Director: Edward Dmytryk
Runtime: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
The 1965 film Mirage was directed by Edward Dmytryk, but it wouldn’t feel at all out-of-place in the canon of Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a hard movie to discuss the story of without going into spoiler territory, but I’ll give it a try. Set in New York City, the power goes out in an office building and somebody just jumped from the twenty-seventh story, with accountant David Stillwell (Gregory Peck) about to be caught up in a mysterious murder plot. I’d advise against reading any synopses of this picture first (even the IMDb one), just watch it.
As I just stated, this is one of those just-trust-me-and-watch-it kind of suspense movies. Unlike some thrillers, Mirage has an easy-to-follow plot that doesn’t try to lose the audience in its efforts to put the them on the edge of their seat. In some ways, this feature resembles the style of films that Liam Neeson started doing post-Taken (2008), although it has less action (Mirage does have some physical altercation, to be sure).
The screenplay to Mirage was written by Peter Stone, who also penned the script to the somewhat similar Charade (1963). This one isn’t as overtly comedic as Charade, but the writing still feels sharp and witty. Gregory Peck is terrific, as expected, playing his usual combination of every-man, tough guy, and dauntless-man-of-integrity. A special mention must be given to George Kennedy, who plays Willard with a Terminator-esque ruthlessness.
Mirage is a taut, sophisticated thriller that is one of the hidden gems of the genre. Okay, not every single explanation related to the mystery at the heart of the movie is one-hundred-percent satisfying, but the way it builds confounding situation upon confounding situation is mighty impressive. The film even name-drops James Bond at one point, but this picture, in my opinion, is more entertaining than any 007 flicks released up to the date of this review.
My rating is 8 outta 10.