Blindfold (1966 film)
Blindfold is a 1966 American motion picture by Universal Pictures, starring Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale that was based on Lucille Fletcher's 1960 novel of the same name. It was the last film directed by Philip Dunne, a successful Hollywood screenwriter of pictures such as How Green Was My Valley and The Robe. Sequences were filmed in Silver Springs, Florida and Central Park in New York City.
Film poster by Joseph Smith
|Directed by||Philip Dunne|
|Produced by||Marvin Schwartz|
|Screenplay by||Philip Dunne|
W. H. Menger
|Based on||Blindfold (1960)|
by Lucille Fletcher
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Edited by||Ted J. Kent|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
General Pratt, a national security chief, and his aides approach Dr. Bartholomew Snow, a successful psychiatrist for his assistance to the United States Government for which he is sworn to secrecy. A patient once psychoanalyzed by Dr. Snow is a government scientist who evidently has had a mental breakdown. General Pratt hides the patient, Arthur Vincenti, in a remote place known only as "Base X," forcing Dr. Snow to wear a blindfold whenever he is taken there by airplane and car.
Enemy agents and an organisation who kidnap and sell scientists to the highest bidder want to know what Vincenti knows, so he is in danger. The patient's sister, beautiful Vicky Vincenti, mistakenly believes that Dr. Snow is the one who abducted him. When she has the doctor arrested, Snow tells both the authorities and the press that he and Vicky are actually having a lovers' quarrel and are engaged to be married in order to keep the Vincenti affair secret. Snow is a man with seven failed engagements and sees nothing wrong with using a false engagement to keep Vicky quiet. All are satisfied with the explanation except a suspicious NYPD detective named Harrigan.
A stuttering man named Fitzpatrick turns up for a session with Dr Snow and shows CIA credentials. Fitzpatrick claims to Dr. Snow that it is actually General Pratt himself who is the enemy agent. That makes sense to Dr Snow as he could not understand why Vincenti would not have been placed in a military hospital. Unable to find the general, and with the authorities unwilling to reveal whether General Pratt or Fitzgerald work for the US Government, Dr. Snow tries to recreate sounds he heard while blindfolded to trace his way back to Base X.
He does so, only to find that Fitzpatrick has taken both Vincenti and Pratt captive. But soldiers arrive in airboats and place Fitzpatrick under arrest, leaving Vicky to consider whether she would like her make-believe engagement to Dr. Snow to be real.
The film was based on a novel by Lucille Fletcher which was published in 1960. The New York Times called it "swiftly told and entertaining".
In June 1961 20th Century Fox bought the screen rights and assigned the project to producer David Helwell. Robert Bassing wrote the first screenplay.
The movie took a number of years to be made. It was reactivated in September 1964 by former press agent turned producer Marvin Schwartz, who set up the project at Universal with Rock Hudson attached to star and Phil Dunne to direct. Dunne wrote the script with W.H. Menger.
"The whole thing is a spoof on aspects of our security," said Hudson.
Dunne says Ronald Reagan auditioned for the role of the villain. "Seemed perfectly lightweight," he said. "I just didn't think he could handle it and told him so, and he said it was okay, that he was thinking of going into politics anyhow. If I'd hired him, he might not have gotten to the White House." 
Filming started January 1965. Florida second unit scenes were shot in February 1965 at Paradise Park on Silver River, Sharpes Ferry Bridge, Indian Lake and at the Silver Springs Airport with members of an Ocala, Florida community theatre group the Marion Players acting as stand ins and doubles for the principal actors. Ross Allen, operator of Ross Allen's Reptile Institute, provided most of the alligators for the swamp scenes.
- Rock Hudson as Dr. Bartholomew Snow
- Claudia Cardinale as Vicky Vincenti
- Jack Warden as General Pratt
- Guy Stockwell as James Fitzpatrick
- Brad Dexter as Detective Harrigan
- Anne Seymour as Smitty
- Alejandro Rey as Arthur Vincenti
- Hari Rhodes as Captain Davis
- Vito Scotti as Michaelangelo Vincenti
- Angela Clarke as Lavinia Vincenti
- John Megna as Mario Vincenti
- Paul Comi as Barker
- Ned Glass as Lippy
- Mort Mills as Hombrug
- Jack De Mave as Hombrug
- Robert F. Simon as Police Lieutenant (as Robert Simon)
The film earned an estimated $2 million in rentals in North America.
The sequences where Hudson's character Dr Snow finds the secret base using only sounds he heard on the journey was used in Joe Smith, American and its remake The Big Operator as well as being borrowed for an almost identical scene in the 1992 film Sneakers.
- "Blindfold". American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
- Criminals At Large By ANTHONY BOUCHER. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]24 Apr 1960: BR43.
- Trade in Stories for Filming Brisk: Brando's Partner Re-signed; Old Globe Prepares for Bard Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]13 June 1961: 25.
- Rock Hudson's Lonely Or Loves Work Louella Parsons:. The Washington Post, Times Herald 09 Sep 1964: D12.
- HOLLYWOOD TURNABOUT: FLICKS FROM FORMER FLACKS By PETER BART New York Times 13 Sep 1964: X13.
- Rock Hudson: From Boudoir to Couch Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 6 Apr 1965: 18.
- Philip Dunne looks back at movies' golden age: [SA2 Edition]Jim Bawden Toronto Star 27 Jan 1990: G8.
- FILMLAND EVENTS: 'Brainstorm' Cast Named by Warners Los Angeles Times 1 Jan 1965: C6.
- "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8