Play Misty for Me (ViaVision) (1971) (NTSC)

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Released 10-Jul-2019

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Featurette-Play it Again: A Look Back at Play Misty for Me (49:20)
Featurette-The Beguiled, Misty, Don and Clint (6:13)
Gallery-Photo-Photographic Montage (3:54)
Gallery-Photo-Clint Eastwood Directs and Acts (2:03)
Gallery-The Evolution of a Poster (2:38)
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 102:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Clint Eastwood
Studio
Distributor

ViaVision
Starring Clint Eastwood
Jessica Walter
Donna Mills
John Larch
Donald Siegel
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Dee Barton


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† Dave (Clint Eastwood) is a disc jockey in Carmel with a late night show of talk, poetry and music. He is also a serial womaniser so when one night in a bar he meets Evelyn (Jessica Walter), a woman who each night has rung Daveís show and asked him to ďplay Misty for meĒ, he has no hesitation in sleeping with her. For Dave, it was sex without commitment, but it was not so simple for Evelyn who turns up at Daveís house the next afternoon with groceries to cook him dinner. Dave is put out but not concerned but this changes as Evelyn starts turning up unannounced and calling him constantly although Dave attempts to distance himself from her. Things get more complicated for Dave when Tobie (Donna Mills), an old girlfriend, returns to Carmel and Dave wants to restart their relationship. But Evelyn is not prepared to let Dave go and when Dave tries to break things off with her Evelyn moves from stalking him to attempting suicide to murderous, jealous rage. This is not going to end well.

†††† After a career playing loners and tough guys Clint Eastwood turned his hand to directing with Play Misty for Me, an effective thriller that became a surprise hit. At places the film has a Hitchcockian feel (think Psycho) because of the way the frenzied knife attacks are shot or the sudden slashing attacks, which is high praise for a first time director. Filmed in and around the Carmel coast in California the film also looks spectacular, but perhaps the biggest surprise is Eastwood as actor. In his previous roles, such as the men with no names or Dirty Harry, he was a man always one or two steps ahead of the game and in control; in Play Misty for Me his Dave is an egotistical womaniser who thinks he is in control of his life and his career only to discover, most emphatically, that he is anything but. As Dave Eastwood runs through arrogance, confusion, helplessness and anger without ever getting in front of the game, much less understanding it. Indeed, he is not a particularly nice person, and it is probably an injustice that he gets the nice girl in the end!

†††† Play Misty for Me is tense in places and adds sudden scares, but also has sentimental touches; the montage of Dave and Tobie that accompanies Roberta Flackís The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face could be maudlin but turns out quite effective.

†††† Almost five decades after being made Play Misty for Me still holds up well, with rottentomatoes scores of critics 83% and audience 72%. Those rottentomatoes score donít always paint an accurate picture of a filmís quality, but in this case they may be spot on.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Play Misty for Me is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, NTSC and 16x9 enhanced.

†††† Shot on film, clothing colours are bright and vibrant. Elsewhere the green vegetation, yellow sand and blue sea and skies are nice although muted. Grain is present but not obtrusive. I did not notice any marks and only occasional motion blur. Close-ups are firm but detail in longer shots can be soft. Blacks are solid although shadow detail could be better in some sequences. Skin tones vary and can on occasion be quite red, while brightness and contrast is consistent.

†††† English subtitles for the hearing impaired are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
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Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps, mono. The film was released in theatres with mono audio.

†††† Dialogue is always clear. The effects, such as the pounding surf and car engines, are loud with some depth. The music is clear.

†††† The original score by Dee Barton is fine and is augmented by Misty, composed and performed by Erroll Garner so jazz and of course Roberta Flackís The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

††††Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
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Surround Channel Use
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Extras

Play it Again: A Look Back at Play Misty for Me (49:20)

†††† Made by Laurent Bouzereau in 2001 for the 30th anniversary DVD release of Play Misty for Me, this is an excellent documentary and still well worth a look. Utilising still photographs, film footage and interviews with Eastwood, producer Robert Daley, screenwriter Dean Riesner, film critic Richard Schickel and cast Jessica Walter, Donna Mills items discussed include what attracted Eastwood to the script, his directorial style and the influence of his mentor and friend Don Siegel, casting the female characters and Siegelís appearance in the film, shooting in Carmel, buying the rights to Misty and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, the Monterey Jazz Festival montage and reactions to the film.

The Beguiled, Misty, Don and Clint (6:13)

†††† Also made by Laurent Bouzereau in 2001, this extra uses still photographs and comments by Eastwood, producer Robert Daley and film critic Richard Schickel and discusses the links between The Beguiled and Play Misty for Me, Eastwoodís relationship with Don Siegel and how he was influenced by him, their working relationship.

Photographic Montage (3:54)

†††† Over 50 black and white stills advance automatically with music. Includes sections on Eastwood, Jessica Walter and Donna Mills.

Clint Eastwood Directs and Acts (2:03)

†††† Approximately 30 stills advance automatically with music showing Eastwood at work and on set.

The Evolution of a Poster (2:38)

†††† Approximately 40 stills advance automatically with music showing the development of the filmís poster from film stills through the early title of the film The Slasher to final poster.

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:43)

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The US Region 1 DVD of Play Misty for Me has the same extras as our Region All version and is technically the same except for some different subtitles.

Summary

†††† Five decades on Play Misty for Me remains a surprising effective study of obsession. The cast is top notch, with Eastwood excellent as an egotistical man who ends up well out of his depth.

†††† A DVD release almost 20 years ago of Play Misty for Me was reviewed on this site here. That DVD was PAL, with some minor artefacts and the generally same extras (plus some production notes). This new release is NTSC, it repeats the important extras and looks decent, but loses all the other language and subtitle options on the earlier release. Whether fans of the film or Eastwood want to update is their call. However, if you have not seen the film this re-release is a perfect opportunity to see Eastwood first feature as director.

†††† The video and audio are fine. There are no new extras but those we get, repeated from the 30th anniversary edition, are well worthwhile.

†††† Play Misty for Me was supplied for review by Via Vision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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