Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NIGHT WATCH

NIGHT WATCH (1973). Director: Brian G. Hutton.

Wealthy Ellen Wheeler  (Elizabeth Taylor) is strangely obsessed with thoughts of the death of her philandering first husband, causing concern in her second husband, John (Laurence Harvey) and her best friend, Sarah (Billie Whitelaw), who's there for a visit. Worse, Ellen is convinced that during a storm she saw a corpse in the window in the abandoned house across the way. But nobody seems to believe her, and the police think she's dotty. Night Watch is based on a novel by Lucille Fletcher, who also wrote the original play upon which Sorry, Wrong Number was based. While Night Watch may not be in  that league [and Liz Taylor is no Barbara Stanwyck] and the plot may or may not hold up under close scrutiny, it's still an entertaining picture with a darkly amusing final twist. Taylor (Rhapsody) is okay, but Harvey (Room at the Top) and especially Whitelaw (The Omen) are a lot better. NOTE: This is now available in a remastered edition from Warner Archives.

Verdict: Like an extended episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. ***



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