Still of the Night (1982)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Post-Noir (Modern Noir), Psychological Thriller, Romantic Mystery  |   Release Date - Nov 19, 1982 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Considering the cast and director, Still of the Night's lackluster showing at the box office was rather surprising. Audiences may have been put off by the lack of chemistry between stars Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep, although each of their individual performances is quite good. The convoluted plot and often static pace don't help matters, nor does the essential chilliness of the piece, but there's still much to recommend it. Alfred Hitchcock aficionados will have a field day catching the numerous references to the master, from Scheider's strong mother figure (played by The Birds's Jessica Tandy) to a Spellbound-like dream explanation to an auction that recalls North by Northwest. There's also beautiful, sometimes disturbing cinematography from Nestor Almendros, especially the Central Park sequence with its effective use of light (or lack thereof). The visual look throughout is striking; it has a glossiness and sleekness that's hard to resist. And director Robert Benton does know how to send chills up the spine when he wants to. Well executed but lacking a spark, Night is still the kind of movie that makes the viewer check twice that the door is locked before heading to bed.