Lanky bean pole Dennis Pitt (Anthony Perkins) loves nothing better than hop, skipping and jumping around the place. A few quick few words with someone, then that’s enough, conversation over, turn around and bounds off with a spring in his step. Run Dennis Run.
Our Dennis is somewhat socially awkward, a bit of a loner and to be honest a real odd ball. Having been released back into the real world from a long stay in a mental institution due to good behavior. His rehabilitation is looked after by his friendly parole officer Morton Azenauer (John Randolph) who is a little skeptical to say the least but thinks it could help our Dennis in his recovery if he was to get a job and start living a normal life.
Dennis Pitt – “I’ve been taking a secret course in interplanetary navigation. I had hoped to be appointed to the first Venus rocket.”
Morton Azenauer – “Cut that out, Dennis!”
Dennis has all manner of issues but his main vice is how he deals with situations, especially boring ones, with imagining himself in fantasy. Getting a job at a bottle factory he quickly takes on the persona of a spy. Plus being the strange character he is brings with it a batch of obsession and paranoia.
One of these obsessions is with a beautiful young marching band cheerleader called Sue Ann Stepanek (Tuesday Weld) who he watches from the side lines. Deciding to meet her in the only way he knows, as a secret agent on a top secret mission. Baffled but intrigued by this older strange man, Sue Ann is drawn into this new world of excitement.
What kind of mischief can this young innocent twosome possibly get up to? Definitely track it down to find out. Pretty Poison is a brilliant quirky little thriller. The two leads are fantastic and Anthony Perkins gives an outstanding quirky performance which made me smile throughout the whole film. He’s such a great actor.
Based on a novel by Stephen Geller, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr weaves a script which is filled with plenty of dark comic moments of humour and thrills, twists and turns. Later he will go and work on classic’s such as Papillon, Three Days Of The Condor and a personal favourite, the 80’s Flash Gordon.
Looking through directors Noel Black’s body of work this looks by far his best feature film before he went off into TV movies and series. Though I’m very please to see that in 1966 he was nominated for a Oscar for Best Short Story with a short film called Skaterdater. It’s on YouTube and a great vintage fly on the wall piece of 60’s skateboarding. Here it is in full….
Thanks for popping on by. Have you seen this little gem before? Or if you get a chance to see it soon then let me know what you thought. I’m sure, like me, you will enjoy it immensely.
Take it easy on that movie couch. Wolfie