Scorpion Releasing // 1973 // 99 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // July 28th, 2010
Would he ever really find her? Had she really ever existed?
A famous '60s werewolf meets a famous '70s model. Unrequited love ensues.
You know the famous Bernstein speech in Citizen Kane, when Everett Sloane describes catching a fleeting glimpse of a beautiful girl on a ferry? Well, The Girl in Blue takes the essence of that delicate monologue, bloats it into a 99-minute feature, and beats you over the head with the irony and cleverness of it all.
Egocentric dullard Scott (David Selby, Raise the Titanic) one day sees a beautiful young woman in blue boarding a ferry. Years go by, but he cannot get her out his mind. He becomes quietly obsessed, and at the risk of his flesh-and-blood relationship with Bonnie (Gay Rowan, The Starlost), he sets out to find her, hunting her down all through Montreal and some smaller, picturesque Canadian villages. Along the way, he encounters colorful but kind people who think nothing of inviting him into their homes and hearts, even though for all they know, the guy could be a strangler.
Oh, if only Scott actually were a strangler. Not only would he silence some of those kind but colorful folks, but it would give him something useful to do instead of spending his days acting out a James Blunt song.
Of course, it would also help if Scott had any real personality to speak of, but The Girl in Blue is one of those films that asks us to accept its leading man simply because the guy is good looking and it's "his" story. That's all good and well, but Scott is just not that interesting a character, and it's more than a little tough to really care about his stalkery predilections.
Actually, it's more than just not being interesting. He's obnoxious. He's arrogant. He's arch. And his single-minded pursuit of the mysterious Girl in Blue, which I'm guessing is supposed to be endearing, just comes off as creepy. It doesn't help that "real" girlfriend Bonnie is an emotionally needy whiner whose life dream is to get the smug and unreliable Scott to marry her. Perhaps if there were more to the characters, this might have worked as a study of missed opportunities and "what might have been," but as it is, it's really pretty tedious.
The Girl in Blue does pick up some in its final third. At the risk of spoiling this, let's just say we get a bittersweet final act that doesn't exactly mitigate all that went before -- or the obnoxious last shot -- but at least delivers something a little satisfying.
David Selby made a name for himself playing sexy and sensitive werewolf Quentin in the '60s cult phenomenon Dark Shadows, making him sort of the Jacob Black of his day. Like many TV actors, Selby had a less-than smooth transition to feature films, making a few big-screen appearances before returning to TV in the '80s in nighttime soaps like Flamingo Road and Falcon Crest.
The titular girl is played by one-time supermodel and two-time Bond girl Maud Adams. Though her screen time is relatively brief, she's actually the best thing about this film, placidly beautiful and very natural. She almost makes Scott's obsession believable -- we are talking about Octopussy here -- and it's a shame that her actual role isn't bigger.
Scorpion has done a great job with this release. The picture is quite solid with minimal damage and strong colors. Audio is solid. We get a nice slate of extras, including a video introduction from Selby, who's pushing 70 and still looks great; a commentary with Selby and director George Kaczender; a recent interview with Gay Rowan; and the film's trailer, along with trailers for other romance-themed Scorpion releases. It's really nice to see this level of care put into a film that's, at best, niche fare.
A great package for a middling film, The Girl in Blue is worth checking out if you're a fan of obscure movie romances or snarky-young-man '70s films.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scorpion Releasing
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 1973
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Alternate Title Sequence