A Legend’s Misty Origin.
In 1971, 41-year-old Clint Eastwood confidently flaunts his directing debut with PLAY MISTY FOR ME – at an age when most actors these days are contemplating which reality show to make asses of themselves on.
Already known as a bankable actor for his Sergio Leone DOLLAR trilogy and a flurry of westerns and war movies, this was a breakout move for Eastwood, who had to waive his director’s fee before the doubting studio would give him the opportunity to direct.
Directed with the ease, grace and vitality that would become his trademark, MISTY is the story of Carmel DJ, Dave Garver (Eastwood), whose apartment screams zenith of bachelor chic (I grew up believing that to be a successful panty hound, I’d need to get an oasis for the middle of my living room); a player who meets a rabid fan, Evelyn (Jessica Walter), whose recurring on-air request is to “Play Misty for me.” What Dave believes is a one-night stand, Evelyn believes is the start of Special Something. When Dave tries to rekindle his affair with his regular squeeze, Tobie (blond-and-70s-tasty Donna Mills), delusional psychopath Evelyn has other ideas.
Every testes-bearer in the world over 21 can relate to this tale of the needy, clutching, jealous stalker and Jessica Walter is perfectly cast as Evelyn – not so strikingly beautiful that men would sympathize with her insanity, yet exuding that alluring MILF brand of psycho charm that entraps the male with its flattering desperation.
At first I thought Clint was speaking through clenched teeth because Evelyn was driving him crazy…
One of Eastwood’s mentors, Don Siegel (who directed him in three previous movies, and one which would be released a month after MISTY – a jagged little pill called DIRTY HARRY), cameos as a bartender, proudly watching his protégé angle the camera, pick up the girl, and birth an American legacy.