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Play Misty For Me (1971)

Reviewed on 2007 September 25

If MTV still makes those “Celebrity Death Match” cartoons, they need to have Evelyn step into the ring with Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction. This isn’t as scary or as tight as Fatal Attraction, but it’s good, and Clint Eastwood did it first.

Dave (Eastwood) is a West Coast disc jockey with the world’s coolest ’70s-style house, a sweet gig at a jazz radio station, and a fan who always wants him to play “Misty”. After a long night of purring into the microphone, he stops at a favorite watering hole and meets the fan: Evelyn (Jessica Walter). In a great sequence, Dave is chatting with the bartender and doesn’t even notice Evelyn creeping up to him like a serpent. It tells the viewer that this woman should be wearing a sign saying “DO NOT TOUCH” around her neck, but by the time Dave looks up and notices her, she’s merely wearing a polite smile.

One thing leads to another, and Evelyn throws herself at Dave like a crazed lemming. Since it’s early-Seventies California, and Dave only kinda sorta has a sometime girlfriend, he doesn’t exactly resist. He does warn Evelyn that this is just a fling, and not to get attached to him, and while she agrees to that, we know better, because we’ve seen the snake-walk. We know she’s going to ignore what he says and make his life hell.

Eastwood directed this, and it is good, especially considering it’s his first effort. A couple of scenes dragged a little — to me the jazz fest was a total non sequitur — but it was fun watching Evelyn come unglued. And even if it aged a little over the years, it’s still scary. While Fatal Attraction was better overall, I think Evelyn was just plain freakier.

Two chocolate morsels, and one of those old-school fruit drinks served with some fondue.


morsel morsel

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