Morris Brummel (George Segal) is a single man who still lives with his mother. Morris is also a police detective. One day while Morris is enjoying a home-cooked meal he receives a phone call to attend an apartment building immediately and investigate the murder of an older woman. Morris only has to walk about the crime scene for a few minutes before admitting that the murder is quite bizarre. He immediately begins questioning other people in the apartment building in case they saw or heard anything regarding the murdered woman.
Soon Morris meets and questions a beautiful young woman named Kate (Lee Remick) who lives in the apartment above the victim. At first Kate seems quite laid back and somewhat flirty towards Morris. Naturally, he returns a similar affection and soon decides to pursue a relationship with the new key witness.
But shortly after the first murder, more deaths begin to appear within the city. Morris starts to receive phone calls from the murderer himself. We learn that the serial killer (played by Rod Steiger) enjoys dressing up and taking on a full character before he kills his victim. His targets are always women and it is evident that the killer enjoys reading about his murders in the daily newspapers. Can Morris track this serial killer down and stop this madman from committing further murders?
One element I really enjoyed about this film is the killer himself. The film opens with the serial killer dressed up as a priest, approaching his first victim. There is no major mystery about the killer here because he himself is a key character in this film. We get to see how he conducts his crimes and how he discovers that Morris is the officer trying to hunt him down. Rod Steiger, who plays the murderer, acts his part so well that I found him slightly creepy and unsettling at times, which was great to see on the screen.
As a plot I found this film to be quite fun and unique even though the concept of a serial killer taunting a police detective may not seem like anything new. Throughout the film, murders are committed during one scene only to be immediately followed by a scene that is generally light-hearted. These scenes may be Morris dealing with his nagging mother or Morris trying to romance his new love interest.
Thanks to Imprint Films in Australia, this film has been released for the first time on Blu-ray. Considering the film was originally released in 1968, the visuals are quite impressive and hold up rather well with only a couple of frames that still appeared to be somewhat blurry. I will confess, I did find the audio track (LPCM 2.0 Stereo) rather distracting at the start of the film. There is a very faint but noticeable hissing static sound which appears when characters are speaking. Once I was immersed in the film, I didn’t find myself paying as much attention to this issue.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with the film. While the film concept may seem familiar, this film is filled with suspense, thrills, and light-hearted comedy. Performances are great, particularly from Rod Steiger who plays a fantastic, creepy serial killer. Overall, the film brings great creativity and would be easily recommended to those who enjoy seeing something in the style of ” Hitchcock”.
No Way To Treat A Lady (1968) is Now Available on Blu-ray!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden