Monday, January 9, 2012

Anthony Perkins & Julie Harris in How Awful About Allan (1970)

Anthony Perkins is very handsome in this well acted, but overwrought thriller from Aaron Spelling. After 8 months in the state hospital, Allan (Perkins) is coming home. He suffers from hysterical blindness after a fire in his home killed his father and disfigured his sister Katherine (Harris). Though his blindness has lessened to the point where he can see vague shapes, he's still unable to manage alone. Katherine and their next door neighbor, Olive (Joan Hackett) take turns helping Allan cope. Unfortunately, Allan isn't coping very well. He's hearing voices, seeing strange figures and is afraid that they're out to get him. Is he cracking up, or is he really in danger?

This production had enough legitimate star power and genuine talent to rate a DVD release. It can be found on Amazon, as well as on YouTube in full. The entire film is above, uploaded by smpr12.

Obscurity factor: 8 (on DVD & YouTube, largely forgotten)


  1. I saw this film in the past year or two. I enjoyed it as I was watching it but when I read the commentary above, I realized I had already forgotten most of it. I'm guessing that might be a determining factor between "entertainment" and "art."

  2. Yes, that's a good comment. It's definitely not stick-to-your-ribs content, enjoyable as it may be.

  3. I was thrilled to see one of the few Henry Farrell adaptations that I had missed, over the years....having enjoyed "...Baby Jane", "Hush, Hush...", "Who Slew Auntie Roo?" and "What's the Matter with Helen?"

    I think that it's the weakest of the bunch, and I need for somebody to explain the ending to me.

    Director Harrington also helmed the "Auntie Roo" and "Helen" film versions of Farrell's stories.

  4. Not forgotten by ME! There was kind of a trend in the early 70s of these thrillers/horrors featuring mentally impaired man-boys (they were all patterned on Norman Bates, IMHO). "Bad Ronald," "Crawlspace" and, on the big screen, the original "Willard," starring a very young Bruce Davison.