Pretty Poison is an attempt at low-key psychological terror. Anthony Perkins, a mentally unhealthy resident of his own fantasies, finds in Tuesday Weld a more than willing pupil. Awkwardly begun and tediously developed, the film [from a novel by Stephen Geller] goes too much off the track.

Pretty Poison is an attempt at low-key psychological terror. Anthony Perkins, a mentally unhealthy resident of his own fantasies, finds in Tuesday Weld a more than willing pupil. Awkwardly begun and tediously developed, the film [from a novel by Stephen Geller] goes too much off the track.

A prolog and a quasi-epilog sequence establish Perkins as a disobedient parolee from confinement for arson-murder. Main body of the story, all shot on location in Massachusetts, concerns his play-acting and sexual playing with Weld, restless daughter of the widowed Beverly Garland.

From an innocent-looking teenager, Weld progresses to a cold, pathological killer and betrayor, escaping justice while pitiable Perkins, probably less deranged than she, falls victim to her superior depravity.

Perkins does a creditable job in a difficult part. So much of his earlier dialog might lead to disastrous guffaws that merely avoiding this trap must be credited to him and the director.

Pretty Poison

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Noel Black; Producer Marshal Backlar, Noel Black; Screenplay Lorenzo Semple Jr; Camera David Quaid; Editor William Ziegler; Music Johnny Mandel; Art Director Jack Martin Smith, Harold Michelson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Anthony Perkins Tuesday Weld Beverly Garland John Randolph Dick O'Neill Clarice Blackburn
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