Julien publishes an autobiography focusing on his childhood memories and his odd relationship with his long-estranged mother. His mother, who is unaware of the book's content, tries to reconnect with him and redeem the lost time.
In San Francisco in 1850, a Russian Countess runs away from an arranged marriage to a Russian Prince and falls into the arms of an American sea captain who occasionally poaches seals in Russian Alaska.
A group of travelers, including a monk, stay in a lonely inn in the mountains. The host confesses the monk his habit of serving a soporific soup to the guests, to rob their possessions and ... See full summary »
One of the few (if any at the time this film was made) films shot in England with New York City's 'Little Italy" as the locale. This was Edward Dmytryk's first film after he had refused to ... See full summary »
Toward the end of his life, F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
Walking down twenty-seven flights of stairs after the power goes out in the New York City office building he is in, David Stillwell emerges outside on the ground level to find that a man he didn't know either jumped or was pushed out a window to his death. That man was Charles Calvin, the head of Unidyne, a humanitarian organization that works toward world peace. David notices other unusual goings-on. What he considers his normal routine that others he knows should recognize, don't. People that he doesn't know seem to know him, such as the beautiful young woman with who he walked down the stairs but who ran off when they got to the bottom. And things that he thought he saw or thought he knew end up not being the case, such as the multiple sub-basement levels he thought were in that office building which don't seem to exist in the clear light of day. When he finally thinks about it, he believes he has some form of amnesia. As an example, he knows that he works as a cost accountant, but...Written by
Gregory Peck was so happy with the quality of the film, that he gave screenwriter Peter Stone a Rolls-Royce as a post-production gift after the movie came out. See more »
Who is it?
Josephson. I just got a call to come up to C.C.'s office. With all that inner holy light, His Eminence is radiating these days. He may not have noticed the blackout. Stick around, it won't be long, we'll have a drinkie.
No chance. I've already passed on one orgy. I have to go.
Not me. We're marooned on a mountain, whoopie. Whoever pulled that plug gave me a fool proof excuse from the wife.
Well, that lets me out, whoopie-baby, I haven't anyone to cheat.
I heard you were in the mood, ...
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Edward Dmytryk may have been poaching in Alfred Hitchcock territory in directing Mirage, but I can hardly see how Hitchcock could have done the film any better. In fact I'm convinced that Gregory Peck was cast in the lead on the strength of his performance in the Hitchcock classic Spellbound, the parts are so similar.
Gregory Peck when we first meet him is making his way down the stairs of a skyscraper that has sustained a blackout. As people talk to him who seem to know him he answers with the appropriate small talk, but he doesn't remember anything other than his name. At the same time, a prominent foundation leader, Walter Abel, plunged to his death from that skyscraper and of course the Peck's amnesia and Abel's death are connected. But in this case the whole point of Mirage is remembering how. And Peck better remember soon because people like Jack Weston, George Kennedy and House Jameson keep trying to kill him.
As in Spellbound, the amnesiac Peck has a woman friend trying to help him. But there was no doubt about Ingrid Bergman's loyalty to Peck in trying to unravel his situation there. Diane Baker has the same function in this film, but there is some doubt as to whose team she's actually playing on. Similarly there is Kevin McCarthy who seems a friend at first, but later on we're not so sure. McCarthy has a key role in bringing the whole affair to a climax.
The ruthless villain of the piece is Leif Erickson who started in films playing the fathead rival to whomever the hero was in a film. As he got older, directors saw greater potential in him and used him in a lot of more serious parts, mostly villainous and this one is one of his best.
Although I think the film is great, Gregory Peck kind of fluffed it off, my guess is also that his role is too much like the part he did in amnesia. But he did according to the Michael Freedland biography of Peck, recommend to Eddie Dmytryk that he cast Walter Matthau in the role of the private detective who Peck goes to. Peck also consults Robert H. Harris a psychiatrist and both the shrink and the gumshoe come to the same conclusion that Peck really doesn't want to remember his recent past, possibly because of some trauma. Matthau's role in Mirage was one of his best character roles prior to getting stardom with his Oscar winning performance in The Fortune Cookie. Harris is also quite good, in fact he's my favorite in the cast.
Although the similarities between Spellbound and Mirage are too obvious to overlook, one should not belabor the obvious. Mirage is a fine enough suspense thriller to stand on its own. And Alfred Hitchcock would not have minded being mistakenly credited with directing it.
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