Play Misty For Me (1971) film thoughts… I am not the biggest Eastwood fan but I have always heard about this film, just never got around to it. He plays Dave Garver, a Jazz DJ in Carmel, California who ends up meeting one of his fans who always calls in and asks, “Play Misty For Me”. The fan is played by Jessica Walter, who has sex with Dave. He being the upright, alpha male type, thinks it’s just a one night stand. He is sadly mistaken when after he makes a couple of nice gestures, she becomes consumed with him. She is always there at his house, always demanding his attention. After he tries many times to brush her off, one incident pushes her over the edge and Dave’s life becomes a true nightmare.
The film is important for at least a couple of things: it’s Clint’s first film behind the camera and there really hasn’t been this “type” of film before. It’s now a common film trope to see an violent, obsessed person in a movie, but there really wasn’t anything like this previous. I do like Play Misty For Me but it does suffer from things that are just my preferences. It’s truly dated, from the look, the film style & the editing. They try really hard to make it look like there are stabbings but the editing is too quick and choppy. Today, they make this more direct. While I do like Walter’s performance as the crazy lady Dave wishes he never met, I found the acting a bit over the top at times. I know Clint is beloved as an actor but he is pretty one note as he is in most of the films I have seen him in.
All in all, Play Misty For Me is a solid neo-noir. You know right from the beginning nothing good is going to happen in this film.