Wait Until Dark (1967) – Updated

a752e-waituntildark1This is very much a contrived plot line but it certainly is an interesting set piece surrounding a defenseless blind woman targeted because of a heroin-filled doll which fell into her husband’s possession. It sounds like a pretty ludicrous set up but Audrey Hepburn is so believable and at times pitiful that she makes the film works thanks to her performance. Alan Arkin plays an over the top terror of a man bent on getting the doll back and he procures the help of two men to play parts in his elaborate charade. He is the near perfect opposition to torture the angelic Hepburn.

Through the entire story Susy’s blindness is being manipulated and she is constantly in a vulnerable state that is extremely uncomfortable for the audience. She is fed lies and entrusts men who she should not, but she cannot know any better. Thus, we soon forget how ridiculous this whole affair is and get caught up instead in our own fears and anxieties for Susy. From that point on we are hooked and there is no turning back until nighttime comes. Susy is cut off from the world with darkness approaching and that’s when the real nail-biting begins. But that’s for you to see for yourself. I would not deprive you of that pleasure.

The cast is rounded out by Richard Crenna, Emfram Zimbalist Jr. and Jack Weston who all are decent but their roles are relatively cookie cutter. The little girl Gloria is a spunky character but  the real attraction as I said before is Hepburn. The score by Henry Mancini gives the film a thrilling feel rather like a Columbo special. If there ever was a thriller this is certainly one of them! Just Wait Until Dark, you’ll see.

4/5 Stars