With Play Misty for Me (1971), about a late-night radio Disk Jockey (played by Eastwood) being stalked by an overzealous female listener,Clint Eastood made his directorial debut. And, what a debut it was. Even in the short 102 minutes one could see Eastwood’s now established hallmarks of efficiency in story telling and simplicity in presentation. The one element of the movie that really stuck out at me was how gratingly unsympathetic Eastwood was able to portray the antagonist, stalker Evelyn played by Jessica Walter. Her extreme behavior and the way the character was portrayed really got under my skin and at times made me want to reach through the screen and slap her. I think that’s how Eastwood wanted it, and his goal was accomplished well. The only knocks I would have on the film would be clunky camera work at times and a soundtrack that puts the film a little too squarely in the era in which it was made at times. All in all, I’d say that Eastwood put in a solid Freshman effort with this film.
Play Misty for Me – 8/10