The Night Walker

  • 1964
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

Costars Taylor and Stanwyck had been married for 11 years but had long been divorced when the studio decided that they might be able to work with each other with no problems. They were right. There was mutual respect from the pair (who had made two films while wooing but none during their marriage), and they did as well as they could with this confused...read more

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Costars Taylor and Stanwyck had been married for 11 years but had long been divorced when the studio decided that they might be able to work with each other with no problems. They were right. There was mutual respect from the pair (who had made two films while wooing but none during

their marriage), and they did as well as they could with this confused script by Bloch and the cheap-jack effects by Castle. Taylor was 53 and Stanwyck 57 when they did the movie, and both were ill-advised to jump into this genre; but the prospect of hefty fees, a piece of the action, and a script

by the man who wrote PSYCHO was too much to decline. What they didn't realize was that Bloch had written the novel upon which Hitchcock based that film and that the script was actually done by Stefano. Bloch, like Ray Bradbury, is excellent at writing prose, but dialog and screenwriting seem to

elude them both. Stanwyck is married to blind electronics-wizard Rorke, and she talks in her sleep. That convinces Rorke that she is involved in a romantic liaison with someone else--someone like his lawyer, Taylor, perhaps. Rorke is wrong, however. He and Stanwyck argue, and she leaves home.

Later Rorke, while experimenting in his workshop, blows himself to bits. Stanwyck tells Taylor that she often dreams of a lover but doesn't know who he is. The frightening dreams continue, and in them she is transported to a chapel full of waxen images, where she is part of a weird wedding

ceremony. She tells Taylor about these mental trips, and he informs her that Rorke hired a private eye, Bochner, to keep tabs on her. Bochner is the man who keeps appearing in her dream. Then Stanwyck's beautician, Meredith, is killed by someone who looks like Rorke. That's impossible, of course,

as Rorke is dead--or is he? Taylor too says that Rorke is alive and tried to kill him. Stanwyck and Taylor go into the wrecked laboratory, where Taylor admits that he was responsible for Rorke's death. As Rorke's lawyer, Taylor was able to make himself the beneficiary of the blind man's will,

which Rorke signed without knowing what he was signing. Taylor attempts to kill Stanwyck and is wounded by Bochner, who shows up in the nick of time. Bochner, who was also part of the plot, reveals that he was married to Meredith, and he moves in on Stanwyck. Taylor and Bochner battle each other

and fall through the weakened floor of the lab. Stanwyck can finally sigh with relief. It's a hopeless hodgepodge, and the special effects aren't worth the effort. A few chilling moments and a good score are all that recommend this film--besides the opportunity to see Taylor and Stanwyck together

for the first time in 27 years.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Costars Taylor and Stanwyck had been married for 11 years but had long been divorced when the studio decided that they might be able to work with each other with no problems. They were right. There was mutual respect from the pair (who had made two films w… (more)

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