HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boys from County Hell
All Hands On Deck
Teddy
Beasts Clawing at Straws
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Night Watch Taylor Made For Terror
Year: 1973
Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Billie Whitelaw, Robert Lang, Tony Britton, Bill Dean, Michael Danvers-Walker, Rosario Serrano, Pauline Jameson, Linda Hayden, Kevin Colson, Laon Maybanke, David Jackson
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ellen Wheeler (Elizabeth Taylor) is a pampered wife of a financial advisor, John (Laurence Harvey), who has a troubled past which she thinks she has finally put behind her now she has settled down in a swanky London town house, but as she putters about, instructing her maid Dolores (Rosario Serrano) about that evening's dinner and chatting with neighbour Mr Appleby (Robert Lang) about the garden, she always finds her eyes drawn to the abandoned mansion which looms above her across the way. The neighbours who stayed there have long gone, but what if it's not entirely empty?

The movies megastar Elizabeth Taylor made after her second Oscar-winning turn in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? were not exactly huge successes at the box office, and more evidence to the cultural commentators of her decline as she battled a weight problem and issues with alcohol, not to mention a love life which left a lot to be desired. But many of those often eccentric works shared something in common, and that was a delve into the psychological, often the abnormally psychological, as Liz was liable to go a little nuts in them, perhaps echoing her role in the last really big hit of her career (well, until The Flintstones at any rate), perhaps linked to her fragile mental state.

In this case, it was one of those reliable, some would say creaky, plots wrapped up in that age old question, is someone trying to drive the lead character mad or not? This had spawned many a thriller for many a year, from Gaslight to My Name is Julia Ross and all points in between, so by the point Night Watch arrived the answer would be well known to any audience who had enjoyed enough of those affairs that they would think it was, yes, somebody probably is trying to send you crazy, Liz. How this played out was that she sees a dead body through the flapping shutters on a window in the house across the way, but then cannot persuade anyone else of the fact.

This was based on a Broadway play that expert in vintage radio thrillers Lucille Fletcher had written, which likely was the reason the resulting film came across as so past it rather than a modern story; the fact that the cast were entirely middle-aged was another prompt to view this as rather fusty instead of the suspenseful experience obviously intended. Director Brian G. Hutton, about whom the one fact anyone knows about him is that he apparently retired from movies in the eighties to become a plumber, didn't quite open the plot out enough; he could of course have gone the other route, as Roman Polanski did in the not dissimilar The Tenant around the same time, and made this insanely claustrophobic.

But he didn't, he rendered it more theatrical, and there were stretches of this where you could readily imagine it unfolding on the stage, although he did include nightmare-style flashbacks to Ellen's trauma, which as we discover was having to identify the bodies of her adulterous husband and his younger mistress (cult Brit star Linda Hayden, speaking nary a word) on a morgue slab after their car crashed on a country highway: could this have been the trigger for her unbalanced nature? Her second husband and her best friend Sarah (Billie Whitelaw) are trying to convince her that there's nothing going on in the old, dark house but she keeps telephoning the police anyway (led by a world-weary Bill Dean as the Inspector) to the point where she becomes a standing joke to them. To be fair, Night Watch did build to a twist that you might well not see coming as it did attempt something interesting with a hackneyed format, but by then it was too late, though the sight of Elizabeth Taylor going spectacularly, violently over the top was something to witness. Music by John Cameron.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1808 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: