Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, his directorial debut. Jessica Walter and Donna Mills co-star. The screenplay, written by regular Eastwood collaborators Jo Heims and Dean Riesner,
Popular radio show host Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) becomes restless in his relationship with his girlfriend (Donna Mills). Impulsively, he goes out and sleeps with a woman (Jessica Walter) he meets at a nightclub. After the fact, he finds out she was not an anonymous hookup, but an obsessive fan who has called in repeatedly to request he play the song “Misty.” Garver soon discovers extricating himself from the woman will be no easy feat as she becomes increasingly psychotic.
The film has been given mostly positive reviews, with an 84% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 37 reviews. The site’s critics consensus reads, “A coolly calculating psychological thriller that manages to scare the audience even if it is just using textbook thrills.” Roger Ebert wrote, “Play Misty for Me is not the artistic equal of Psycho, but in the business of collecting an audience into the palm of its hand and then squeezing hard, it is supreme.” Critics such as Jay Cocks in Time, Andrew Sarris in the Village Voice, and Archer Winsten in the New York Post all praised Eastwood’s directorial skills and the film, including his performance in the scenes with Walter. Arthur D. Murphy of Variety called it an “often fascinating suspenser”. He also praised the excellent casting.
The film was a critical and mild financial success, with Walter earning praise for her first major film role, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
Source: Play Misty for me 1971