Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop Now

Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 February 2012
Richard Fleischer's 1968 film The Boston Strangler, based on the true life series of murders that took place in the Boston area in the early 1960s, is a powerful (and early) cinematic depiction of the activities of a serial killer (a phenomenon which has come to dominate much TV and film drama in recent years).

In fact, the film is, certainly during the first 40 minutes or so, actually quite a pedestrian affair, albeit the use of split screen cinematography during the (off-screen) murder scenes lends an effective, near-documentary feel to the film. The early sequences contain rather too many wooden and clichéd performances (and dialogue) to be convincing, and the frequent shots of media coverage of the grisly events have been conveyed more effectively in other, similar, films - examples that spring to mind include Richard Brooks' In Cold Blood and the more recent Zodiac. It is also interesting (and alarming) to see how the film portrays its, now very dated, views on homosexuality, as a rich, gay man is apprehended on suspicion of being linked to the murders.

It is not until, first Henry Fonda, playing the police officer (John Bottomly) tasked with co-ordinating the investigation, and then, second Tony Curtis, as Albert DeSalvo, the actual perpetrator of the crimes, are introduced onto the screen that the film really begins to become more compelling. Indeed, even Curtis is relatively deadpan (or even wooden) in his early scenes, and it is not until the latter interrogation scenes that both Curtis and Fonda begin to deliver two top-rate performances. In these scenes, as it becomes apparent that Curtis is suffering from schizophrenia (a fact emphasised brilliantly by showing Curtis and Fonda frequently alongside a full length mirror), his performance becomes more and more intense as this realisation dawns on him. By the film's close, Curtis has delivered, for me, a performance (albeit of a very different nature) to rank alongside his two other outstanding film performances, in The Sweet Smell Of Success and Some Like It Hot. The film's final shot, as the camera pulls back from DeSalvo in his interrogation cell is also brilliant, and reminiscent of the closing shot from Hitchcock's Psycho.

In summary, a film which improves as it progresses, lifting it from three to four star territory.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.