Filmsite Movie Review
Play Misty For Me (1971)
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Background

Play Misty For Me (1971), Clint Eastwood's first film as star and director, is a suspenseful, thrilling film of psychotic sexual obsession ("...an invitation to terror..."), advertised with the tagline: "The scream you hear may be your own!"

The Story

In the town of Carmel, California, cool-talking, all-night DJ, Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) receives regular requests to play "Misty", the Erroll Garner classic, from a seductive listener/fan Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter). When he first meets her in a local pickup bar, The Sardine Factory, and they have a one-night stand, he is not aware that she is the mysterious voice who always asked:

Play 'Misty' for me.

He believes it is just a one-night encounter. However, she often drops in on him unexpectedly, causing him problems, especially when he resumes his relationship with ex-girlfriend Tobie Williams (Donna Mills). He becomes increasingly terrified and upset by her. Evelyn becomes angry and jealous, and knifes his cleaning woman and destroys his possessions. She is put away in a mental institution. When she is later released, and resumes her nightly requests for Misty, she promises him that she is cured.

In a horrifying scene, he is awakened in the middle of the night in his bedroom to the sounds of 'Misty' being played. Evelyn, now a possessive, obsessive, murderous psychotic, appears above him with a butcher knife ready to stab him. He evades her, saving his life, but she escapes. As the tension builds, he fears for his girlfriend's life and in a chilling discovery, realizes that Tobie's recently acquired roommate is Evelyn. A police sergeant, McCallum (John Larch), sent to protect her, is stabbed to death with a pair of scissors. Tobie is tied up in the dark house as bait to lure Dave inside.

During a truly scary, knife-wielding confrontation, he is again attacked and badly wounded by Evelyn. After being slashed many times, he punches her in the jaw, sending her through the balcony to the ocean below. In an ironic ending, while Dave is comforting Tobie, the radio is heard in the background playing a tape of Dave honoring Evelyn's request to play Misty.