Blindfold (1966 film)

Blindfold is a 1966 American romantic comedy film directed by Philip Dunne and starring Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale. The film was distributed by Universal Pictures. It was based on Lucille Fletcher's 1960 novel of the same name. Sequences were filmed in Silver Springs, Florida and Central Park in New York City.

Blindfold
Blindfold (film).jpg
Film poster by Joseph Smith
Directed byPhilip Dunne
Produced byMarvin Schwartz
Screenplay byPhilip Dunne
W. H. Menger
Based onBlindfold (1960)
by Lucille Fletcher
StarringRock Hudson
Claudia Cardinale
Music byLalo Schifrin
CinematographyJoseph MacDonald
Edited byTed J. Kent
Production
company
7 Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 25, 1966 (1966-05-25) (New York)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

PlotEdit

General Pratt, a national security chief, and his aides approach Dr. Bartholomew Snow, a successful psychiatrist, to assist the U.S. government in secrecy. A patient once psychoanalyzed by Dr. Snow is a government scientist who 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 organization 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 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 Fitzpatrick work for the 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.

CastEdit

 
Claudia Cardinale in one of her costumes for the film.

ProductionEdit

The film was based on a 1960 novel by Lucille Fletcher. The New York Times called it "swiftly told and entertaining."[2]

In June 1961, 20th Century Fox bought the screen rights and assigned the project to producer David Helwell. Robert Bassing wrote the first screenplay.[3]

The film 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.[4][5] "The whole thing is a spoof on aspects of our security," said Hudson.[6]

Dunne says that 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."[7]

Filming started in January 1965.[8] 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 called the Marion Players acting as stand-ins and doubles for the principal actors. Ross Allen's Reptile Institute, provided most of the alligators for the swamp scenes.[9]

ReceptionEdit

The film earned an estimated $2 million in rentals in North America.[10]

InfluenceEdit

The sequences in which Hudson's character of Dr. Snow finds the secret base using only sounds that he heard on the journey were used in Joe Smith, American and its remake The Big Operator, and were borrowed for an almost identical scene in the 1992 film Sneakers.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Blindfold". American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  2. ^ ANTHONY BOUCHER (Apr 24, 1960). "Criminals At Large". New York Times. p. BR43.
  3. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (June 13, 1961). "Trade in Stories for Filming Brisk: Brando's Partner Re-signed; Old Globe Prepares for Bard". Los Angeles Times. p. 25.
  4. ^ Louella Parsons (Sep 9, 1964). "Rock Hudson's Lonely Or Loves Work". The Washington Post, Times Herald. p. D12.
  5. ^ PETER BART (Sep 13, 1964). "HOLLYWOOD TURNABOUT: FLICKS FROM FORMER FLACKS". New York Times. p. X13.
  6. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (Apr 6, 1965). "Rock Hudson: From Boudoir to Couch". Los Angeles Times. p. 18.
  7. ^ Jim Bawden (Jan 27, 1990). "Philip Dunne looks back at movies' golden age". Toronto Star (SA2 ed.). p. G8.
  8. ^ "FILMLAND EVENTS: 'Brainstorm' Cast Named by Warners". Los Angeles Times. Jan 1, 1965. p. C6.
  9. ^ http://www.ocala.com/news/20061015/marion-players-get-jobs-in-hudson-movie-blindfold
  10. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8

External linksEdit