- Movie Rating -

Last Embrace (1979)

| May 4, 1979

The understandable motivation that makes a director want to create a Hitchcockian thriller is not only reasonable and in many ways sort of inevitable.  Hitch created a tasty style that was not only beloved by audiences but also studied years afterward.

Brian DePalma made much of his career following Hitchcock, so much so that he earned the nickname “Master of the Macabre.”  Jonathan Demme, however, did not have such luck.  His attempt at a Hitch-type thriller was the very smart but ultimately unsatisfying Last Embrace, a thriller that has all of the pieces of a Hitchcock thriller but manages to talk itself to death and arrive at a conclusion that no one cold possibly care about.

The pieces are in place: There’s an ordinary guy (Roy Scheider) who is involved with a distracted woman (Janet Margolin).  There is a clue that something is out of place.  He suspects that she knows what it is.  There are cavernous chases as he searches for clues.  There’s an action scene set at an easily identifiable American landmark (in this case Niagra Falls).  And there’s the conclusion where everything is laid out.

The problem, we don’t care.  This is one of the most uninvolving Hitchcock retreads that I have ever seen.  And that’s saying something since the guy here is played by Roy Scheider who is fun in almost every movie.  He’s great in material like this because we can always see him thinking.  The problem is that this movie seems to be going no place fast and even when it gets where its going, you come away empty-handed.  It’s not a wretched film, just dull and kind of flat.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized