Saturday, May 03, 2008

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 37

This is sad. I can't find my original review of today's feature (yes, for every movie I saw from 1972-1985 I wrote an in-depth review for no apparent reason. Doesn't everybody?) and I find myself remembering very little about it. I do, however, recall that at the time I saw it (early eighties at a rep house although it was released in 1979) I declared it the best of the many, many Hitchcock homages/rip-offs.

Directed by a still young Jonathan Demme (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), LAST EMBRACE stars the late Roy Schieder and the sadly underutilized (not here but for most of her career) Janet Margolin (TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN). According to IMDB, Schieder's character is a government agent who needs some mental help after his wife is killed. He returns home after some time in a sanatarium to find a cryptic warning and a strange girl living in his apartment. Hmmm...I really don't recall any of that. What I DO recall is the great forties character actor Sam Levene as an old Jewish man trying to help our hero and a marvelous climax at Niagara Falls. Come to think of it, I don't recall a lot of details about those scenes either. Never have seen LAST EMBRACE on television or even in the cheap dvd bins at WalMart. I very vividly recall the feeling of being riveted by the suspense and the intelligence of this under the radar movie and declaring that Demme was easily a better Hitchcock than Stanley Donen or Brian De Palma. Just wish I could remember why.


Marty McKee said...

LAST EMBRACE is, strangely, not available on DVD nor is it ever shown on TV anymore. It is a darn good thriller though. Your best bet to see it is to track down an old VHS tape.

Kirk Greenfield said...

Yeah Steve,
If you don't recall those first few scene of set up, then you've missed a good part of the film. As I recall, a good deal of the solution revolves around Jewish prostitutions and revenge. Go find it.

Steven Thompson said...

One of my readers generously mailed me a copy soon after this was published originally...which was...WOW! SEVEN years ago now! I've probably forgotten enough of it again that it's time to watch it once more now!