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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Mirage (1965)



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Mirage is a highly satisfying jigsaw of a mystery thriller, done in classic Hitchcockian style. The story is about a man who finds himself in a high rise as people are exiting the building due to a power outage. But he can't remember who he is, not even his own name. Amnesia is an old standby in thrillers of this nature -- it allows us to jump right into a plot of intrigue without having to go through the establishment of background information: since the main character doesn't know anything about his predicament, we don't need to either. The unravelling of the mystery is a lot of fun, accomplished with a fascinating use of flashbacks that are sometimes as concealing as they are revealing.

The amnesiac is played by Gregory Peck, who is just right for a role of this sort: he's an instantly likeable everyman, wholly believable in everything this movie calls upon him to do. The supporting cast, which includes Jack Weston, Walter Matthau, and George Kennedy, is also excellent, fleshing out the texture of the film with sneer, charisma, and menace, respectively.

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