California radio DJ Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) is the most popular disc jockey on the Monterey Peninsular and hosts a late-night radio show which includes on-air requests for records.
Dave gains a persistent fan in velvety-voiced Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter) who repeatedly calls him up requesting that he “Play Misty for me”.
After they meet in his favourite bar and spend the night together, she begins to behave more and more strangely, and Garver discovers that she’s determined to keep him whatever the cost (and all this 16 years before Fatal Attraction).
But Dave doesn’t truly realise how psycho Evelyn is until she goes on a rampage with a knife and an axe.
While the terrorising of Dave Garver mounts, his regular girl, Tobie (Donna Mills), returns to Carmel from a sojourn up the coast and moves back into her isolated house, where she lives with a succession of female roommates.
Tobie’s ever-changing domestic situation eventually figures in Misty‘s surprise ending.
Jealousy is one of the hardest emotions to portray with any kind of subtlety in cinema, yet Walter is superb as the deranged woman.
Eastwood took the first step towards his 1992 Best Director Oscar with this fine thriller, in which he also stars. His directorial talents are impressive here.
Eastwood’s sideburns and flares lend the movie a period charm today, but its power to grip and chill remains undiminished.
The enduring Roberta Flack ballad, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, got its first airing in this movie.
Dr Frank Dewan
Mervin W Frates