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directed by Brian G. Hutton
USA / UK 19


Night Watch a suspenseful, under-rated thriller tells the story of a lonely, unhappily married woman who believes that she sees a murder committed in the deserted house across her courtyard. Ellen Wheeler (Elizabeth Taylor) spends her nights alone, drinking, wandering around her living room, and looking out the window. One night she witnesses a murder. She calls the police, who investigate, but find nothing. Her husband John (Laurence Harvey) believes that she has imagined the entire thing, but her friend Sarah (Billie Whitelaw), while skeptical, is sympathetic to her deeply troubled friend. Director Brian G. Hutton fills the film with a number of distracting red-herrings and directs with a leisurely pace which tends to lessen the suspense. However, Taylor is splendid in the central role of a woman who seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and she creates a sympathetic believable character. Laurence Harvey, in his final performance, is less effective but is believable as the neglectful, emotionally abusive husband. Night Watch has a bloody, surprise ending, which while stretching credibility, is perfectly in keeping with the melodramatic intensity created by Taylor. Night Watch, reminiscent in some respect of Gaslight will be of interest to fans of Elizabeth Taylor and should entertain any fan of psychological thrillers.


Television Premiere:  August 8th, 1973


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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:48

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.83 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 10





I watched this last night and enjoyed it. Night Watch is an interesting thriller that offers a solid performance by Elizabeth Taylor.  it's strength is the suspense and it has a bona-fide 70's appeal. It's also notable for its unusual ending and one of the last roles of Laurence Harvey before his untimely death at only 45.

It's standard single-layered MoD (Made-on-Demand) disc but progressive in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and looks consistent if a shade flat and dull as we have become spoiled by HD. This is labeled under Warner's "Archive Collection" marquee and the SD image is clean with no intrusive speckles or damage. The transfer supports the film with a very watchable video image. Decent and no complaints considering the format. 

The mono sound is decent supporting the score by John Cameron (1988's Jack the Ripper, The Ruling Class) and there are no subtitles offered. No supplements at all.

I was really in the mood for this and thoroughly enjoyed the pace, British atmosphere and build-up. I wanted a simple suspenseful story and it actually exceeded my expectations. I'll probably revisit this one day - it's the type of film you can do that with.  

  - Gary Tooze



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