Actually I have never been too big on John Frankenheimer but that is because I used to be only familiar with his most recent work. However the more I see of his early movies, the more I start to really appreciate him. He really did some absolutely amazing stuff in the '60's and '70's, which I don't just like but I absolutely love, this movie included...only for its first half that is.

In the end I just can't help feeling somewhat disappointed with this movie. It has such a great premise and the movie starts off more than promising enough but the movie half way through decides on being a drama, rather than a tense thriller, with some science-fiction tendencies. I understand the movie was trying to create some deeper meanings and underlying themes but it just didn't worked out too well, or interestingly. At least not to me.

It's not like the movie is being bad during its second half, it's just not all that interesting. The movie headed into a direction I didn't wanted the movie to head in to. I was so in love with the movie its first half and the movie its main premise that I just couldn't help feeling disappointed with this movie, though again, the second half in itself really isn't bad. It left me however constantly waiting for a twist and dilemma to kick in but what the second half mostly does is showing how Rock Hudson is trying to adept to his new life and his new identity. Really not that interesting and it's then that the movie turns more into a much slower character drama, while the rest of the movie got build up as a tense, paranoid, thriller, with plenty of mystery- and great thriller potential in it. This could had been a movie in the vain of some great paranoid thrillers, such as "Three Days Of The Condor", "Marathon Man" and John Frankheimer his own "The Manchurian Candidate", or a great, suspenseful, Hitchcock thriller. Such a shame!

But despite the disappointments and problems I have with this movie, it still remains a real great and interesting watch. Not only just interesting because of its great and original main premise but also also because of the way it got shot and directed by John Frankenheimer. People only think of the '70's when thinking about experimental camera-handling and storytelling but this style already already started out in the late '60's actually. This is an 1966 movie, so I'll have to say that this has got to be one of really early ones to use an experimental style, which Frankenheimer continued to work and expand on with his later movies, during the '60's and '70's, most notably.

It's really a beautiful looking with some great and unusual camera-work, that often really puts you right in the middle of all the 'action'. It also deliberately got shot in black & white to add to the movie its overall atmosphere. The cinematography also actually received an Oscar nomination and it's really not hard to see why.

Another thing that this movie really impresses with is its acting. All of its acting feels very natural, as if they weren't even working with a script but coming up with their lines naturally, as the movie went along. Even Rock Hudson, who was, lets fact it, somewhat of a soap opera type of actor is really great in his role and has to carry the movie for most part.

And lets please not forget the great, early, Jerry Goldsmith musical score, that also suits the movie really well.

A good movie, that could had been fantastic! I really wouldn't mind seeing another movie featuring a similar concept like this movie did, only done truly as a thriller that time.


Watch trailer

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
Newer Post
Older Post

No comments:

Post a Comment