Monday, September 23, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Blindfold (1966) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale star in BLINDFOLD (1966), an engaging comedic thriller just released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

Hudson plays Dr. Bartholomew Snow, a well-known New York City psychiatrist. One morning when he's out riding in Central Park he's approached by General Prat (Jack Warden), who needs the doctor's help.

It seems one of the doctor's former patients (Alejandro Rey), a scientist in possession of top secret information, has suffered a mental breakdown. The general, fearing the man will be a target for spies from other countries due to his weakened condition, is hiding him and needs the doctor to treat him.

Dr. Snow is blindfolded every time he's taken to treat the man, so he has no idea where he is. Things quickly get stranger; the scientist's sister Vicky (Cardinale) begins snooping around the doctor's office, and a man (Guy Stockwell) who claims to be from the CIA insists he's the good guy and the general's a fake. And when Dr. Snow calls the CIA and the military trying to verify identities, no one is authorized to confirm who's legitimate...

I found BLINDFOLD to be a lot of fun, a good exemplar of a '60s suspense comedy in the style of CHARADE (1963). While not on a level with that classic Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn thriller, BLINDFOLD is an entertaining film, well played by the leads and supporting cast. Cardinale's Jean Louis wardrobe, the Lalo Schifrin musical score, and the widescreen Panavision shots of New York all combine in the best kind of way to stamp the film as a glamorous product of the '60s.

Hudson and Cardinale have nice chemistry as a battling twosome who are also wildly attracted to one another; a scene where she wrestles her apartment key out of his hand as they kiss, each then retreating in stunned amazement, is a winner. Dr. Snow has been engaged half a dozen previous times, but when he is forced to announce a fake engagement to Vicky as a cover, ironically it turns out that's the engagement he'd like for keeps. (Of course, it's Claudia Cardinale!)

I especially liked that Cardinale isn't a damsel in distress but pitches right in battling the bad guys, including a very well-placed kick out a window. With the charming Hudson and/or Cardinale onscreen for the majority of the film, what's not to like?

Anne Seymour is an absolute treat as the doctor's wisecracking loyal secretary. Her presence classes up the film and lifts it into the "better than average" category. Likewise Warden is amusing as the general; he's such a nice, funny guy you can't believe he'd be a villain, but stranger things have happened. Stockwell is also good as the stuttering CIA man.

Vicky's warm family (including Angela Clarke, John Megna, and Vito Scotti) and the way they embrace Dr. Snow rather called to mind THE MIDNIGHT STORY (1957), a crime film which starred Tony Curtis and Marisa Pavan.

Also along for the ride: Hari Rhodes as a captain working for the general, and Brad Dexter as a dimwitted policeman. Ted Knight of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW plays another doctor who becomes involved in the case. Ned Glass is also in the cast.

BLINDFOLD runs 102 minutes. It was directed by Philip Dunne, from a script written by Dunne and W.H. Menger. The script was based on a novel by Lucille Fletcher.

The movie was filmed in Technicolor by Joseph MacDonald.

The Kino Lorber Blu-ray includes the BLINDFOLD trailer and five additional trailers, along with an image gallery. The widescreen print looks very good, and the sound is excellent.

Coming soon: A review of another '60s suspense film just released by Kino Lorber, MIRAGE (1965), starring Gregory Peck and Diane Baker.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.


Blogger Margot Shelby said...

Sounds like fun. It is so strange when you think you know an actor's filmography and then find a movie you've never even heard of. I'll try to track it down.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's a title I wasn't aware of until very recently, Margot, when my Dad saw it. Was glad to have a chance to catch up with it thanks to this new Kino Lorber release! An enjoyable evening's viewing.

Best wishes,

9:07 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I saw BLINDFOLD three times in the theater during its original run because I liked it so much...nah, who am I kidding? Because Claudia, that's why. I was 16 and had found the perfect woman. Still think I might have been right.

Unfortunately, watching the movie again 40 years later, I was not very amused. Claudia was still beautiful, but the movie which had once seemed so clever, now seemed just slightly stupid. Oh, well. Lots of stupid movies are highly entertaining.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's fun you saw it so frequently as a teen, Rick!

Not the best film ever made, for sure, but I did find it quite diverting. :)

Best wishes,

11:46 AM  
Blogger said...

Very much agree with you about a kick-ass heroine rather than a damsel in distress and great chemistry between Hudson and Cardinale. Interestingly, in their next film together, she drove the storyline although A Fine Pair was not quite as entertaining.

2:02 PM  

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