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"The Couch"


rayban
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Yes, I'd never heard of this one...and read up on it yesterday. A novel was written after the film, which attempted to re-include things that were left out of the movie.

It looks interesting, if not all-too-similar to Psycho (also by the same screenwriter).

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Yes, I'd never heard of this one...and read up on it yesterday. A novel was written after the film, which attempted to re-include things that were left out of the movie.

It looks interesting, if not all-too-similar to Psycho (also by the same screenwriter).

Yes, it does have "Psycho"-like vibrations.

I would love to see an uncut version of the film.

Grant Williams does give a great performance - handsome exterior, deadly interior.  

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I thought this was great, 8/10.

It was a good followup to "The Strangler" which was shown right before it. That film had the obese and weird Victor Buono and this one has the handsome and outwardly normal Grant Williams as the killer. Buono was dominated by his mother and Williams had a problem with his father.

The direction (by Owen Crump, who I had never heard of) was good, with eye closeups and flashbacks. There was some bizarre hints of incest in some of those scenes. The final moments are very suspenseful. I had seen Williams only in "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and always thought he gave a fine performance and does so again here. Shirley Knight was good as the receptionist who falls for Williams, she was having a great year in 1962, appearing in another exploitation classic "House Of Women" and got an Oscar nomination for "Sweet Bird Of Youth". Onslow Stevens plays the psychiatrist and this turned out to be his last film. Ironically he had some mental issues of his own as well as alcoholism.
 

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4 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I thought this was great, 8/10.

It was a good followup to "The Strangler" which was shown right before it. That film had the obese and weird Victor Buono and this one has the handsome and outwardly normal Grant Williams as the killer. Buono was dominated by his mother and Williams had a problem with his father.

The direction (by Owen Crump, who I had never heard of) was good, with eye closeups and flashbacks. There was some bizarre hints of incest in some of those scenes. The final moments are very suspenseful. I had seen Williams only in "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and always thought he gave a fine performance and does so again here. Shirley Knight was good as the receptionist who falls for Williams, she was having a great year in 1962, appearing in another exploitation classic "House Of Women" and got an Oscar nomination for "Sweet Bird Of Youth". Onslow Stevens plays the psychiatrist and this turned out to be his last film. Ironically he had some mental issues of his own as well as alcoholism.
 

So glad that you liked it, it's a fine film, Universal-International released in on the bottom half of a double bill, the main feature was a film that starred Dorothy Dandridge and James Mason.

If they had treated it as the first-rate psychological study that is - and it had succeeded at the box office on that basis - it might've saved Grant Williams' career at Universal-International.

Instead, they released him from his contract - and Warner Bros. signed him up for a time.    

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On 5/12/2019 at 2:32 PM, rayban said:

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. had no faith in the film and tossed it to the bottom half of a double bill.

No wonder I'd never heard of it. Nothing great, but I like Grant Williams and had never seen this. He was really attractive in this and really tried. But it couldn't escape that B movie feel of so many of WB's movies in the late 50s/early 60s.....Poor Shirley Knight. Another one who wasnt served well by WB......

 

I was home sick yesterday and was able to watch it. Actually watched the rest of the line up after this too.

So this was Universal? I thought it was WB?  If so, it still had that cheesy WB 60's feel to it.

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Hmm ... even the newspaper ads I've found say this was a Warner Brothers release.

Apparently the movie was filmed on a closed set so no one would know the ending. In an interview, Shirley Knight revealed "we never received a complete script to study. We got it page by page, as the picture was shot. We found out the ending by doing the final scenes. It was eerie but I think it worked out wonderfully."

Grant Williams is excellent in this.

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18 hours ago, Hibi said:

No wonder I'd never heard of it. Nothing great, but I like Grant Williams and had never seen this. He was really attractive in this and really tried. But it couldn't escape that B movie feel of so many of WB's movies in the late 50s/early 60s.....Poor Shirley Knight. Another one who wasnt served well by WB......

 

I was home sick yesterday and was able to watch it. Actually watched the rest of the line up after this too.

So this was Universal? I thought it was WB?  If so, it still had that cheesy WB 60's feel to it.

This film had nothing to do with Universal. It was completely a WB production. However, the production values for the indoor shots were quite low budget. If you asked me who made it without me knowing I would have said Allied Artists. I loved the nighttime outdoor shots of people bustling about the mom and pop department stores on city streets. One shop had a sign that said "Eyeglasses on a payment plan". I guess glasses were expensive even in 1962. Onslow Stevens - who played the therapist - was a Universal contract player in the early 1930s. I couldn't even recognize him in this, his last film role.

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That's what I thought as I caught the credits. (WB). The outdoor shots (at least in the beginning) looked like downtown LA. The film had that B movie feel, but the acting was good. Had to laugh at Hope Summers. Guess it was summer break on the Andy Griffith show.......

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On 5/12/2019 at 2:24 PM, rayban said:

Grant Williams' rarely-seen horror flick will be shown on TCM tomorow mornng at 11:15 AM.

 

Helps to add the date as this thread could go on for days, weeks, months.

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to Giancarlo Stampalia, Grant Williams' biographer, Grant Williams spent four weeks with an actual psychiatrist, Dr. Leland Johnson, in preparing a detaileld psychiatric examination of the film's protaganist, Charles Campbell.

By this time, Williams was already a proponent of The Method.

Also, sometimes, the filming on downtown Los Angeles streets was difficult because Grant Williams was already well-known from his role on "Hawaiian Eye". 

According to Mr. Stampalia, the film is much too serious in its' attempt to understand Charles Campbelll.

But that is what I liked about the film - its' attempt to understand the ice-pick murderer.

It is actually much darker than "Psycho" for which Robert Bloch wrote the original novel.

Here, in writing a similar story for the screen, he embraced psychiatric rigor instead.

The ice-pick murderer is not only deranged, he is very, very clever.

And it isn't his mother who obsesses him, it is his father.

The man must die!

And it is actually Dr. Janz, the psychiatrist, who becomes, in Charles Campbell's mind, his father.    

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