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

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Ross Martin
EXPERIMENT IN TERROR (1962). Produced and directed by Blake Edwards.

Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick) is a bank teller who lives with her teenage sister, Toby (Stefanie Powers of Die, Die, My Darling). One night a stranger named Red Lynch (Ross Martin) sneaks up behind her in her garage and tells her she has to steal $100,000 from her bank or there will be dire consequences for her and her sister. Kelly manages to contact the FBI, and Agent Ripley (Glenn Ford) is assigned to the case, trying both to find and identify Lynch and to protect Kelly and her sister from harm. Eventually it is decided to let Kelly go along with the plot in an effort to trap Lynch, with the climax occurring in a crowded stadium. Experiment in Terror begins well and has a couple of decent sequences, but Blake Edwards is no suspense specialist, and the film becomes meandering, uninvolving, and rather dull. Remick gives a controlled and competent performance but doesn't offer one iota more for her portrayal; Powers is much better as her sister. Ford plays the "G-Man" with a quiet authority that never quite makes him seem like the best man for the job. Anita Loo and Patricia Huston have flavorful supporting roles as two women who were also in Lynch's life, to the former's advantage and the latter's regret. Ross Martin gives the most notable performance as the criminal "mastermind" who seems to have some sympathy for the little son of a woman he knows and whose hospital bills he is paying, but his character is not very well developed; three years later he gained TV fame on The Wild, Wild West and he was also outstanding in the classic TZ episode Death Ship. Henry Mancini's score is at times quite effective, and Philip Lathrop's cinematography of San Francisco and environs is also good.

Verdict: Paging Alfred Hitchcock. **. 


angelman66 said...

Have not seen this one in a while but remember that I liked it...not as much as a Hitchcock film of course, or the wonderful Cape Fear, but as I am a Lee Remick fan and like Ross Martin as well, I have to say I did enjoy this.

William said...

Funny, I watched it again becauwe I remember not being much impressed with it years ago, and thought I might look at it differently now, but no go. Anyway, Ross Martin was terrific.