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The Public Eye (1972)


MelissaW.
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I stumbled across this movie on another channel this morning and was completely charmed by it--and surprised I'd never heard of it before. Michael Jayston plays a single-minded tax adviser who hires an eccentric private detective (a surprisingly dashing Topol) to follow his neglected wife (Mia Farrow) who he suspects of having an affair. But all she's really doing is wandering around London, visiting things she wishes she could share with her oblivious husband. She notices she is being followed right away but feels kindly towards the follower, who she believes must be even more lonely than she is. Over the course of ten days, they play a game of tag through London and develop a rather intimate relationship, though they never speak a word to each other, with the detective ultimately falling for her. There's a sweet and lovely twist to the ending, an intelligent screenplay (based on a stage play) by Peter Shaffer and a score by John Barry.

 

Anyone else know this movie?

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Oh! Another charming little detail was that the Mia Farrow character had a thing for Hammer horror films. At one point, the detective follows her in to a showing of Brides of Dracula. Later, when she's about to head in to another Hammer horror film, he gets her to change her mind and takes her to a showing of Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet instead.

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> {quote:title=johnm_001 wrote:}{quote}This movie was very widely touted as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, with Mike Nichols directing and Ross Hunter producing. Delays on the filming of HAWAII, made him unavailable, and her no longer interested.

I'd also read that Taylor and Burton considered it as a project at one time. Can't really see that. I think the female lead needed to be a little quirky and a lot dreamy, so Farrow worked well. I wasn't as impressed with Jayston, but he was serviceable. Topol was the big surprise. I never expected to be melted by Topol!

 

It's a shame it's faded into obscurity. Lots of obscure films are deservedly obscure, but this one merits some attention.

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> {quote:title=selimsa803 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=johnm_001 wrote:}{quote}This movie was very widely touted as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, with Mike Nichols directing and Ross Hunter producing. Delays on the filming of HAWAII, made him unavailable, and her no longer interested.

> I'd also read that Taylor and Burton considered it as a project at one time. Can't really see that. I think the female lead needed to be a little quirky and a lot dreamy, so Farrow worked well. I wasn't as impressed with Jayston, but he was serviceable. Topol was the big surprise. I never expected to be melted by Topol!

>

> It's a shame it's faded into obscurity. Lots of obscure films are deservedly obscure, but this one merits some attention.

>

Can't say I have any memory of Dick and Liz, but back then they, like Andrews, were considered for everything. The difference is that Julie Andrews was announced by Ross Hunter; and, in fact, she even mentioned it during an interview. Rex Harrison and Marcello Mastroianni were to co-star. This was back in 1963 or '64.

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