‘You may be the target… of the next “crank” call…’
I Saw What You Did is a 1965 American horror thriller film produced and directed by William Castle (Homicidal; The Tingler; Mr. Sardonicus; House on Haunted Hill; et al) from a screenplay by William P. McGivern, based upon the 1964 novel Out of the Dark by Ursula Curtiss; It stars Joan Crawford, John Ireland and Leif Erickson.
The film was remade as a TV movie in 1988.
When two mischievous teens Libby (Andi Garrett) and Kit (Sara Lane) are home alone with Libby’s younger sister Tess (Sharyl Locke), they amuse themselves by randomly dialling telephone numbers asking prank questions, telling whomever answers: “I saw what you did, and I know who you are.”
Libby places a call to Steve Marak (John Ireland), a man who has recently murdered his wife, Judith (Joyce Meadows) and disposed of her body in the woods.
Believing he has been found out, he decides to track down the caller to silence her…
“Garrett and Lane exude a lot of spunk but in their characters’ naiveté, they also expose their inexperience as actors. William P. McGivern’s screenplay, adapted from Ursula Curtiss’ novel, Out of the Dark, contains some memorable quotes for Crawford but it also delivers schlock and campy material.” Dr. Stephen Larson, Blu-ray.com
“Castle never forgets to drop in peculiar, off-setting shots just for the fun of it […] before staging a tense showdown in the fog with Marak pursuing the girls. When little Tess gets snatched out of nowhere—by whom?—I immediately thought of De Palma’s Dressed to Kill; indeed, watching this finely-crafted, utterly bizarre little thriller, any fan of the slasher/horror genre will see antecedents here…” Paul Mavis, DVD Drive-In
“Castle at least generates some okay suspense in the scenes with John Ireland sinisterly skulking about and killing people. He even stages a Psycho-modelled shower murder sequence that comes as a jolt surprise early in the show. On the other hand, the scenes with the teenage airheads, where much of the focus of the film is, do drag the show out.” Richard Scheib, Moria
” …the film transforms into a vintage, gothic chiaroscuro dream, its wonderfully artificial, backlot sets bathed in an unreal fog that slinks and purrs about every crevice. Where Hitchcock deployed black and white to stage stark, gritty violence, Castle’s sensibilities hew more classically: I Saw What You Did may be couched in griminess, but it has the soul of an old-school, B-movie spook show…” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!
“This actually works quite well. It might not have set the box office on fire when it played theaters and it won’t usurp the reputations of Castle’s better known and more successful pictures but it’s well put together, it features a great cast and it provides plenty of solid suspense.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!
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“Bolstered by a solid final 15 minutes, this one is an enjoyable – if too lighthearted (some of the performances are too campy for their own good) – suspense ride.” The Terror Trap
“A few chilling moments, but it all depends upon your susceptibility.” David Pirie, The Time Out Film Guide
“Though the plot is thin, the film offers a chilling atmosphere and the performances are effective.” TV Guide
Cast and characters:
- Joan Crawford as Amy Nelson – Trog; Berserk; Strait-Jacket; What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?
- John Ireland as Steve Marak – Bloody Movie; Incubus; Welcome to Arrow Beach; The House of Seven Corpses
- Leif Erickson as Dave Mannering – The Evil Touch TV series; Night Gallery TV series; Strait-Jacket; Inner Sanctum TV series
- Sara Lane as Kit Austin
- Andi Garrett as Libby Mannering
- Sharyl Locke as Tess Mannering
- Patricia Breslin as Ellie Mannering
- John Archer as John Austin
- John Crawford as State Trooper
- Joyce Meadows as Judith Marak
I Saw What You Did was released theatrically in the United States by Universal Pictures on July 21, 1965.
It was released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on VHS and on Region 1 DVD on August 24, 1999. On May 23, 2014, it was re-released as an exclusive DVD-R by Universal as part of its Universal Vault Series, but in a full frame presentation.
On May 17, 2016, Shout! Factory released the film for the first time on Blu-ray Disc via their Scream Factory imprint.
Image credits: Rock! Shock! Pop!
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