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A blind woman returns home not knowing that a madman has murdered her entire family.
In England, a killer wearing cowboy boots emblazoned with a silver star exits a pornographic movie theater and strides arrogantly through the violence-strewn town. One of the cars he passes belongs to Betty and George Rexton, who are bringing home their niece Sarah, who was recently blinded in a fall from a horse. In their lovely home, Manor Farm, Sarah impresses her aunt, uncle and cousin Sandy with her independence and will. One day while the Rextons are in town, the killer vandalizes their car, while back home, Sarah explores the house's now-empty stables, disturbed by gardener Barker's insinuation that her horse, Dandy Star, was put down even though its leg was not broken. When Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Steve Reding, invites her to visit his stables the next day, she reluctantly agrees, unwilling to "burden" him in her handicapped state. While Sarah readies to meet Steve and Sandy prepares for a date, the killer ogles women dancing in a local pub. Sarah is picked up by Frost, Steve's right-hand man, who grouses when a gypsy trailer blocks the road. At the stable, Steve greets her warmly, soon inquiring why she refused to allow him to visit her in the hospital. They are interrupted by Steve's groom Jacko, who announces a mare is foaling. After the animal is born, Steve introduces Sarah to a chestnut horse, much like Dandy Star. Admiring him, she asks to ride, and Steve leads her on a lovely outing through the nearby fields. While the killer pays a visit to Manor Farm, Sarah informs Steve that she will soon leave for London to take a course in physiotherapy. He urges her to stay and resume their relationship, but she rides away, crying. Steve drops her back at home, where she is unable to see that Betty, George and Sandy have been killed, and that the murderer's bracelet is lying on the hall floor. Sarah goes to sleep, and in the morning wakes and begins to draw a bath, but before she can discover Sandy's body lying on the bed next to hers or George's body stretched out in the tub, Steve arrives and calls her outside. There, he presents her with the chestnut horse, which he has named Dandy Star. Declaring happily that now she will have to stay, he leads her on another ride, during which they share a passionate kiss. When Sarah returns home and runs another bath, she feels her uncle's body beneath her fingers and, horrified, races through the house, stumbling upon the other bodies. In her panic, she falls down the stairs into the basement. At the same time, the killer is in his squalid flat washing the blood from his clothes when he notices that his bracelet is missing. In the basement, Sarah stumbles back up the stairs and runs into Barker, who is clutching a wound in his chest. Dying, he tells her that a man killed the family, then upon spotting Barker, shot him and ran away. Barker collapses but whispers to Sarah that the killer left his bracelet and helps her locate it on the floor. She asks him to read an engraving on the bracelet's face, but receiving no answer, she realizes the gardener has died. Just then, the killer returns to retrieve the incriminating bracelet. Hearing his footsteps outside, she tries to call the police, but finds the wires cut. As he forces his way into the house and climbs the stairs, she hides, terrified, behind a pillar. While tryign to escape, Sarah knocks over a lamp, alerting the killer to her presence. As he comes downstairs, she runs through the kitchen, slicing her foot on a shard of glass. She hides in the stable as he searches for her, then mounts Dandy Star and flees, narrowly evading the killer's grasp. As she gallops through the woods toward Steve's, Sarah rides into a tree branch and is thrown to the ground. Wandering frantically through the woods, she finally reaches a gypsy camp, where a kind woman takes her in. Her son Tom soon arrives, and upon hearing that she is from Manor Farm and reading the bracelet's inscription, he states that he will take her to the police. Assuming that the bracelet belonds to his brother Jack, Tom istead drives her to a vast clay pit, locking her inside a shack. While Sarah claws at the shack's walls trying to break through them, Dandy Star returns to Steve's stable. Noting that the horse bears blood but is not cut, he takes Frost and Jacko to search for Sarah. At Manor Farm, they discover the bodies, call the police and rush to search for Sarah. She has managed to rip a hole in the wall and climb through, and after screaming herself hoarse, she pounds scrap metal to create noise. When Steve drives by, he hears the pounding and locates Sarah, who collapses in his arms. He brings her to his home at the stables, where a doctor treats her foot. Steve, who has decided that the gypsies are to blame, rounds up his men to find Tom, leaving Jacko to guard Sarah. At the same time, Tom rides through town to locate Jack. Upon locating him, Tom brings him home, shows him the bracelet and punches him. Jack, however, swears the bracelet is not his and that he merely visited Manor Farm for a date with Sandy, but found no one home. Just then, Steve and his men arrive. Tom shows the bracelet to Steve, who sees that it reads "Jacko." He rushes home, but Jacko, the killer, has surprised Sarah in her bath and is holding her face underwater. Although she struggles valiantly, he overpowers her and she is about to pass out when Steve bursts in. After a brief fight, Steve knocks out Jacko and takes Sarah in his arms.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||GP||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 2 Sep 1971; Los Angeles opening: 29 Sep 1971|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
A Martin Ransohoff--Leslie Linder Production
|Color/B&W:||Color (Eastmancolor)||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Genesis Productions, Ltd., Filmways, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||87-89||Country:||Great Britain and United States|
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Michael Kays 2006-01-27
Mia Farrow is excellent in this creepy suspense thriller. Quite possibly the best portrayal of a blind woman ever captured on film. Mia Farrow was totally...