Play Misty for Me (1971)

“… you ever find yourself being completely smothered by somebody?” Smooth-talking late-night radio DJ “Dave Garver” (Clint Eastwood) gets more than he bargained for when he has a one-night stand with demented stalker “Evelyn Draper” (Jessica Walter). Before you know it, the increasingly psychotic Evelyn, who always calls the radio show and requests the jazz standard “Misty,” aggressively tries to integrate herself into all areas of Dave’s life. Meanwhile, Dave’s trying desperately to avoid Evelyn and rekindle his relationship with old flame “Tobie Williams” (Donna Mills). Eastwood’s directorial debut is a taut psychological thriller with strong performances, particularly from Walter as the bat-shit crazy Evelyn, who’s obsessed with the melancholic Edgar Allan Poe poem “Annabel Lee.” Look for director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) as “Murphy the Bartender” and James McEachin as “Al Monte.” Play Misty for Me was shot on location in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where Eastwood was mayor from 1986-88. The film also incorporates footage of the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival. According to the tagline, “The scream you hear may be your own!” By the way, “Evelyn” ranked No. 7 on Alternative Reel’s list of the “Top 10 Psycho Bitches in Cinema.” High praise indeed!

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