Kelly Sherwood is terrorized by a man with an asthmatic voice who plans to use her to steal $100,000 from the bank where she works. He threatens to kill her teenage sister Toby, if she tells the police. However she manages to contact F.B.I. agent Ripley.
Glenn Ford ... John 'Rip' Ripley
Lee Remick ... Kelly Sherwood
Stefanie Powers ... Toby Sherwood
Roy Poole ... Brad
Ned Glass ... Popcorn
Anita Loo ... Lisa
Patricia Huston ... Nancy Ashton
Gilbert Green ... Special agent
Clifton James ... Capt. Moreno
Al Avalon ... Man who picked up Kelly
William Bryant ... Chuck
Dick Crockett ... FBI agent #1
Director: Blake Edwards
Runtime: 123 mins
Codecs: XVid / MP3
From the moment this film opens, I couldn't help but wonder how many times Lynch has seen this movie. Those of you who've seen Experiment should know what I mean.
The score, the angles, the subdued dialogue all help to create one heck of a moody, brooding piece of work. I couldn't agree more with some of the other IMDB comments here...this is a great piece of film noir, if not the last great piece of film noir for a particular generation!
What I so admire about classic film-making from years past is how directors, like Blake in this instance, don't or couldn't resort to gratuitous blood and nudity to creat atmosphere. Unlike Lynch, who exploits graphic gore and nudity, Blake thrills with mere thoughts of sexual deviency and violence.
The opening scene to Experiment is one I shall not forget soon! As our villain forces himself on Remick and proceeds to dirty her ears with the filth of what he could do to her is just simply incredible film-making. It reminded me of the scene from Lynch's Wild at Heart where Dafoe's character has Dern's character in his filthy clutches. Except in Experiment, I think it works even better...why? Because there were no profane words or over-the-top characterizations, just simple text and superb acting that later matches a villain who seems quite normal as he strolls the streets of San Fran. I really believed the characters in this film...Blake puts everyone in context.
Congrats to Blake Edwards on his only serious movie...I wish you had done more! And, Mancini is as sly as ever on the score. I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this movie and am happy to have it as part of my DVD collection.
Although it's two hours long and there is nothing much resembling today's blood and guts-action-a-minute thrillers, this 1960s crime story still entertains, thanks to an interesting cast.
Sure, they could have chopped off 15 minutes of this to make it a bit tighter but watching Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers and Ross Martin isn't all bad, especially Remick, a gorgeous woman with one of the sweetest, softest voices I've ever heard. Powers, 19 when she filmed this, was easy on the eyes, too. Martin is effectively creepy as the asthmatic killer and Ford is good as the no-nonsense FBI man after him. I look at Ford as one of the better and underrated actors of his generation.
The DVD also shows off some nice film noir-type photography to its best. The clothing, cars and hairstyles might be a little out-of-date but the dialog isn't, and it's refreshing to watch a crime film without today's profanity laced through it.
Since my exposure to Blake Edwards beyond his comedies has only been `Days of Wine and Roses', which is one of the most depressing films I've ever seen, I wasn't sure what to expect in the way of a thriller from a director who I largely respect. `Experiment in Terror' which stars Lee Remick and the always great Glenn Ford, turned out to be an outstanding and slick film which was thoroughly enjoyable.
While the story, about a bank teller who is threatened with the kidnapping of her younger sister if she doesn't steal 100K from her employer, and the FBI agent (Ford) who tries to both protect her and find out who the extortionist is, does not rely on cheap thrills in order to create suspense. Rather, the black and white film and noir-like shadows help build the tension while not taking away from the story. The cinematography is extremely crisp, and, like many well-made noir films of the 40's-mid 60's, you can almost imagine each frame as a beautiful photograph.
While I'd never heard of this film until coming across it on one of the movie channels, it is well worth looking for.