If I were to construct a list of the most suspenseful and riveting movies, meant to impose dread on the viewer, one of the movies I would pick would be Wait Until Dark. Not singly for the noirish taciturn camera angles, or the dark aura encompassing the film, but for the great talent of the academy award winning Alan Arkin. The man evokes a ballet of badness embodied in a cool and collected New York drifter named Roat who terrorizes the ravishing and stunning Ms. Hepburn (who plays the seemingly helpless protagonist of this film, named Susy Hendrix).
The film is about drugs that have been smuggled into the country and placed in the unassuming hands of Sam Hendrix (Efrem Zembalist Jr.). Disguised in the caverns of a child’s doll a women frantically passes the doll to him after he alights from a plain. Not making any presumptions he takes the doll home. And this is where thrill ride embarks…
Recently blinded, Audrey Hepburn attends a school for the blind and is just settling into her new life. Finding her way around and getting acquainted with her surroundings. Her husband is Sam Hendrix a photographer, who has just alighted from a trip overseas. Leaving the doll at home that the miscellaneous stranger dropped into his possession, he takes off to work. In her blind state Susy is confronted with a series of con-artist strangers that seek the acquisition of the drugs hidden somewhere in the house.
I really love the fact that after all the flowery roles Audrey was cast in, she finally was cast in a role totally opposite to her previous flowery frolics. Although I love every movie I have seen her in, this one purports to be more, in my opinion, for the fact that it is totally estranged to romance. A matter of fact this is number 10 on Bravos top 100 scariest films.
Alan Arkins Avaricious lusting for the drugs in the house is so well acted and so well staged that I would probably almost put him in the running’s neck and neck with Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Note that I said almost. I love when everything culminates and we see Arkins lunges from the darkness knife in hand, in an all or nothings magnetism for the narcotics. What follow are pure screams >)