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"Someone is going to be murdered at exactly 7:00," an unidentified caller informs the police. His voice is calm, measured, pleasant even. "I'm the murderer." It's 6:55. Five minutes later, a fatally stabbed man keels over on a city sidewalk. Grant Williams, who helped define '50s sci-fi as the luckless protagonist of The Incredible Shrinking Man, ventures into the thriller genre as an ice pick-wielding glamour boy with a sordid past, a blood-splattered present and a psychiatrist who really bugs him. Based on a story co-written by Blake Edwards, The Couch probes a deeply disturbed mind - and plunges the audience into a nerve-jolting odyssey that ends with the killer, masked and gowned, ready to operate in a hospital surgical theater.
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Grant Williams, better known as the sympathetic protagonist of "The Incredible Shrinking Man," plays someone very different here, and does it well. At times you can understand & pity him, as you begin to realize just how he became as emotionally damaged & dangerous as he is -- but he never becomes any less threatening because of it. A young & luminous Shirley Knight is very good as the somewhat naive girl he "loves" -- though "is obsessed with" is more accurate. And the fact that she's the niece of his psychiatrist makes it all the more knotty (and naughty).
I don't want to give away any more of the plot. The question is, will the police or his psychiatrist discover the killer's identity & real motivation before it's too late? But every time you think you've got things figured out & know where the story is heading, it takes a completely unexpected turn. It may be a small, unheralded film, but it really delivers the goods -- recommended!