Movie News

Horror Movie A Day: Quint on WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)
I’m Harry Roat Jr... from Scarsdale.

Published at: Oct. 24, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [The regular A Movie A Day list has been frozen in order for me to do an all-horror line-up for October. I’ve pulled many horror titles from my regular “to see” stack and have ordered many more horror and thriller titles to make sure we have some good stuff. Like the regular AMAD column all the movies I’m covering are films I have never seen, but unlike the regular AMAD column I will not connect each film to the one before it. Instead I will pull a title at random every day and watch whatever the movie Gods determine for me.] Okay, this movie is the tits. What a great, awesome little character suspense piece.

Basically you have one location and four central characters. Our hero is a blind woman, played by the instantly lovable Audrey Hepburn, who is the victim of circumstance. Her husband, a photographer, was given a doll filled with heroine while on a flight back from Canada. He had no idea, of course, but takes the doll just before the mule, an attractive lady, is met by Alan Arkin’s Roat. Roat is a bad motherfucker. His John Lennon sunglasses make him unpredictable, hiding his true intentions… Hell, you can call him a walking shark, with round black eyes and grinning mouth. Of course, this girl disappears and two of her associates are called in to help find the doll. These are Richard Crenna (Rambo’s boss!) and Jack Weston (THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, FUZZ, DIRTY DANCING and, possibly his best ever movie… that’s right, SHORT CIRCUIT 2). Hustlers, swindler, no-good charmers.

They show up to a New York apartment, thinking they’re meeting their friend, the doll lady. Instead, Alan Arkin shows up, knowing everything about them and taking them both completely off guard and tells them of the plan, offering them a nice chunk of change if they can somehow convince Hepburn to reveal the location of the doll. Oh, yeah… and they’re in Hepburn’s apartment and have left their fingerprints all over it… and they also find Samantha Jones, the doll lady, hanging dead in the closet, compliments of Mr. Roat.

So, they have another reason to help out… a frame-up. After spending the first 10 minutes with the baddies, we get some time with Hepburn and her husband in the picture, Sam (Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who voiced Alfred in the Dini/Timm Batman Animated Series). The filmmakers actually cram a whole lot of character work in their brief time together before the baddies return. We come to find that Hepburn’s blindness is fairly recent and she’s learning how to cope with it. We also learn that she and her husband are very close, but he’s incredibly strict with her, even to the point of cruelty. He wants her to be self-sufficient again and risks losing the audience’s empathy at times for being so strict. There’s a point where she drops a cup and he refuses to help her find it, instead standing back and watching her feel along the floor for it. He wants her to not rely on him or help from anybody else. It’s a delicate balance, but I believe they pulled it off, showing Sam to be strict because he cares for her. You can even make a point that this kind of conditioning helps her deal with the crooks as they force themselves into her life and home. Let’s talk about Richard Crenna a little bit. Like most of you, I’m sure, I knew Crenna mostly as Trautman from the Rambo flicks, so it was a little bit surprising to me to see him play a character as complex as Mike Talman. He’s gray. He doesn’t want to be working with Arkin… he knows the dude is bad news, but he’s also greedy. He is a bit of a crook and he knows it, but he’s not a lunatic. He does have a heart and there are boundaries he won’t cross.

So he works this girl over, posing as a friend of her husband, a war buddy, gaining her trust. In this respect we get a little bit of con movie thrown in, complete with costume changes and age make-up as each of the Axis of Evil do their part. Crenna is the war-buddy friend of the hubby, Weston is a loud detective and Arkin plays both an elderly man and his son as they all set up a scenario for Hepburn in which her husband (called off to a phoney photo-shoot) is a cheater and murderer. But Hepburn smells something is off and begins to piece together the truth, using her Daredevil powers to find the clues. And Hepburn is adorable in this movie. She always is, but there’s something to her Susy Hendrix. She’s extra vulnerable here and not just in her vision handicap. She plays the character with a bare minimum of make-up. At the time of filming she was in her late 30s and there’s something very attractive to see her embrace her age. Not to mention that it’s right for her character. Even if she wasn’t blind you don’t get the feeling that this woman is superficial. In short, I want to marry blind 1967 Audrey Hepburn. Consider that a proposal if you can find me a time machine. That leads me to Alan Arkin. If I want to marry Susy Hendrix then I don’t ever want to meet Harry Roat Jr. Never-ever. Arkin is in absolutely fine form, playing one of my new favorite screen villains. Roat (which probably isn’t even his real name) is calm, cool and collected on the surface. He’s very low key, but it feels like a mask that’s barely concealing a madman. The glasses help. If the eyes are the windows to the soul then I believe there’s a reason he’s always wearing these round obsidian black sunglasses. I think this dude’s soul is darker than tar. And when the glasses come off we tend to see him unleash his scary.

When he flips out he’s genuinely scary. You don’t know what the hell his limits are and I think by the end of it we find there are no limits.A part of me would have loved to have seen this era Arkin play The Joker if he could have channeled a little of Roat’s insanity. I found myself completely invested in this movie. When the final act happens and we get our showdown between Audrey and Alan it’s everything I could have wanted. If you see the DVD cover you might have a similar thought… Why is a blind woman lighting a match in the dark? Why the hell does she need light besides to make sure the audience can see her. When you see why she’s lighting that match you’ll want to cheer.

It’s pretty genius and I can’t imagine how awesome it was to see the stage version of this (originated with Lee Remick and Robert Duvall… in the late ‘90s there was a revival starring Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino, of all people). It really is a match of wills and determination and there’s something very cathartic watching someone so obviously a victim… Blind Audrey Hepburn doesn’t exactly cry out as a strong action hero… hold their own against such an aggressive force of lunatic energy. Robert and Jane-Howard Carrington deserve a lot of credit for their adaptation of Frederick Knott’s (DIAL M FOR MURDER) play, giving us such a powerful character driven suspense film. Just as much credit goes to director Terence Young (DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, THUNDERBALL) for keeping a film set predominantly in one apartment moving and visually interesting. Double Feature suggestion: Check out the Jennifer Jason Leigh as blind girl stalked by a creep in 1981’s EYES OF A STRANGER. It’s not nearly as good as WAIT UNTIL DARK, but it’s a great little underseen and underappreciated thriller. Final Thoughts: Combine great performances, a smart script with intelligent character work, strong direction and a great score by Henry Mancini and you get one of the best suspense films ever put out. This movie is lightning in a bottle that captures one of the best villain performances ever put to screen, hands down. Arkin is amazing in this movie and I wish to god someone like Neca would have the balls to put out a Harry Roat Jr. figure. I might be one of the only people that bought it, but I’d be a happy, happy geek.

Here are the titles in the drawing pool for the rest of October: Wednesday, October 1st – Friday, October 31st: H-MAD! Horror Movie A Day! Check out the list here! Now’s the the time to pull the next HMAD! Next up is:

Sweet. I have a lot of friends who like the same kind of ‘80s horror I do and they ensure me I’m in for a treat with DEAD & BURIED. Can’t wait! See you tomorrow for that! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
September 25th: Money From Home
September 26th: Papa’s Delicate Condition
September 27th: Dillinger
September 28th: Battle of the Bulge
September 29th: Daisy Kenyon
September 30th: Laura
October 1st: The Dunwich Horror
October 2nd: Experiment In Terror
October 3rd: The Devil’s Rain
October 4th: Race With The Devil
October 5th: Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
October 6th: Bad Dreams
October 7th: The House Where Evil Dwells
October 8th: Memories of Murder
October 9th: The Hunger
October 10th: I Saw What You Did
October 11th: I Spit On Your Grave
October 12th: Naked You Die
October 13th: The Wraith
October 14th: Silent Night, Bloody Night
October 15th: I Bury The Living
October 16th: The Beast Must Die
October 17th: Hellgate
October 18th: He Knows You’re Alone
October 19th: The Thing From Another World
October 20th: The Fall of the House of Usher
October 21st: Audrey Rose
October 22nd: Who Slew Auntie Roo?

Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Audrey Hepburn makes me sweat like a rapist.

    by Knuckleduster

    Seriously, I'm actually starting to feel guilty about the fantasies I have about her.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Double Feature

    by Shoegeezer

    Great movie, another good film to pair it with is Brit effort Blind Terror (US title See No Evil) from 1971 which has a blind Mia Farrow pursued by a serial killer of whom all you ever see are a pair of cowboy boots. Written by Brian Clemens and directed by Richard Fleischer.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Good film, but not horror

    by Midnightxpress

    More of a thriller, Thou you will enjoy dead and buried...

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Audrey Hepburn was never really an HORROR actress

    by ricarleite

    So I believe this is the point she started doing it "for the money".

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:26 a.m. CST

    More pairs

    by Quint

    Yeah, Blind Terror is pretty good... also really strong is a great little flick co-starring Mia's sister, Tisa Farrow, as a blind woman being terrorized called STRANGE SHADOWS IN AN EMPTY ROOM.<BR><BR>Midnight, it's not a hack and slash horror movie, but there's a jump scare in the film that had me almost sailing off the couch and if you don't think Arkin is a horror character than I'd hate to see what really scares you because it'd probably make me crawl into a ball and weep.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:27 a.m. CST

    ricar

    by Quint

    Well, this "for the money" role garnered her an Oscar nomination and was based off of a very well-known Broadway play. She did retire after this, popping back up in ROBIN & MARIAN with Connery and Shaw, but I don't think she felt like she was lowering herself in doing this film.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Re; QUINT

    by ricarleite

    I see. I didn't know anything about this film or about it. It's just weird seeing A. Hepburn on a 60s Horror flick.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:07 a.m. CST

    I saw Dead & Buried a few weeks ago.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Bad movie, with some BRILLANT moments! (Don't wanna spoil anything, but...the car wreck!)

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Remake Fodder? I hope they do/dont...

    by Mr Moneypenny

    A friend gave me a copy of this when she orderd one too many online! Had never heard of it before and thought it little odd - Hepburn... Blind... Arkin... Psycho... Thriller/Horror?! But glad she got that extra DVD as its a cracking little picture that deserves more recognition. Almost to the point of being ripe for a sensitive remake - but then if it ain't broke...

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Totally Random Thought

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    But those shots of Arkin in those glasses and that haircut totally make me think--had age not been a factor--that he would have been a good Dr. Octopus for the Spiderman movies. <p> (But Alfred Molina still ruled.) <p> However, back the post at hand. Bravo did the scariest 100 movies and had this high on their list, and it's always intrigued me. But I was still hesitant to look into it. Your discussion of how good the film is on its merits (without even the "scary" aspect of it) has totally convinced me to get a copy of the film. Great review.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Quentin....

    by Gunslinger1919

    My wife and I are huge fans of this film, and when the opportunity came to see it on Broadway with Marissa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino we jumped at it. It was fantastic...every piece of the production was great....everything EXCEPT Quentin who took on the Alan Arkin role. He was so weak on stage that every other great aspect about the show came down several notches...not his fintest moment....though Tomei, surprisingly, was good in the Hepburn role...still love the movie tho... --G

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Another great column

    by Lone_Wolf_McQuaalude

    I was looking thru the DVD section of a local store yesterday and thought about buying '...Dark'. I'm going back today for it. Thanks Quint. And you won't be disappointed with 'Dead and Buried'. One of my favorite tape rentals of the '80s

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    ....also....

    by Gunslinger1919

    This has got to be up there as one of the finest thrillers around....Alan Arkin ruled in this movie....

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:47 a.m. CST

    not a blind movie

    by Basehead

    but a mute movie: Mute Witness. freaking awesome flick.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Dead & Buried

    by Josh Acid

    ...is all about the atmosphere. Yeah, overall it's kind of crappy with a weak central premise (that gets weaker the more you come to know about it), but I just love the foggy fishing village. It makes a good double feature with Carpenter's original The Fog (as long as you do Dead & Buried first). Oh, and Lisa Blount? Hotness.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Awesome, Quint!

    by HorrorFan81

    Glad you finally discovered this gem of a film. Saw it when I was about 14 years old, and it scared the piss out of me.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Tarantino/Tomei version

    by Phimseto

    I saw that a little over ten years ago. Tomei was fantastic and Tarantino...well...he wasn't bad, actually. I would disagree with above person b/c what Tarantino did is what Tarantino does. Instead of being singularly menacing, Roat's terror became a cocktail of horror and gallows humor. One thing they managed to recreate *very* well on stage: the great moment where Roat lurches out of the dark suddenly at Suzy.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Harry Roat...from Scarsdale...

    by sonnyfern

    One of my favorite villains in any movie EVER. He's amazing in this movie. As for DEAD AND BURIED. It's an awesome movie...the first time I saw it it absolutley flawed me. Keep an eye out for Robert Englund and Tim Burtons ex girlfriend!

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    not "flawed" "floored..." very tired...

    by sonnyfern

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Dead and Buried is a wonderful "slow burn"

    by James_O'Nasty

    NOT TO MENTION IT HAS JACK ALBERTSON, CHARLIE!!!!

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Scarsdale Surprise!

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Advertising of this movie in 1967....

    by Ninja Nerd

    Being damned old, I saw this first run at the Chieftan Theatre in 1967. The ads and movie posters at the time were cool and all had this line: "NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED DURING THE LAST 10 MINUTES OF THIS FILM!" And that was the case. In addition, at two different showings (I had to see it again), during the climatic ending, EVERY light....even the tiny footlights and EXIT signs was turned off. Imagine sitting in a pitch black theatre with several hundred people on the edge of their seats when Alan Arkin is stalking Audrey Hepburn...it was AWESOME! Great movie, crazy good score. Quint forgot to mention the little neighbor girl...small, but integral role in the thing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! ! !

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    audrey embracing her age

    by zom-bot.com

    i wish modern actresses did that. damn, we really lost something with her, didn't we?

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Daed and Buried

    by zombiwolf

    is so sweet.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Alan Arkin scared the shit out of me in this movie

    by Tacom

    His character was a great villain. Audrey Hepburn should have done more thrillers because you are ten times more concerned about her than you would any other star. That last act was nailbiting.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Quint: So happy to see you review this title

    by Stormwatcher

    I remember picking it up based on a DVDFILE review and loving it. Your right, I forgot about the match bit but yeah, someone is going to steal that for some teenage slasher film and get credit for being 'awesome' from that douche on 'at the movies' I love Arkin. love this movie. Seriously though can we please devote time to how much of a douche that actor/critic is on At the Movies. Man I hate him.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    She's blind...not stuffed up

    by jupstin

    get it...Quint said, "But Hepburn smells something is off," and I said...nevermind...the best comedy is the kind that you have to explain

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Great movie

    by TheContinentalOp

    Totally made me an Alan Arkin fan for life. I love the part where he whips out his weird little statue-knife and Crenna tries to fight him with a chair. That said, am I the only one who found Hepburn teetering on the edge of annoyingness? I think she does a great job overall, particularly in the end sequence, but there are parts in the early going where she's so oversweet she makes my teeth rot.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    lots of blind women in danger flicks

    by filmfanatic1

    I add the mediocre film, EYES OF LAURA MARS to the list, with Faye Dunnaway; can't match up with Audrey.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Great Review of a Great Movie

    by edgreen86

    That's all that needs to be said.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    I'll need to check this out

    by Forsakyn

    Per the subject. And yes, Audrey Hepburn was something.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Scarsdale!?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Say no more!

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Re: Eyes Of Laura Mars, I remember it better than mediocre

    by skimn

    Not blind, but unable to see because of visions obscuring her sight. And co-written by John Carpenter I believe. And an early leading man role for Tommy Lee Jones, before the craggy set in.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Sonnyfern.

    by Gilkuliehe

    Not trying to be a nerd here, but the Lisa Marie in D&B is not the Tim Burton's ex-girlfriend one. Different girl, same name. I have no life.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    A young Alan Arkin could do almost anything

    by BobParr

    He had a spastic, lunatic energy but he could also reign it in. The LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE award was the definition of a career achievement Oscar.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Phimseto

    by Gunslinger1919

    Dude, you can use my name! It's easy...just scroll up. LOL. Tarantino just didn't do it for me in the play, though I will agree that the scene in the dark....and when the refrigerator opens....was done awesomely on stage. Is awesomely even a word? Maybe not. --G

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Bob Parr

    by skimn

    Saw The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming last year on TCM, and Arkin was a delight in that also.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    way to JUST see this movie, Quint!

    by JimCurry

    great flick.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Eyes Of Laura Mars stinks

    by JimCurry

    seriously, watch it again, it's really cheesy - and not in a good way. (Plus the ending makes no damn sense whatsoever.)

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    JimC

    by skimn

    Haven't seen it in 30 years, so I may be remembering it fondly. Rene Auberjois does do a killer Lloyd Bridges though, I recall.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Want to see this.

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    Looking at those posters, I really think Jack Weston should have fired his agent and hired Efrem Zimbalist Jr's instead.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Agree w/ Midnight Express

    by jcrash

    Great movie, but definitely not a horror flick. It's more of the suspense thriller variety, but no where near horror, or even a slasher. There's a good jump scene in there though. Worth a rental , but don't get it for a Halloween party or people will be pissy.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    GREAT MOVIE

    by The InSneider

    Loved your take on it, Quint. This is the one I've been waiting for you to review the whole month. Might be my favorite film pre-70s. And I saw the stage versio with Quentin when I was 14. After the show, I leapt onstage and picked up the matches that he lit. There were 2 or 3 that were taped together so they'd burn longer, brighter and better. Last year when I interviewed him for Death Proof, I brought him those matches and he signed my Playbill. Top that shit motherfuckers!

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Arkin's Harry Roat Jr.- alltime best villain...

    by darthliquidator

    Stephen King pointed out in his "Dance Macabre" that Arkin's Roat was one of the greatest depictions of screen evil and oh man, I couldn't agree more. "Roat" (which is probably the name of the last guy he killed)is a walking,talking instant terminal cancer and the movie clearly defines him in the first ten minutes..(If you do repeated viewings, you can pick up wonderful little 'Roat-isms' - note the way he absent-mindedly whiffs Hepburn's laundry while doing his opening speech.) Some critics complained that Roat's elaborate disguises and costumes seemed unneccessary(given that Hepburn's blind), but it's a perfect evocation of his character- he's everybody and nobody..he's death come knockin' at your door and he can take any shape he wants. One last goody about this movie - one of my alltime favorites. During the original theatrical run, Warners encouraged theatres to turn off their emergency lights during the final showdown between Arkin and Hepburn..thereby plunging the theatre into absolute total darkness. And let me tell you, this movie was one of the first to make an audience jump six feet out of their chairs.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Roat's costume changes...

    by TheContinentalOp

    ...were just in case the little girl was there to blow his cover.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST

    What's the difference between Sarah Palin's mouth & her vagina?.

    by Prague23

    Not everything that has come out of her vagina have been retarded! <p> Seriously though, WAIT UNTIL DARK is an amazing film. Cheers for reviewing it. Everyone should see this in the cinema in a double feature with PSYCHO. That's how much respect I have for this film.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    While this is a truly fantastic film

    by subtlety

    I still think this is pretty questionable "horror" territory. More like a thriller, or suspense. But hey, glad you saw it and loved it, because its one of my very favorites. If Alan Arkin appears in 50 movies a year for the rest of his life it'll be too few.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Dead and Buried

    by Turingtestee

    My wife's grandfather was a camera operator on that one (Blood Beach as well). We have a bunch of stills and a crew photo that I've tried like mad to find . . . oh, what the hell is name . . . Stan Winston.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST

    More or less remade as

    by Wonderthump

    Panic Room. Just not very good however.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    This movie gave me a newfound respect for Alan Arkin.

    by flickchick85

    Hepburn was good, but holy hell, was Arkin awesome in this. I was always kinda "meh" on him until I saw this movie a couple years ago. Very impressive little suspense flick.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 10:46 p.m. CST

    I love this movie

    by Napoleon Park

    i know exactly what you mean by "jump scare". there are several heart skipping moments but that one in specific... man it's great to hear an entire theater scream and gasp.<p>I suppose Darth Vader could take him and all, but Harry Roat Jr. may be my all time favorite movie villain. Image Lou Reed as a psycho killer.<p>My favorite line though is Audrey's "I never volunteers to be the world's champion blind lady." I quote or paraphrase this at every doctors appointment. I shoot my insulin, I watch my diet, I come in once a year or so but not the every three months they seem to think I can afford and have time for. I never volunteered to be the world's champion diabetic, doc. Call me when you find a cure.

  • Oct. 24, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Quint...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I've really enjoyed your movie a day series, but I just have to voice my opinion about something that I suspect you have no control over:<BR><BR>Please. Please. Please stop linking to amazon.com. Amazon is the Walmart of bookstores/all-purpose media stores. Yes, it's convenient and often cheap to buy from them, but please think about the small businesses--especially the small bookstores--that are good and well fucked every time amazon.com gets a sale. I know you're not linking to books, but still AICN is helping to sustain a huge corporate monster that would be better off dead for the small business owners' sakes (the economy being what it is, now more than ever)..<BR><BR>Again, I know you don't have much if any control over the amazon.com linking, but--just in case--please try to influence Harry or the powers that be to give some other less hideous and Walmarty store AICN's (and specifically your audience's) business. <BR><BR>Thank you, Quint.