Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mirage (1965)

Category: Reviews

Mirage Gregory Peck starrer Mirage is a classic thriller/mystery film from the 60s with a solid, engaging plot and exciting lead cast. David Stillwell (Peck) emerges from a dark room during a blackout in a building in New York and experiences a strange inability to remember important things about his past. With a mind clouded with confusion, he finds himself on the run from unidentified armed men while a beautiful young woman (Diane Baker) mysteriously interacts with him as if she knows him well. Surrounded by danger and the mystery of his memory loss, Stillwell hires a private detective (Walter Matthau) to help him. But the mystery gets deeper with time.

Beside the story and Peck’s charm, the direction of the film (in the context of that period) is impressive. Dialogues are superb, with some good humor that doesn’t compromise the seriousness of the plot. Those who have watched The Silence of the Lambs (another Diane Baker movie) won’t help noticing that in their earlier meetings in the film, Peck and Baker speak allegorically about things that sound relevant to the mystery of Peck’s memory and run for life, though it can hardly be called an influence on the 1991 movie that claimed more than one Academy Award. 

Mirage is a good example of mystery films that could keep you glued to the screen without the need for crutches of colors (yes, it’s B&W), constant background music, or a blood-soaked conclusion. It has the ambience of the characteristic classic mysteries read in digests and magazines or enjoyed on the screen in the age of modern revolutions.   

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