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

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Troy Donahue and Joey Heatherton
MY BLOOD RUNS COLD (1965). Producer/Director: William Conrad.

"Oh, father, you sound like something out of East Lynne." 

Julie Merriday (Joey Heatherton) meets a handsome and brooding young man named Ben (Troy Donahue) who tells her that they are the reincarnation of past lovers: Julie's lookalike great-great-grandmother and the sailor she was separated from. Naturally Julie's father, Julian (Barry Sullivan), thinks that Ben is a fortune hunter while her Aunt Sarah (Jeanette Nolan) at first can't seem to make up her mind between Ben and Julie's fella, Harry (Nicolas Coster). Julie, who thinks she might be "a trifle over-bred,"  finds herself drawn to the strange young man even as Julian protests, and then the corpse of the caretaker (of their retreat, Spindrift) is washed up on shore... My Blood Runs Cold hasn't got a bad plot, but its interesting elements never really jell. Although Heatherton is the better actress, both she and Donahue [Live Fast, Die Young] appear to have the IQs of doorstops. The dialogue is cliched and the ending drawn out and tedious. Heatherton has given better performances elsewhere, but Sullivan [Suspense] and Nolan [The Big Heat] are excellent as the arguing brother and sister, and Coster is also effective. A major problem with the film, and one that in this case really sinks the movie, is Donahue's lousy acting. Scenes that might have been touching or bristled with tension or passion, are just frittered away by an actor who can say his lines, look pretty and gloomy, but little else. In this, at least, Donahue is a model, not an actor.

Verdict: This had possibilities, but ... **.

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