claim to be able to see Christine sitting between them. We see the couple dealing with the loss in their own way while Laura wants to communicate John doesn’t believe any of this supernatural side of the story.

When Laura talks John into at least trying to communicate with Christine through Heather and Wendy who predict that John’s life is in danger while in Venice and when their son gets hurt back in England Laura returns home leaving John alone in Venice but when he sees his wife with the sisters still in Venice he starts investigating himself but is he ready for the truth?

Don’t Look Now is a film that I had heard so much great about and usually when I go into films that have been hyped up I feel slightly disappointed. With this one I was on the edge of my seat from start until finish just wanting to know what would happen next, the story does make you think from start to finish which is very important and after the final act you are left going wait I need to see this again. This is how to make a horror film and it still stands the test of time nearly 50 years later.

 

Actor Review

 

Julie Christie: Laura is the wife and mother that is suffering after the loss of their daughter, she is in Venice with her husband trying her best to get over the tragedy. She meets to strange sisters that offer her a chance to communicate with her lost daughter in what becomes her believe anything they say. Julie is great in this role being the paranoid mother trying to find that final chance to say goodbye.

Donald Sutherland: John is a historical restorer that gets a strange feeling something is wrong with his daughter only to be too late to save her. Returning to work in Venice he tries to bury himself in his work but when Laura starts believing he is in danger he is having none of it until he is alone in Venice and things start happening. Donald is great in this role as you feel his frustration and depression about what has happened in this life.

Hilary Mason: Heather is the blind one of the two sisters who claims to be able to communicate with the dead, she also claims to be able to see the dead who send out warnings to their loved ones. Hilary is great in this role working with Clelia perfectly.

Clelia Matania: Wendy is the other sister that is the seeing eyes for the pair, she approaches Laura to offer her a chance to know Christine is still with them but also warning they are not entertainers. Clelia is great with her work with Hilary making a very creepy pairing.

Support Cast: Don’t Look Now has a supporting cast which mostly Italians that only speak slight English that never get subtitles.

Director Review: Nicolas RoegNicolas gives us a horror with brilliant shots that give each and every scene an element of fear.

 

Horror: Don’t Look Now is filled with suspense filled horror that is in every single scene making us want to see what will happen.

Thriller: Don’t Look Now keeps us one edge through the whole film wonder where it will go.

Settings: Don’t Look Now uses the Venice settings wonderfully as we see the tight streets with the echo filled footsteps.
Special Effects
: Don’t Look Now isn’t a film that turns to effects much but when it does it all seems to come off well.

Suggestion: Don’t Look Now is one I think all horror fans should watch at least once mostly due to the tension it creates through each scene. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: No subtitles for the Italian talking, so not sure if anything was important or not.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won a BAFTA for Cinematography as well as nominated for Best Film, Actress and Direction.

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1,5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: A psychic thriller.

Trivia: In the UK the film was released to theaters on double feature with The Wicker Man (1973).

 

Overall: Amazing suspenseful horror film.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Sting (1973)

rob challengeRob’s picked for me to watch is the multi Oscar winning The Sting, let’s see what I thought.

 sting

Director: George Roy Hill

Writer: David S Ward (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Harold Gould, Eileen Brennan

 

Plot: In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bit of a Drag

 

Story: The Sting starts when young con artist Johnny Hooker (Redford) steals from the mob leading to his long-time partner and mentor to be killed. Johnny has to turn to experienced Henry Gondorff (Newman) to work the one big con against ruthless crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Shaw).

We follow as the bog con unfolds and Henry and Johnny put together a team on fellow con artists for the bigger score of their lives.

The Sting is a heist movie that follows just one long play against one man in an act of revenge, just think it pretty much does what Ocean’s Eleven does by walking us through the whole con step by step. I will have to say the film does go on for too long for my liking and it all seems to just repeat itself with each tip given to Lonnegan. Add in the hapless police officer trying to catch Johnny and it all just seems to come off too long, repetitive and lacks the impact in the final pay off.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Newman: Henry is the experienced con artist who Johnny turns to when he wants revenge for a friend’s death, he ends up putting the con together to make it al happen with his smooth talking style. Paul gives us a good performance in the role where he out smarts the villain.

 

Robert Redford: Johnny is the slick young con artist who ends up biting off more than he can chew when he takes money from a gangster. He must avenge his partner’s death with the help of the best in the business. Robert gives us a good performance from start to finish and is the star of the show.

 

Robert Shaw: Doyle is the mobster running the town and when he has money stolen from him he needs to make up for it but ends up becoming the target of the con artist who are out for their own form of revenge. Robert does a good job in this role shining against the flair characters.

 

Charles Durning: LT Snyder is the hapless detective trying to track down Johnny but always seems to lose him just when he thought he had him caught. Charles is the only remotely funny character in this film.

 

Support Cast: The Sting has a large supporting cast that all show the different side of the con people are and how ready each member is to deal with the consequences.

 

Director Review: George Roy HillGeorge does a good job directing this film that will be remember for years to come as it paved the way for the heist movie.

 

Comedy: The Sting doesn’t really have many laughs and it leaves me wondering how it is considered a comedy.

Crime: The Sting has a great heist element filling in the crime side of the story nicely.

Settings: The Sting has good settings being used making everything look like it would be the underworld of crime.

Suggestion: The Sting is on to try but if you don’t like older films you will struggle to enjoy this one. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Poker game.

Worst Part: Too long

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 7 Oscars

Box Office: $159 Million

Budget: $5.5 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline: all it takes is a little Confidence.

Trivia: The movie was filmed on the backlot of Universal studios and the diner in which Hooker meets Lonnegan is the same diner interior used in Back to the Future (1985) in which Marty McFly first meets his father and calls Doc Brown.

 

Overall: Long heist film that all shows basic storytelling with the one heist going on.

Ratingcard