- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Cape Fear-like creep
- Jeff Boston
Quite a coincidence that this film and "Cape Fear" were both released in April 1962. The virulent and virile villains in both B & W realistic tales scare you without the use of cheap gratuitous imagery and words. Edwards even cuts off the "Phantom Asthmatic" when he's audibly mutilating Remick's bank teller multiple times by phone. Well done thriller with a horrible title that is knocked down a notch by having the evil guy with sunglasses and a hoodie at a warm, night ball game. With this substance-over-style pre-Pink Panther picture, you get the idea that WW2 vet Edwards is somewhat making amends with so many 3-dimensional Chinese-Americans after having a cartoonsh Japanese landlord in the style-over-substance "Breakfast at Tiffany's" flick the year before. Even with Mancini's magnificent score, the wheezing wacko (for which Martin got a Golden Globes nom), and an ending that obviously influenced 67's "Point Blank" and 71's "Dirty Harry," the most memorable things about "Experiment in Terror" 55 years later is the use of guns (pop guns, but guns no less) in a San Fran bar, and even more removed from the city (literally and figuratively), a church and a priest.
Blake Edwards was in fine form with this taut, beautifully shot thriller. The opening is particularly striking. It reminds me of the early 60's Italian thrillers. Mancini's score is so contemporary, it can be used in any similar movie today, with the exception of the full orchestra sound later, which could have been left out entirely. The stark shadowy assault by Remick's character in her garage is so intense, but artfully done. What's particularly disturbing about it, aside from Ross Martin's utter creepiness, is the tortuous length of the scene. Again, very retro Italian. All the cast is first-rate. Remick and Ford even seem to give off a little electricity between them. There's just minor quibbles, like when the villain holds up the sister in that building, his every move stirring up clouds of dust. The guy's a severe asthmatic and has nary a cough. Edwards has a string of early tv screenwriter/director credits in this genre (Peter Gunn, Richard Diamond, et al). Too bad he's pigeonholed today mainly for comedy. If only he had more to do on the big screen with these thrillers.
experiment in terror
- kevin sellers
Shoulda retitled it, since, as most of the reviewers have already pointed out, it's suspenseful as hell, but not particularly terrifying.
So suspenseful, you'll never forget it!!
I remember when I first saw this movie -- a very, very long time ago and I just learned to drive; after seeing this film I will never forget how I would look (and still to this day) in the back seat of the car...just to be sure!!! You'll never forget this film as well...Ms. Remick gives a very fine, and compelling performance. And, Mr. Ross Martin, is so creepy, and believable....welll, just watch this film and you'll see what I mean!!!
Just the looks, hang on!
- Mike Strong
Classic noir with widescreen. I voted for it on DVD. I immediately ordered it from a secondary supplier at Amazon just to go over the cinematography again and the story telling. There is only one scene I thought of as a cheesy thrill shot, with Lee Remick on the phone getting a threat from Ross Martin about her sister's safety and then a cut to her sister with a scream (of delight) and a dive from the high board into a swimming pool. That is about as close as it gets to a cheap thrill and its gone almost before you notice. But it was very quick and the rest of the movie almost never lets down on the photography in lighting, composition and story telling. Very few shots would I want to see differently and all of those are small (very small, and very short) objections. Some of the ball park footage is inconsistent with the rest of the film with some less controlled shots and some movement in the last helicopter footage. Actually about the only reason I am saying so much about the off shots is because all the rest is covered so incredibly well that these just stood out. I didn't remember ever seeing this picture but it really deserves a place in anyone's library, especially if you are a shooter, just for the superb cinematography, for the story telling, really a picture to learn craft from. The DP (director of photography) was Philip Lathrop (doesn't list anyone as cinematographer or camera operator so I'm guessing he was the shooter). Editor was Patrick McCormack. Really pretty job. Watch how he ties long to short and short to long shots, especially the ending scene from a chopper as it pulls away. No CGI. Compare that to later stuff matching shots by using CGI. On this film, it is just film, the old fashioned way to shoot. Also, watch how he cuts without gimmicks in lots of places where we've lately gotten used to crossfade gimmicks almost as standard. There is almost a whole film school here. And, I was still totally caught up in the story.
what a cast,wow
- Ron Say
one of the best thrillers ever
A Great Thriller
- Cliff Reynolds
Experiment In Terror is one of my most memorable suspense films of my youth. Ross Martin as Red Lynch with his wheezing, gasping for breath voice scared the hell out of me in 1962. Don't miss this one.
I saw this movie as a young kid and over the years have thought of it quite often, but couldn't remember the title until I saw it today. I remember my sister and I being scared out of our wits when we saw it on TV in the late 60's, back in the day when TV channels showed great movies late at night, like the Fabulous 52! Does anyone remember that? Anyway, this movie deserves to be seen by a new generation of Americans. It is frickin' scary and not in a corny way like so many of today's scary movies. This is realistic, with great scenes of S.F., a film noir feel and awesome music, and features great acting and super tense scenes, especially the scene with the manicans (manicans are scary anyway) I love Lee Remick, who was beautiful, and felt her intense fear for herself and sister, a young and cute Stephanie Powers. I've really come to respect Glenn Ford as an actor. Good movie, thanks for showing it TCM. RIP Miss Remick and Mr. Ford. good
Experiment in Terror (1962)
- James Higgins
Excellent thriller, very believably told and suspenseful throughout. The score is particularly good and very much enhances the mood of the film. Good performances from everyone. Glenn Ford and Lee Remick are fine as they usually are. Stefanie Powers is good in an early role, fine supporting cast. Superb photography and the atmosphere is excellent. The San Francisco setting is another plus. well done, skillful and detailed direction by Blake Edwards.
This is a great suspense film, which kept me on edge the whole time. Having grown up in San Francisco in the 60's, it was great so see the city looking just as I remembered it. It shows my age when I easily identified Don Drysdale and Mike McCormick in their Candlestick cameos. One thing I thought unusual for the times was the extremely realistic portrayal of Asian-Americans. It alsways surprises me when movies that are supposed to take place in California have no Asians in them. Not only are there several key Asian roles, they are portrayed as real, three-dimential characters, not just waiters and laundresses. There's even a Chinese single mother, which is treated very matter-of-factly. And in the nightclub scene at the Roaring 20's, there's even an Asian guy in the crowd, singing along. Nice job.
A riveting, heart-pounding movie. Glenn Ford and Lee Remick are great. She is gorgeous and soft-voiced as usual, with those haunting, beautiful eyes. Glenn Ford is cast perfectly and is superb. Ross Martin makes an interesting villian. Supporting cast is very good. A great film noir film when the genre was starting to fade to boring color and gore.