Review: Mirage

Mirage is a neo noir film from 1965 starring Gregory Peck, directed by Edward Dmytryk.  This is based on a book written by Howard Fast under the pseudonym Walter Ericson.

This story starts with Gregory Peck in a high-rise where he seems a little confused.  The power is out, and he starts down a stairwell.  He runs into a women, played by Diane Baker, who thinks she knows him, but he does not know her. They get to the bottom of the stairwell and she can see him in the light and does know him.  He does not remember her and she runs away.  He goes outside and sees a body on the street, somebody just jumped from the high-rise.  We learn the body belongs to a well-respected man who is the head of a peace organization.  As Peck tries to figure out what is going on, he realizing he doesn’t remember anything from the last two years.  He finds thugs played by George Kennedy and Jack Weston chasing him.  He hires a rookie private eye played by Walter Matthau and runs into supposed co-worker Kevin McCarthy throughout his adventure.  He tries to get help from a psychiatrist, but that just makes things more confusing for us and Peck.  How does this all fit together?  Is everybody working against Peck?  What do they want from him?  Is Peck really just an accountant?

This film is a neo noir I believe by date alone.  This movie is filmed in black and white with a very noir style cinematography, from a director who knew noir.  This film came on the heals of the popularity of Charade substituting Peck and Baker for Grant and Hepburn and bringing Matthau and Kennedy over from that cast.  It was also cashing in on the popularity of Hitchcock’s suspense movies.  Sure this might be a little weaker substitute when compared to that company, but it is a good movie on it is own.  If you haven’t seen this yet, it is worth checking out.

Favorite Tidbit:  This film was remade only three years later and titled Jigsaw.  I have not seen this version, but can’t imagine why this movie would be re-made so soon after the original?

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