Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dvd/150: CAT AND MOUSE (Daniel Petrie, 1974, tv movie aka Mousey)

An uneasy psychological thriller short on psychological insight and thrills and as gloomy as it's autumnal Canadian locations.  Were the 1970s really this drab?

Kirk Douglas - in usual teeth-grinding style - is George, a biology teacher ridiculed by his pupils after failing to dissect a mouse and when his wife Laura divorces him he descends into a homicidal state.

Laura was pregnant when they met and her marriage to George has always been unhappy so when she leaves with her son to marry a prosperous architect, she looks forward to starting life in a new home... miles from anywhere... very remote. Can you guess what happens?

Daniel Petrie's uninspired direction leaves an interesting cast - John Vernon, Bessie Love, Sam Wanamaker, Beth Porter - struggling to bring life to stock characters.

Jean Seberg, in her last English-language film, is luminous in the gloom but is defeated by her under-written role.

Shelf or charity shop? Shelf... but only for Jean

1 comment:

Dejavu said...

Hi. I think the gloomy aspect of the movie had to deal with the plot that was gloomy itself. Daniel Petrie was able to picture this out by making beautiful Montréal appear like a place in the middle of nowhere. You said it well about Jean Seberg's light on screen. The 70's had that particular way to give a strange mood and look to the pictures that were made in that era, especially when it comes down to this genre. Neverthless this movie is very near to my heart.