Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna
Director: Terence Young
After an accident robs her of her sight, Susy (Hepburn) is adapting to life when her husband has to go away and leave her on her own. When three thieves (Arkin, Crenna) think that she has a doll in her possession full of heroin, they decide to terrorise and trick her into giving up it’s whereabouts in her home while she is at her most vulnerable.
I love this film because though we know Hepburn for her charming turns in earlier films where she played comedy and romance so well, by this time she was playing more complex dramatic roles that though now are less known, were acting coups at the time. Hepburn is believable as a recently blind woman, and the films explores the things she has to learn to navigate. She has that wonderful ability to draw us into her world and make us love her, and it works so well in this film, where her vulnerability is supported by quiet strength.
Opposing her are three men, but the one to watch is Alan Arkin, who is wonderful. He manages to think up ways to undermine Susy’s confidence and make her turn to him, though he’s her enemy is disguise. He’s delightfully bad, and there was talk about him winning an Oscar for his performance in this film. I love the way the bad guys think up ways to make her afraid, from footsteps and noises to playing different characters.
But although they are masters of terror, Hepburn’s Susy manages to find the steel in her personality, and challenges them. It’s a wonderful game of cat and mouse, and well worth a look for Hepburn fans because it’s not a side of the actress that we see as often, and it’s a very great performance. A solid classic thriller.
See It If: you love Audrey, you have to see this performance. It’s a great 60’s thriller on a confined space.