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by Sam Cohen
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 10, 2019

Actress Diane Baker, an incredible performer who has since retired from Hollywood, is interviewed about her part in Edward Dmytryk's "Mirage" on the new Blu-ray of the film by Kino Lorber. She explains that at that point in her career, she was starstruck by getting to work with Gregory Peck. Baker was already an established actress by the time "Mirage" hit theaters and you can see why by watching her in this film. She's able to anchor the narrative emotionally without getting lost in histrionics. More than just a figure for Peck's bumbling character to chase after, she's able to drape the story in mystery that the very silly script couldn't support.

And for the first time on Blu-ray (or the first time that I know of), her performance can be seen in high definition. While the film isn't Dmytryk or Peck's greatest work, it's a very breezy and fun affair I'm sure audiences will enjoy.
New York City accountant David Stillwell (Peck) is suffering from a giant bout of amnesia and enlists the help of a wisecracking private detective named Ted Caselle (Walter Matthau) to figure out why people are chasing him around the city with guns. As the story progresses, Stillwell is burdened with flashbacks to a violent past that was better left buried in his psyche. A cast that includes Kevin McCarthy, Leif Erickson and George Kennedy help support the harebrained plot even when it finally arrives at a disappointing conclusion.

Weirdly enough, "Mirage" is at its best when it's not laying revelation over revelation on the audience. Dmytryk films Peck's desperate run across New York City with gumption and thrills. There's a scene with Peck and a lowly henchman forced into a battle of wits with professional wrestling playing on the television in the background. There's a degree of sly wit to the scene that only briefly pops up in a couple of other scenes. Unfortunately, Peck is stiff as a board and plays into the more dramatic aspects. He doesn't have the same comic timing as let's say, Cary Grant would give the role.

The HD transfer on the new Blu-ray of "Mirage" does look decent, although the film is really showing its age with scratches and other imperfections rambling across during the film. There is a terrific audio commentary with film historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson that I think is worth the purchase alone, though. There's just so much knowledge from these three experts that help to give context to both Peck and Dmytryk's careers. Other special features include:

• Theatrical Trailer
• Animated Image Gallery

Kino Lorber Blu-ray

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