Movie Diary 2/5/2018

The Lady with the Little Dog (Iosif Heifits, 1960). A very faithful adaptation of the Chekhov story, but with little additions that actually deepen the atmosphere. A married roué (the superb Alexei Batalov, who died last year) picks up a bored married woman (Iya Savvina) while waiting out a vacation in Yalta. After he returns to Moscow and she to the provinces, the apparently casual affair becomes something else. The subject cries out for the approach of Max Ophuls, yet Heifits’s mostly plain, evenly-lit style has the effect of throwing the central anguish into stark relief.

Hands of the Ripper (Peter Sasdy, 1971). A Hammer  horror thing with an extremely far-fetched premise. Traumatized in childhood by witnessing the death of her mother at the hands of Jack the Ripper, a young woman (Angharad Rees) goes on a killing spree when she’s triggered. A dabbler in newfangled psychoanalysis (Eric Porter) decides to examine her mind, even after he knows she’s a murderer. It has a few good drive-in movie theater moments and decent period atmosphere. Sasdy also directed Taste the Blood of Dracula and The Lonely Lady.

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