USA Today - 06/13/2003
"...EXPERIMENT IN TERROR gave director Blake Edwards his only chance to make a pure chiller and composer Henry Mancini a rare chance to score one..."
Glenn Ford stars as FBI agent John Ripley in Blake Edwards's only foray into the thriller genre. When bank teller Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick) is confronted in the garage of her San Francisco home by a mysterious man (Ross Martin) suffering from asthma, he threatens to kill her teenage sister, Toby (Stefanie Powers), and possibly her if she fails to deliver $100,000 to him from the bank where she works. Although nearly paralyzed with fear, she calls the FBI and is told by agent Ripley to cooperate with the stranger's demands. Knowing the extortionist to be an ashmatic, Ripley is finally able to identify him as Red Lynch, an ex-con who did time for murder. But his attempt to extract information from Lisa Soong (Anita Loo), Lynch's ex-girlfriend, falls flat, since the criminal had paid the bills for the medical care of her crippled son. As the police slowly begin to close in on Lynch, he abducts Toby, intending to hold her until his demands are met. Edwards's skillful daytime noir takes maximum advantage of the San Franciso locations, especially for the Candlestick Park finale. Martin's turn as the wheezing psychopath is especially notable, as is Henry Mancini's brooding score.
A psychopathic extortionist kidnaps a bank teller's younger sister and uses her to force the teller to embezzle money. Excellent performances by a good cast, a wonderful Mancini score, great shots of San Francisco, and a tight, realistic story all contribute to making this suspenseful thriller well worth it.
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