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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, July 21, 2023

You’ll Never See Me Again (1973)

A couple is on a picnic being all “lovey dovey” and eating candy bars. Hey man it is a made for television flick so don’t expect much more than that. But it does establish the fact that they are married and in love. Though later when they return home and the woman, her name is Vicki, gets a latter from her estranged mother there is a fight. She wants to go see her for the first time in years while he needs to go to his architect job stuff. This leads to him hitting her and her dropping the line “You’ll never see me again!” as she storms out.

When she doesn’t return the next day her husband, Ned, goes looking for her. But she is nowhere to be found and the police can’t help him beyond taking him to see a woman in the hospital that turns out not to be Vicki. Ned starts to retrace her steps and along the way finds a sketchy gas station mechanic, played by Bo Svenson, who turns out to be a red herring. Eventually he finds his way back to Vicki’s home and meets her mother, for the first time which may be important, only to be told she never made it there. Of course, the cops start to suspect him after someone plants Vicki’s bloody dress in his car and makes an anonymous phone call. But not to worry as it is all resolved before the credits roll.

For the most part I’ve enjoyed checking out these old made for television movies, but much like every other genre they can’t all be good. You’ll Never See Me Again isn’t good. The pacing is terrible. There are a lot of very “talky” scenes with characters droning on about things that in the end don’t move the story along and just serve to pad things out. Sure, the gas station attendant bit was a needed red herring, but did we need to see Ned also track down and yell at the man who gave Vicky a ride? All that does is let him know she did get to her mother’s house. I have other examples, like the subplot of him being framed and the cops trying to arrest him, but none of that serves to further the mystery. Though I guess it does up the ante and add consequences to our main character. But it is still tedious.

Speaking of the mystery it may be due to me watching a ton of mystery movies but the moment the characters made such a huge deal about him never having met her mother whom she was estranged from I knew exactly what the hell was going to happen. Along the way the feeble attempts at misdirection never made me thing for a second that my initial idea was wrong. The other attempt at surprising the audience involving Ned noticing that a room is off somehow isn’t a surprise. I mean they beat you over the head with it so you know that it has to be important later. Spoilers… it is.

One of the things that you have heard me talk about in many of my reviews is that I love the fact that these made for television movies couldn’t just lean into the violence and sleaze due to censors. That normally makes for a well written and fun watch. I can’t say that this movie falls into that category as it is about as generic and by the numbers as you can get. This totally wastes performances from David Hartman, Jane Wyatt, and the familiar face (at least to genre fans) of Ralph Meeker.

Hell, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that our heroic husband slaps the hell out of his wife and that is I guess something the audience is supposed to ignore and accept. Times have changed and for the better. I can’t recommend wasting your time on this one.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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