Wait Until Dark (1967)

107 mins | Mystery | 26 October 1967

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HISTORY

According to a 23 Feb 1966 Var news item, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased film rights to the Frederick Knott stage play, Wait Until Dark, before its debut at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway earlier that month. Intending the property as a vehicle for Audrey Hepburn and her producer husband Mel Ferrer, the studio reportedly paid a minimum of $350,000 plus a percentage of future profits, with additional escalating payments based on the stage show’s success. As production would not begin until 1967, the legitimate version, starring Lee Remick, continued its run for 373 performances. Hepburn told the 13 Feb 1967 DV that she did not see the production to avoid it influencing her interpretation of the role.
       The 28 Sep 1966 DV indicated that the unit would begin a ten-week production schedule on 15 Jan 1967, which included one week in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The 20 Jan 1967 edition confirmed this start date, while the 11 May 1967 Los Angeles Sentinel suggested that additional location shooting was completed in Montreal, Canada. According to the 13 Feb 1967 DV, Hepburn refused the studio’s request that she wear opaque contact lenses to convey her character’s blindness, although the set remained darkened during filming, and black screens were placed around her dressing room. A 30 Mar 1967 DV news item reported that principal photography was scheduled to conclude 7 Apr 1967 at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA.
       Items in the 30 and 31 Jan 1967 LAT named Ed Harding, Mona Lofton, Norma Darden, Georgianna Cusachs, and Jackie ... More Less

According to a 23 Feb 1966 Var news item, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased film rights to the Frederick Knott stage play, Wait Until Dark, before its debut at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway earlier that month. Intending the property as a vehicle for Audrey Hepburn and her producer husband Mel Ferrer, the studio reportedly paid a minimum of $350,000 plus a percentage of future profits, with additional escalating payments based on the stage show’s success. As production would not begin until 1967, the legitimate version, starring Lee Remick, continued its run for 373 performances. Hepburn told the 13 Feb 1967 DV that she did not see the production to avoid it influencing her interpretation of the role.
       The 28 Sep 1966 DV indicated that the unit would begin a ten-week production schedule on 15 Jan 1967, which included one week in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The 20 Jan 1967 edition confirmed this start date, while the 11 May 1967 Los Angeles Sentinel suggested that additional location shooting was completed in Montreal, Canada. According to the 13 Feb 1967 DV, Hepburn refused the studio’s request that she wear opaque contact lenses to convey her character’s blindness, although the set remained darkened during filming, and black screens were placed around her dressing room. A 30 Mar 1967 DV news item reported that principal photography was scheduled to conclude 7 Apr 1967 at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA.
       Items in the 30 and 31 Jan 1967 LAT named Ed Harding, Mona Lofton, Norma Darden, Georgianna Cusachs, and Jackie Thomas among the cast, but they are not credited onscreen. Additionally, the 5 Jul 1967 DV identifies Sue Raney as the singer of the title theme.
       A 26 Oct 1967 NYT events calendar announced that Wait Until Dark opened that day at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Los Angeles engagement began two months later, on 22 Dec 1967, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. According to a 21 Dec 1967 LAT advertisement, exhibitors heightened the suspense by darkening the theaters to their “legal limit” during the final eight-minute climax. The 13 Feb 1967 DV noted that this scene, which ran approximately twenty minutes onstage, was significantly shortened for the movie script.
       Audrey Hepburn received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, and in 2001, AFI ranked the film #55 on its list of 100 Years…100 Thrills. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1967
p. 10.
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Mar 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1967
p. 7.
Los Angeles Sentinel
11 May 1967
Section D, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1966
Section C, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1966
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 1967
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
22 Dec 1967
Section D, p. 6.
New York Times
26 Oct 1967
p. 56.
New York Times
27 Oct 1967
p. 48.
Variety
23 Feb 1966.
---
Variety
18 Oct 1967
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Miss Hepburn's makeup
Supv hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott (New York, 2 Feb 1966).
SONGS
"Wait Until Dark," music and lyrics by Henry Mancini, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 October 1967
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 October 1967
Los Angeles opening: 22 December 1967
Production Date:
15 January--7 April 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1967
Copyright Number:
LP35798
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
107
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

As a flight from Montreal lands at Kennedy Airport, Lisa, a fashion model asks commercial artist Sam Hendrix to hold a toy doll for her. When the woman disappears, Sam takes the doll to his Greenwich Village apartment. A short time later, hoodlums Mike Talman and Carlino arrive at Sam's empty apartment to keep what they think is an appointment with Lisa. Instead, they are met by Roat, a master criminal skilled in disguise, who informs them that he has murdered Lisa for attempting a doublecross and that they must now dispose of her body and find the missing doll, which contains a fortune in heroin. The following day, after Lisa's corpse has been removed to a nearby lot, the three man trick Sam into going to New Jersey, leaving his blind wife, Susy, alone. One by one the three hoodlums call at the house under false pretenses. Finally, Carlino, in the guise of a detective, announces that he is investigating the murder of a young woman found in the neighborhood; by insinuation Susy is led to suspect that Sam is involved in the killing and the missing doll is the link. Gradually, however, Susy begins to suspect that Roat and Carlino are imposters, and she appeals to Mike for help. After he has left, Gloria, a little girl from upstairs who had taken the doll, returns it. Believing Mike to be her husband's friend, Susy telephones him the good news; but with the help of Gloria, Susy learns that the number Mike gave her is for a telephone booth across the street. Realizing that all three men are involved in the plot to get the doll, Susy sends ... +


As a flight from Montreal lands at Kennedy Airport, Lisa, a fashion model asks commercial artist Sam Hendrix to hold a toy doll for her. When the woman disappears, Sam takes the doll to his Greenwich Village apartment. A short time later, hoodlums Mike Talman and Carlino arrive at Sam's empty apartment to keep what they think is an appointment with Lisa. Instead, they are met by Roat, a master criminal skilled in disguise, who informs them that he has murdered Lisa for attempting a doublecross and that they must now dispose of her body and find the missing doll, which contains a fortune in heroin. The following day, after Lisa's corpse has been removed to a nearby lot, the three man trick Sam into going to New Jersey, leaving his blind wife, Susy, alone. One by one the three hoodlums call at the house under false pretenses. Finally, Carlino, in the guise of a detective, announces that he is investigating the murder of a young woman found in the neighborhood; by insinuation Susy is led to suspect that Sam is involved in the killing and the missing doll is the link. Gradually, however, Susy begins to suspect that Roat and Carlino are imposters, and she appeals to Mike for help. After he has left, Gloria, a little girl from upstairs who had taken the doll, returns it. Believing Mike to be her husband's friend, Susy telephones him the good news; but with the help of Gloria, Susy learns that the number Mike gave her is for a telephone booth across the street. Realizing that all three men are involved in the plot to get the doll, Susy sends Gloria to meet Sam, returning from New Jersey, at the terminal. After the child has left, Susy discovers that her telephone line has been cut. Mike arrives and, touched by Susy's plight, tells her the truth about Sam's innocence. Roat, who has already killed Carlino, bursts into the apartment and murders Mike. Terrified, Susy smashes all the light fixtures in a desperate attempt to even her chances against Roat. When he opens the refrigerator door and turns on the small bulb, Susy grabs a kitchen knife and stabs him. As he lunges after her, she hides behind the refrigerator and pulls the plug. Clutching the knife he was stabbed with, Roat inches toward her in the dark. A few seconds later, Sam and the police arrive and find Susy in a corner with Roat lying dead at her feet. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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