Written by / 5/19/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

GLENN FORD & ROD TAYLOR CRASH OUT IN 'FATE IS THE HUNTER'

Twilight Time Blu Ray Cover YEAR: 1964
Remember those one-hour TWILIGHT ZONE episodes? They weren't that quirky and strange, which was the problem...

A short story has a beginning and a middle embraced by a theme, and a twist-ending is merely part of that unending scheme... But a novel completes itself, as did those too-long episodes, which, seeming more of the Thriller template than bizarre Science-Fiction, only lasted one season, Number Four, which is why it's not available on Netflix and is rarely shown on reruns...

Well FATE IS THE HUNTER is much like a two-hour ZONE: extremely weird yet only because it seems all too normal, somehow... Beginning with a plane crash that you think might last longer... Not the crash itself but the situation inside: getting to know the cocky pilot played by Rod Taylor, and a tough stewardess in Suzanne Pleshette as, like both were in THE BIRDS, attracted yet repelled by each other's presence.

Nancy Kwan and Glenn Ford
As seen on the posters and already "spoiled" in the film's description, the plane crashes and, after a fabulously cheesy opening credit sequence, with words rushing to the screen backed by a rousing soundtrack theme, an investigation emerges...

A gumshoe kinda thing along with breezy flashbacks as Glenn Ford, a top rank member of the Airline Safety board hoping for a promotion, has a gut feeling the crash had nothing to do with Pilot Error, and not only because his old war buddy, Taylor, was inside the exploding cockpit...

Score: ***
Memories explained (and shown) by Taylor's girlfriend Nancy Kwan, seem removed from Ford's edgy mainline, highlighted by a pivotal war memory about Taylor and a frightened Wally Cox, stuck in a faulty plane about to crash, where Taylor's pilot is (always) crooning "Blue Moon" with corny gusto. This isn't one of Rod's best performances, and he looks heftier and older than he did only four years previously in THE TIME MACHINE.

But he's a fun distraction as FATE eventually shifts from melodramatic to corny/relaxing, and the really weird parts occur during the third act: What Glenn Ford does to find out what happened, concerning FATE, is not only far-fetched but is still downright confounding (the usually subtle icon often goes into ham overdrive along with airline manager Nehemiah Persoff)...

It all winds up serving a hybrid of Asian Spiritualism with a touch of Film Noir Mystique. And this HUNTER goes on an hour longer than the already overlong ZONE episodes, and could possibly be the most bizarre and confounding motion picture ever made. So for people who think they've seen it all... prepare to meet your match!
Howard St. John, Robert Wilke, Glenn Ford and Nehemiah Persoff in FATE IS THE HUNTER
Wally Cox, Nancy Kwan and Glenn Ford in FATE IS THE HUNTER
Co-pilot Joe Patridge w/ pilot Rod Taylor and stewardess Suzanne Pleshette in FATE IS THE HUNTER
Rod Taylor and Glenn Ford in FATE IS THE HUNTER
Rod Taylor and Glenn Ford in FATE IS THE HUNTER
Glenn Ford in FATE IS THE HUNTER
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