Review: ‘The Yellow Canary’

Hero of the piece is Pat Boone, a surly singing idol whose apparently loose ways have him on the brink of divorce with his wife (Barbara Eden), who remains only for the sake of their infant. The baby is suddenly kidnapped and three people are needlessly murdered by the kidnapper, who turns out to be one of Boone's sycophants, his psychotic bodyguard (Steve Forrest).

Hero of the piece is Pat Boone, a surly singing idol whose apparently loose ways have him on the brink of divorce with his wife (Barbara Eden), who remains only for the sake of their infant. The baby is suddenly kidnapped and three people are needlessly murdered by the kidnapper, who turns out to be one of Boone’s sycophants, his psychotic bodyguard (Steve Forrest).

Rod Serling’s screenplay, from Whit Masterson’s novel, Evil Come, Evil Go, is reasonably strong in dramatic anatomy, but limp and fuzzy in character definition. The characters are thrust at the audience, with little or no attempt to illustrate the nature of their odd dispositions toward society and each other.

Boone warbles several old standards pleasantly. Eden is her usual curvaceous self, and gets off a number of very convincing screams and shrieks. Forrest is an okay heavy, Jack Klugman likable as a frustrated gendarme. Kenyon Hopkins has composed a racy, pulsating score to underline the action.

The Yellow Canary

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Buzz Kulik; Producer Maury Dexter; Screenplay Rod Serling; Camera Floyd Crosby; Editor Jodie Copelan; Music Kenyon Hopkins; Art Director Walter Simmonds

Crew

(B&W) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Pat Boone Barbara Eden Steve Forrest Jack Klugman Jesse White Steve Harris
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