Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Sentinel (1977)



Rebecca and Malcolm Stinnett. Sell. Gerde Engstrom. Emma and Lillian Clotkin. Anna Clark. All people the Parker girl said she met.”
“All killers, all dead. She went to a party with eight dead murderers.”


            Rarely do I watch any kind of movie that was made past 1960. I cannot stand many movies made in the 1970s (alright except for Star Wars but who does NOT like Star Wars? And I have no choice but to like the trilogy my brothers watch it all the time. Oh and I like Dirty Harry too that is really good and Murder on the Orient Express). I find after the studio system fell the glamour went out of movies. Anyway, so I have The Sentinel a chance and that as only because Ava Gardner had a part in it and to my discovery so did many other actors. It is almost like a who’s who of acting.
            Alison Parker (Cristina Raines) is a young model. She has been living with her boyfriend Michael who is a lawyer. He wants her to marry him but his wife died recently and there was a big scandal with that and she tried to kill herself afterwards. Cristina wants to move out of the apartment she shares with Michael so she can think things over and be by herself. With the help of a woman named Miss Logan (Ava Gardner) she finds a nice old apartment building in Brooklyn facing the water.
            Alison likes the apartment very much. It is furnished with old furniture and nice and spacious. One by one she meets her neighbors and they are all very odd. An old man named Chase (Burgess Meredith) is obsessed with his cat going so far as to throw it a birthday party and there are two lesbian dancers living downstairs from her. A blind and very old priest lives upstairs and constantly stares out the window. Not long after she is settled Alison begins to hear things in the middle of the night and she faints and does not feel well when she is doing shoots.
            Things turn really creepy and scary for Alison. One night she believes she stabbed someone and runs out into the street in a fit and has to be put into the hospital. The police (one of them includes a young Christopher Walken) investigate what happened to Alison because they suspect Michael is behind something (they feel he killed his wife). She and Michael individually find out the Catholic Church is behind what is going on with her and they are not good.
            Alright so I did not really explain the plot but I cannot give the whole thing away. The movie was alright, the story was so-so. Someone online gave a review saying that if you like The Sixth Sense you will like this movie. Well let me tell you The Sentinel is nothing like The Sixth Sense and I was laughing throughout the movie.
            The cast was interesting. I am saying interesting because it was not the greatest and it is odd that all these people are in it. Ava Gardner as Miss Logan added a touch of glamour to a crappily made movie. I mean come she’s Ava Gardner no matter how old the woman got she was still gorgeous (her voice was deeper if you just heard her voice you would not believe it was her and the effects of her hard living were starting to show). Burgess Meredith was a creepy bastard, he reminded me of the old men that flirt with me when I work (being a hostess in a restaurant is so much fun *sarcastic tone*). A young Beverly D’Angelo plays one of the lesbian dancers and I will never be able to look at her in Christmas Vacation the same way ever again. Eli Wallach is the older detective. Jerry Orbach is in one scene as a director. Jeff Goldbloom is a photographer in a few scenes. Martin Balsalm gets one of the top billings but he is only in one scene for like two seconds. Cristina Raines was good I have heard of her but never seen her in anything. She was very very pretty.
            This is one movie that was made in the ‘70s that had all these old stars because there was a renewed appreciation for old Hollywood. I feel they put all these old actors in films because they knew they were better than the ones around and they knew that most of them were getting old and would not be around anymore. Or better reason they knew they would draw audiences.
            The Sentinel is not the greatest of movies ever made. It is one of the movies that are so bad they are so good. I plan on getting on DVD so me and my friends can laugh watching it together. This is one movie I would not mind being remade it had potential to be good but it fell flat on the scary and it kind of dragged.