Night Watch (1973)

Year: 1973

Year: R

Poor Elizabeth Taylor. It seems as though her whole life was defined by husband drama.  Night Watch finds our perfectly-coiffed heroine starring as Ellen Wheeler, a privileged woman with a haunted past who has plenty of time for drinking, thinking, and staring at the neighbor’s house. When she sees what she believes to be a dead body through a flapping shutter, her husband (Laurence Harvey) and the police take in her story with eye-rolling tolerance. “Oh Ellen. She’s just having another flashback. Pshaw!”

Indeed, if you were Ellen Wheeler, you’d probably have a fair share of flashbacks too.  Her first husband died in a severe car accident with his mistress, clothes askew, her head in his lap, and more lipstick on his shirt than on her face.  Ellen is plagued by the image of them in the morgue, and seeing the corpse through the neighbor’s window brings it all flooding back.  Worse yet, the dead guy kind of looks like her ex!

Though the movie is intriguing from the get-go, one slip of the plot could turn it into a tedious psychological drama.  However, a twist could change everything.  A twist could turn the whole affair into a delightfully campy and satisfying thriller!  Thankfully, a twist is exactly what we get.

Ellen might not be a genius at picking husbands, but her eyes serve her very well.  Turns out there is some funny business going on next door, but it’s originating in Ellen’s own home.  Having established that everyone thinks she’s crying wolf, Ellen sees to it that justice is served.  Sometimes when you smell a rat, it’s best just to kill it yourself…no point in having everyone think you made it up!



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