Noirvember 2017, Episode 27: Experiment in Terror (1962)

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Experiment in Terror (1962) Blake Edwards
Indicator Blu-ray (2:03)

I’m stepping outside my prescribed classic film noir timeline (roughly 1940-1959) to bring you a nail-biter from 1962, but once you see it, I don’t think you’ll mind my bending the rules a bit.

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Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick) is not only a teller in a San Francisco bank, she also takes care of her teenage sister Toby (Stephanie Powers). Returning home from work one night, she pulls her car into her darkened garage and senses that something’s not quite right. Before she knows it, hands reach out and grab her from behind. The man – whose face is hidden in shadows – speaks in a disturbing, raspy voice and demands that Kelly steal $100,000 from her bank for him or else he’ll kill her and her sister. And he warns her not to tell the police; he’ll be watching.

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In spite of the killer’s warning, Kelly contacts the FBI. Although he doesn’t have much to go on, Agent John Ripley (Glenn Ford) is on the case, which seems hopeless without any solid leads. I’m also not going to give you much to go on, other than you need to see this film as soon as possible. You may even figure out early on the actor playing the killer, but even if you do, you’ll be glued to your chair/couch/TV/laptop. You’ll also be amazed that the film is over two hours long; it seems to just zip by.

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Film noir fans may be surprised to find that such a tension-filled noir was directed by Blake Edwards, a director usually remembered for comedies. You might be less surprised to hear that the musical score is absolutely top-notch, considering that it comes from composer Henry Mancini, another person often (wrongfully) associated with lighter fare.

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I highly recommend purchasing the Indicator Series Blu-ray/DVD combo before its 3,000 copy limited edition run sells out. Although it is a UK release, it includes both a Blu-ray and DVD of the film, both region-free. Don’t miss it!

4.5/5

Next: Yet another movie with “Dark” in the title as well as another Lee J. Cobb movie.

Photos: IMP Awards, DVD Beaver, Mondo Digital

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One thought on “Noirvember 2017, Episode 27: Experiment in Terror (1962)

  1. Pingback: Noirvember 2017: 30 Films in 30 Days | Journeys in Darkness and Light

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