A Not So Fine Madness: “A Reflection of Fear” (1972)

areflectionoffear1       “A Reflection of Fear”  (1972)

  Cinematographers who assume the director’s mantle often produce movies which heavily favor the visual rather than the contextually comprehensible, with the fledgling filmmaker often failing to make allowances for the fact that rarely can a film achieve itsareflectionoffearOS intended goals with an overreliance upon the pictorial to the exclusion of almost everything else (Jack Cardiff’s “Girl on a Motorcycle” is a case in point).

    In the case of William A Fraker’s “A Reflection of Fear”, the film was rumored to have had extensive post-production reworking and interference from the studio, though in those unfortunate cases there is generally a sense of diminution of the film’s intentions, whereas in Fraker’s film there is hardly a occasion where any two contiguous scenes offer a clue as to what the audience is expected to decipher from the plot which is a series of contradictory convolutions wrapped within tediously conventional psychological thriller genre tropes. 

    Marguerite (Sondra Locke) is a fifteen year old who has been raised in a completely reclusive environment with no friends and few personal connections outside of her strangely domineering mother, Katherine (Mary Ure) and grandmother, Julia (Signe Hasso). Her inflexibly restrictive and lonely existence, which seems to have promoted an extremeareflectionoffear5 form of delusional interaction with imaginary companions, is about to experience a serious disruption with the arrival of her father, Michael (Robert Shaw), who has been absent from her life for ten years. The purpose of Michael’s visit is to obtain a divorce from Katherine so that he might marry his girlfriend Anne (Sally Kellerman), though in their reconciliation, it is obvious to everyone that there is more than a healthy father-daughter attraction between Michael and Marguerite. 

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nights-at-the-laurel-drive-in/



About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
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5 Responses to A Not So Fine Madness: “A Reflection of Fear” (1972)

  1. johnrieber says:

    Bravo for shining a light on obscure films like this! It was sad that Sondra Locke died recently and barely received any coverage at all…not that she was a great Actress, but deserved better

    • Thanks John. I grew up close to a theater that always seemed to avoid booking the big movies but was wonderfully filled with obscurities and oddities, so I guess I just have an natural interest in what might be considered the runts of the litter. So while the theater down the road was playing “Airport” or “M*A*S*H”, the Mercado was playing “Girly”, “The Christine Jorgensen Story” or “Pieces of Dreams”. I think it a shame that Locke wasted her career in Eastwood films, in which I don’t think there was one (maybe “Josey Wales”) in which she gave a good performance.

  2. beetleypete says:

    I gave this a wide berth, and never saw the attraction of Sondra Locke either as actress, or desirable female. Husband and wife teams (Shaw/Ure) do not always guarantee chemistry on screen, although I once had a lot of time for Shaw in most of his roles.
    Even after all this time, I doubt I would bother to watch it, to see if I was wrong.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • I find as a rule the real-life couples a distraction, as if they’re trying not to act as they do at home and therefore everything comes off as faintly removed. (That was certainly in the case of Eastwood/Locke) Though I feel “Virginia Woolf” was probably an accurate depiction of an evening with the Burtons.

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