Review: ‘The Fan’

Lauren Bacall makes the film [from a novel by Bob Randall] work with a solid performance as a stage star pursued by a pyschotic fan whose adoration turns to hatred. To be sure, the part doesn't test the broadest range of Bacall's abilities, but she and director Edward Bianchi achieve the essential element: they make the audience care what happens to her.

Lauren Bacall makes the film [from a novel by Bob Randall] work with a solid performance as a stage star pursued by a pyschotic fan whose adoration turns to hatred. To be sure, the part doesn’t test the broadest range of Bacall’s abilities, but she and director Edward Bianchi achieve the essential element: they make the audience care what happens to her.

In his first major feature, TV commercials veteran Michael Biehn contributes solidly toward the picture’s believability, gradually transforming his character’s fantasies into a deadly delusion. The more his performance is acceptable, the more perilous is Bacall’s plight.

Maureen Stapleton is also necessarily sympathetic as Bacall’s likable secretary who stands between Biehn and what he perceives as true romance, setting herself up as his first victim.

James Garner is given less to do as Bacall’s ex-husband, whom she still loves. Mainly, he’s limited to standing around for moral support.

The Fan

Production

Paramount. Director Edward Bianchi; Producer Robert Stigwood; Screenplay Priscilla Chapman, John Hartwell; Camera Dick Bush; Editor Alan Helm; Music Pino Donaggio; Art Director Santo Loquasto

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Lauren Bacall James Garner Maureen Stapleton Michael Biehn Hector Elizondo Anna Maria Horsford
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