Francis Ford Coppola’s impressive and noirish kind of thrilling murder mystery set in gothic manor house. It’s a debut film of Coppola as writer and director. The story revolves around the murder of various members of Haloran family with a subplot of dark hidden past. The film has many Hitchcokian elements like camera placing, execution of plot and intriguing treatment. The influence of ‘Psycho’ is quite visible. Watching it I just wonder that was it made by the same man who directed ‘Godfather trilogy’ or ‘Apocalypse Now’.
Along with direction, Coppola’s self written screenplay is taut and gripping one. But the main reason why he received much notice in Holllywood after this film is that he managed to make a fine haunting film with just a shoestring budget with cheapest B&W available print and one hour fifteen minutes duration roping some of the unknown or rather B grade actors. One of the insider anecdotes behind its making is revealing one to share with cinebuffs. While working as an assistant director in his initial struggling days, Coppola wrote a quick proposal to B grader maestro producer Roger Corman to give him directorial chance, arguing that with the crew already available on location he can reduce the cost and made another film.
The hunger of creativity always gives birth to genius and undoubtedly Coppola is one of them.
Recommended for any suspense thriller fans.