Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Awful About Allan

"How Awful About Allan" (1970) starring Anthony Perkins, Julie Harris and Joan Hackett is a psychological thriller that originally aired as ABC Movie of the Week.  It is an Aaron Spelling Production and directed by Curtis Harrington.

The movie starts with a fire in the family house and Allan's (Perkins) father dies and his sister Katherine (Harris) is burned.  Allan blames himself for leaving some combustibles close to the heater and he suddenly goes blind.  Flash forward 8 months and he is leaving the state hospital with his vision partially restored (he sees in blurs) and we learn it is hysterical blindness that may be restored if he gets over his guilt for the fire. 

He moves back in with his sister, who has had plastic surgery, to the large family home and  she tries to help him recover. She has limited income so she has to take in a college student to rent a room.  Allan immediately feels paranoid about him and his intentions.  He starts to feel that the roomer is trying to kill him.  He tries to get help from Olive (Hackett) from across the street and she does the best she can but feels he may have left the hospital too soon.

This is a nice atmospheric thriller.  There seems to be a wind or thunderstorm nightly as Allan's psychological well being spirals into madness.  I really enjoyed this movie.  It's available on DVD and many streaming sources.  


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