HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unseen, The
Tonight She Comes
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agn├Ęs: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Mirage Nothing Sounds As Good As I Remember ThatBuy this film here.
Year: 1965
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Walter Matthau, Kevin McCarthy, Jack Weston, Leif Erickson, Walter Abel, George Kennedy, Robert H. Harris, Anne Seymour, House Jamieson, Hari Rhodes, Syl Lamont, Eileen Baral, Neil Fitzgerald, Franklin Cover
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Night is falling in New York City, and as the lights in the skyscrapers go on, the workers prepare to return home. But suddenly the lights go out in one building, and inside the staff wander around in the dark wondering what to do next, for the elevators are not working either; some take the opportunity to have some fun, and decide on a so-called Braille party where participants can divert themselves feeling their way around, but for David Stillwell (Gregory Peck) he is not so keen, and leaves them to it to try for the stairs. Once there, using his pen flashlight to see, he hears someone approaching from above: it's a young woman (Diane Baker) who seems to know him, though he does not recognise her, and as they descend she begins to act very strangely...

It might be accurate to observe that Mirage started with its best sequence, establishing its mystery then winding down over the course of just under two hours to when all was revealed, but what an opening it was, genuinely intriguing and novel. It was successful because we take it as read that Peck, one of the most dependable presences in his era of film, knows exactly what he is doing and why he is in that business block, but soon after all that is thrown into doubt by his meeting with Baker's stranger and, after she gives him the slip, the realisation once outside that there has been a terrible incident as a man has taken a fall from one of the upper floors and died in the impact. But did he fall or was he pushed?

When Stillwell discovers that this dead man was well-known philanthropist and international peacemaker Charles Calvin (Walter Abel), he feels he has a connection to him, but how? He is, after all, a simple cost accountant and has worked in the same office for the past two years, so why does he now sense there is something not right in his world? Why do people he thought he knew barely recognise him? Does he have amnesia? Would that explain why he is suddenly on the wrong end of a gun held by Jack Weston? In one of many bizarre touches designed to disorient the viewer, once they get back to David's apartment the heavy insists on watching the wrestling on television instead of informing him what he actually wants.

The structure was something akin to a detective story, though every so often the hero has flashbacks to what has happened before as he tries to piece together his recent life that seems to have escaped him - but if you watch closely, you'll notice one image that we have not been privy to, and is going unexplained. After getting the advantage of Weston, he settles on being more proactive and starts doing his own detective work, visiting a famed psychiatrist (Robert H. Harris) who once he hears of his condition - a lapse of memory lasting a couple of years - throws him out of his office in disgust, believing Stillwell to be faking it for his own prankish motives. Back to square one, he notices an actual detective agency run by Walter Matthau and drops in to see if he could help, Matthau offering one of many almost quirky readings in the film.

The story was wrapped up in memories and how they make us what we are, asking if we no longer are aware of what has happened in our pasts, if indeed we were ever aware, does that make us a different person to what we thought we were, or what others believed we were. Peck was ideally cast in what from some angles might have looked like a revisit of his character from Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound, just stuffy enough to convince himself he could have been a grey-suited accountant all this time, but given some nice lines by Peter Stone's pleasingly witty script and playing off his fellow cast, Matthau in particular, with aplomb. Once that enigma is cleared up, it was true to say Mirage lost some of its power, but there was a conclusion that told us it was important to remember how fallible everyone can be, from the great men to the lowly, wrapping up the thriller with director Edward Dmytryk building to that skilfully. All in all, if a shade overcomplicated in matching the mystery to the near-science fictional explanation, a satisfying suspense work. Music by Quincy Jones.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 304 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: