Revenge! (1971)

REVENGE! (1971)
Article 2613 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-31-2008
Posting Date: 10-8-2008
Directed by Jud Taylor
Featuring Shelley Winters, Stuart Whitman, Bradford Dillman
Country: USA

A businessman is kidnapped and held captive by a woman who believes he’s responsible for the seduction and eventual suicide of her daughter. The businessman’s wife teams up with a psychic to search for him. Can they find him before the woman wreaks her terrible revenge?

Though I’m not a big fan of TV-Movies, I do try to give credit where credit is due, and any movie that can suck me into the story in the first few minutes is doing something very right. This one opens with an effective switching of briefcases that really catches the attention and raises all the necessary questions. The story basically follows two paths for most of its running time, and I prefer the mysterious first path (in which the businessman has to contend with his kidnapper and try to figure out why she considers him the guilty party) to the somewhat silly second path (wife hires psychic who tries to convince her he’s a fake, but the wife develops her own psychic powers). Nevertheless, it all adds up to an entertaining and suspenseful movie anchored by a strong performance by Shelley Winters, who is very good as a vulnerable but crazy old woman whose health may not be strong enough to see her through the revenge she’s seeking. My worst problem with the movie is that things get shrill and unpleasant whenever anyone starts yelling; both Winters and Carol Eve Rossen have grating voices when they start shrieking. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen enough to be really detrimental to the movie.



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