Movie Review: Wait Until Dark (1967)

Synopsis: While on his way back from a trip to Canada, Susy Hendrix's husband, Sam, is handed a child's doll by a beautiful stranger and asked to hold onto it, not knowing it is being used to smuggle heroin. Unfortunately for Susy, who is blind thanks to a car accident, a group of men determined to get the doll back, attempt to trick her by making her believe her husband is the main suspect in the murder of the woman who gave him the toy. There's one major problem, Susy doesn't know where the doll is.

Who's in it? The movie stars Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Jack Weston and Samantha Jones.


Review: I came across this movie yesterday afternoon and, thinking it looked like something my wife and I would both enjoy, added it to my library. We wound up watching it this evening and, while I didn't hate it. My opinion was mixed.

I'll start out by saying I loved Hepburn in this film and could see why she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. At first, I wasn't sure what to think about her character, Susy. However, while she was somewhat gullible, she also proved to be surprisingly clever at times too, figuring out something was off from the sound of one of the bad guy's shoes and the way they kept opening and closing her kitchen window shade.

The last several minutes of the movie were also interesting, with Susy using her cleverness to gain the upper hand against the murderous Roat (Arkin), only to lose it and then have the audience left in the dark for a while about how things turned out for her. Of course, it helped that Roat was equally as clever, figuring out ways to overcome some of the pre-planning that Susy did, which should have given her more of an advantage than it did.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is Roat's plan to get the doll seems a bit convoluted and much more complicated than was needed. As my wife and I both pointed out, why put on all the play acting to trick Susy when they could have simply taken her hostage and used her as leverage to get her husband to give them the doll. In fact, I'm still not sure why they didn't just do that.

Also, while I liked Susy's neighbor, Gloria (Julie Herrod) despite not normally liking kids in movies like this one, I was a little curious where her mother was. I know it was the 1960s but Susy was asking that girl to do an awful lot, including leaving the building in the middle of the night. It made me worry about the kid's homelife as a result.

Final Opinion: The film has some interesting characters, and a great performance by Hepburn, but the bad guy's plan is ridiculously complicated to the point it is difficult to take it seriously as a thriller. 

My Grade: B-

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