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Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark: Review
A terrifying movie from 1967 starring Audrey Hepburn
I remember that I saw this film in the cinema when it was first released. Wow. What an experience that was and this is one of the scariest I have seen. I've seen it many times since and the chilling aspects of this film have never faded.
Yet it is one of Audrey Hepburn's lesser known movies
Although I class this as a horror movie, there are no ghouls, no evil spirits and if you're like me, part of the horror of this scenario is that you'll imagine yourself to be in that situation. What would you do?
An innocent young blind woman, terrorized by violent criminals
Her name is Susy. She lives with her husband in a basement apartment in New York. He is often away on business and during one of these times, three criminals believe that Susy innocently has a doll in her apartment that they badly want. It is full of heroin.
Imagine. You are blind, alone in your apartment with desperate drug dealers
This would be a terrifying situation for the largest, toughest, (even sighted) male. But as I watched the movie, I imagined that I was in that situation - being a slim woman against three tough guys is almost impossible odds but the fact that Suzy is completely blind, makes it totally terrifying.
The phone wire has been cut
Her husband is away. Her neighbors are out of town. She can't phone for help. Because she is in a basement apartment, no one will hear her cries for help. And she can't see.
Experience the fear
When Wait Until Dark was shown in cinemas, the house lights were turned down to the bare legal minimum for the last eight minutes of the film so that the audience would have at least some idea of Susy's situation.
Be sure to watch this movie in the dark
For those of us who can see, blindness is a terrifying thought.
Just managing our day today life without the benefit of sight is a frightening prospect. But we can also go some way towards imagining what it must be like to be literally in the dark when events strike that are outside the normal comfort zone.
Having thieves in your house is also a terrifying prospect and in this film, these two fears are highlighted in the most scary way.
Can Susy's blindness be used to her advantage in some way in this situation? She is, after all, at home - a place where the surroundings are perfectly well known to her. She is surrounded by the familiar.
But against sighted men? Men who are, no doubt, totally unscrupulous?
The doll they believe she has if stuffed with highly valuable cocaine. These men are ruthless. The very fact that illegal drugs is their business means that they will have no sympathy and no scruples. They are prepared to do anything to retrieve the bounty.
They will even kill.
See the official trailer
Find out more about this chilling film.
I have to admit that Audrey Hepburn being hysterical is something I believe the actress over-does. She even did so in My Fair Lady. (English Coronation Street fans can liken this to Deidre Barlow crying - possibly one of the worst things ever on TV, in my opinion).
Despite this, I believe that her portrayal of a blind woman in Wait Until Dark is extremely convincing and light years away from her usual roles.
Of course, being picky, I have one or two problems, such as a blind woman having such perfect eye makeup - including false eyelashes - but I guess that they were de rigeur in the 1960s. What I can say, is that if you're looking for a suspenseful thriller, without the blood, the gore and the completely unbelievable monsters and vampires, this is the film for you.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson