DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE PUBLIC EYE (aka: FOLLOW ME) (director: Carol Reed; screenwriter: Peter Shaffer/from a play by Peter Shaffer; cinematographer: Christopher Challis; editor: Anne V. Coates; music:  John Barry; cast: Mia Farrow (Belinda), Topol (Julian Cristoforou), Michael Jayston  (Charles), Margaret Rawlings (Mrs. Sidley), Annette Crosbie (Miss Framer),  Dudley Foster (Mr. Mayhew), Michael Barrington (Mr Scrampton), Michael Aldridge (Sir Philip Crouch), Neil McCarthy (Parkinson); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: G; producer: Hal B. Wallis; MCA/Universal Pictures; 1972-UK)

"A miscast Topol is tough enough to watch as a leading man but when he also tries for Peter Sellers comedy he becomes unbearable."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A dullish broad comedy based on the Peter Schaffer play, that is flatly helmed by the acclaimed Brit director Carol Reed ("The Immortal Battalion"/"Oliver!"/"The Agony and the Ecstasy"). It's an odd choice for his last film.

Charles (Michael Jayston) is an uptight prim British accountant who suspects that his wife Belinda (Mia Farrow), whom he dearly loves, is having an affair and hires the eccentric private eye Julian Cristoforou (Topol) to tail her while he's working. Unexpectedly the innocent wife and dick fall for each other.

The breezy film fails because it has no substance and the two main characters try to giggle their way through their uninteresting parts. Though Mia is a natural for her vulnerable role, a miscast Topol is tough enough to watch as a leading man but when he also tries for Peter Sellers comedy he becomes unbearable.

REVIEWED ON 1/15/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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