NIGHT WATCH (1973)
Article #1742 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-21-2005
Posting Date: 5-20-2006
Directed by Brian G. Hutton
Featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Billie Whitelaw
A woman sees a murder take place in an abandoned house across from her home, but the police find nothing when they investigate. She begins to think that she is going crazy.
In some ways, this movie is inevitable; ever since the movie GASLIGHT set up a template for a specific kind of thriller, It would only be a matter of time before someone took the template and added the twist ending that can be found in this movie. And, to be honest, the twist is pretty good; it’s the best thing about the movie. Still, in order to use this twist, you pretty much have to follow the GASLIGHT template for most of the movie’s running time, and I’ve never been particularly fond of that template: I get annoyed with its predictability and its shrillness. You’re always treated to endless scenes of a hysterical woman screaming at people to believe her, and they don’t (because she’s hysterical), and this just makes her more hysterical, etc. etc. etc. The fact that it’s Elizabeth Taylor providing the hysterics doesn’t really alleviate the fact that the movie spends most of its time walking an overused path. In short, I didn’t find that the final twist really compensated for the over-familiarity of most of the movie.