BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Play Misty for Me (1971)


Bitches be cray, 3.5 readers.

My Clint Eastwood kick continues and this time I’m talking about the Clintster’s 1971 flick, “Play Misty for Me.”

My generation knows Jessica Walter as Jason Bateman’s booze soaked, trash talking mother on “Arrested Development” or in cartoon version on “Archer.”

But many years ago, she was the woman who refused to go away.

Clint plays Dave, a small town radio disc jockey in Carmel, California.  He plays jazz music, reads some poetry, and hopes that one day his show will take off and he’ll find fame and fortune.

Alas, he’s also an epic poonhound and let’s be honest.  We all are.  All men like sex but while it’s easy to find a dealer to feed your drug addiction, it’s not so easy to feed that sex need.  Most of us can just find one special someone and commit.

Clint or Dave, rather, is a hunky stud who gets it all the time.  And unfortunately, this causes a rift between him and the love of his life, Tobie (Donna Mills).  He loves her and she him, but she’s tired of his philandering ways and has already left him at the start of the film.

Meanwhile, every night a sultry voiced woman calls into Clint’s show and asks the host to play the jazz song, “Misty.”

On one fateful night, Dave, while chilling at his favorite bar, picks up Walter’s Evelyn.  The two start a casual fling but differ on how serious it is.  Dave thinks they’re just friends with benefits.  Evelyn is ready to walk down the aisle.

As the film progresses, Evelyn becomes increasingly jealous, needy and well, insane, chasing everyone in Clint’s life, from his cleaning lady to his love with a big ass knife.

By today’s standards, you might criticize the film, arguing that it is basically saying women are nuts and will chase you around with a butcher knife if you jilt them.

But I think on a closer look, when we peel back the layers of this onion, we reveal some fears that we all have when it comes to romance, love, relationships and dating.

On one hand, dating can feel like a magical thing.  You meet someone.  They deem you worthy of their time.  You get that intimacy that you crave.

On the other hand, maybe the relationship won’t work out.   Maybe you’ll damage that person by leaving.  Maybe the damage won’t be on the surface but maybe that rejection will hurt them on an emotional level.  Or worse, maybe they just won’t take no for an answer.

Maybe it won’t happen with such a dramatic flare but sure, it’s entirely possible that an ex might go from trusted friend to psycho stalking your every move and chasing you around with sharp kitchen implements.

On another level, probably one thing we as a society need to think about is this rush to bed we all do.  Sex after a few dates is pretty standard now and yet how could you possibly know a person until you’ve spent more time with them?  We share our bodies with people who we think we know but let’s be honest, we barely do.  If you wouldn’t share your bank account, key to your house, or other things requiring trust with someone then you probably shouldn’t share your body with them.

Unfortunately, people who want to wait to get freaky are deemed odd and that’s where we are.  And maybe sex right away won’t necessarily lead you to running away from a knife wielding Jessica Walter, but you know…once you start boinking only to find out someone you’re dating is a weirdo, it becomes that much harder to leave.

There’s a scene where Clint cradles Jessica in his arms.  I won’t give it away but she’s gone so nutty that he feels bad and is now scared to dump her.  There’s a look in his sad, sullen eyes as he holds her that says, “Wow.  That pussy was not worth it.”

It isn’t.  And ladies, I assume the penis isn’t either.  I doubt this post will start a movement but to anyone reading, let’s all put sex on the shelf until we get to know someone.  Until you’re sure, really sure, absolutely sure that you could leave without getting chased around with a knife, you shouldn’t whip your privates out and invite your date to go to town on them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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