An accountant's memory suddenly becomes mixed up starting from the moment the building he is in has a power blackout. He is bewildered that he can't recall even simple particulars of his job and places he does remember don't exist. Believing he has some type of amnesia, he tries to backtrack what happened before the blackout. Aided by a rookie detective and confused by an old girl friend, he tries to make sense of inconsistent facts while people around him are being murdered.
Gregory Peck ... David Stillwell
Diane Baker ... Shela
Walter Matthau ... Ted Caselle
Kevin McCarthy ... Sylvester Josephson
Jack Weston ... Lester
Leif Erickson ... The Major - Crawford Gilcuttie
Walter Abel ... Charles Stewart Calvin
George Kennedy ... Willard
Robert H. Harris ... Dr. Augustus J. Broden
Anne Seymour ... Frances Calvin
House Jameson ... Bo, Old Man in Stairway
Hari Rhodes ... Det. Lt. Franken
Syl Lamont ... Benny, Apartment Attendant
I was so amazed at the perplexity of the plot. I recorded the movie so that I could stop and rewind to catch up. It was difficult to follow with all the commercial interruptions, but TVo is well worth the investment, especially when it comes to movies of this caliber.
I enjoyed watching the up and coming Walter Mathow in this thriller. Suspenseful and motivating. A movie that stops and makes you think. No special effects, no interrupting awe-inspiring scenery or set decorating. Just the black and white to get to to pay attention to the plight of the characters and the draw of the plot! A very rare find!
The acting of a very talented artist, Gregory Peck, leads a not-so familiar cast in this mind-blowing thriller. Not a horror thriller, not a "cover-your-eyes" thriller, not a gory thriller, but a cerebral thriller, one that keeps you thinking. Can you predict the next scene, can you predict the characters next line, what's he going to do with that thing?
I've always had great affection for this film, ever since seeing it in a theatre as a teenager.
First, a major innovation in thrillers - flashbacks done as direct jump-cuts into the actual flow of the film (no wavy lines or warped visuals to announce to the audience that they're seeing a flashback) This movie demanded that you keep up with what was unfolding and trusted you to figure out what was past and present.
Peter Stone's script - sharp, thrilling and funny, very much like Ernest Lehman's work on "North By Northwest" and Stone's own work on "Charade" and "Arabesque".
The villains...priceless...the grumpy, elderly hit-man who accosts Peck in Central Park...brilliant idea. Jack Weston's wisecracking hit-man..(a seemingly jolly joker, who lets his mask drop briefly in a pivotal scene with Peck) And of course, George Kennedy as Willard, a rampaging psycho who nurses grudges against victims who dare to defend themselves. I almost forgot Kevin McCarthy as the quintessential sniveling corporate toady.
Mirage (1965) is a miracle (albeit a modest one) of style and of mastering of the artistic means.It might be the only Peck film that I presently enjoy. It aims at nothing more but being amusing and suspenseful. It is deliberately and savory conventional (--yet the denouements, because there are several, are in line with the disillusioned note of the movie).By the conventional side I mean that the content is a conventional one, the adventure remaining a comic—strips' one. As a reply to "Notorious"—its most obvious reference--,the Peck film we are discussing is simultaneously better made, and less pretentious (and maybe the two are connected!). Hitckcock often wanted more than the content of a genre. This film aims exactly at being a thriller. The only good actor is Matthau; Peck and his girlfriend are quite schmaltzy, but the movie's charm is beyond them.
Rather helped by Matthau's simian aspect, his roles are almost always a delight to watch. On the other hand, he was made for the picturesque, for this kind of rapid quirky amusing roles, funny and droll. One only wished Matthau's role was somewhat bigger.
I could cite here many thrillers that should of been made exactly like Mirage (1965) --the flexible, miraculously adequate style. The movie is deliciously thrilling and interesting. The denouement is very fit. Enjoy this dialog between Edward Dmytryk and Hitchcock;Edward Dmytryk's exercise is the more conventional,yet the better and the most thrilling one.