Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
USA, 1984. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Delphi II Productions. Story by Brian De Palma, Screenplay by Robert J. Avrech, Brian De Palma. Cinematography by Stephen H. Burum. Produced by Brian De Palma. Music by Pino Donaggio. Production Design by Ida Random. Costume Design by Gloria Gresham. Film Editing by Gerald B. Greenberg, Bill Pankow.
A struggling actor (Craig Wasson) breaks up with his girlfriend after he finds her in bed with another man. Busy working on a vampire B-movie and in immediate need of new living accommodations, he instantly snatches up an offer he gets from another actor who needs someone to house sit for him.
The pad turns out to be a luxury, cliff-side residence with a gorgeous view and all the plush fixings that Wasson could need, plus he has a bird’s eye view into the home of a nearby goddess who enjoys undressing in front of her open window on a regular basis.
One night while he is watching her, the woman is murdered by a robber, and Wasson tries to tell the police only to be pinned by them as a peeping tom. As he investigates the matter further, he discovers a lot more about the situation than it is safe for him to know.
Melanie Griffith is hilarious as a porn star who is the key to the mystery, while director Brian de Palma has a terrific time paying tribute to the man-alone thrillers that Alfred Hitchcock used to make so well. Like Dressed To Kill, this is a good example of de Palma’s Hitchcock obsession paying off, though some viewers might be turned off by the exploitative nudity and violence.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Melanie Griffith)