Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Visitor " doesn't catch cold -- or fire

Cleveland Press March 19, 1971

"The Night Visitor" generates a few chills and a fair amount of suspense, but does it in bits and pieces. There's a chunk of good stuff here, another chunk there but some dull spots in between

Devotees of locked-room mysteries may find some of it diverting. The movie concerns itself with a series of murders committed by a man who must escape from an escape-proof asylum and then get back in without being detected.

Max von Sydow is the murderer and is seen most of the time running through the Swedish snow-covered night wearing only underwear and boots. The man deserves credit for risking pneumonia if nothing else.

HE WAS FRAMED for murder and put away a few years before and now he has worked out a way to do in his girl-friend, his sisters and his attorney, and to frame his brother-in-law for the entire slaughter.

Trevor Howard growls his way through matters as a disbelieving police inspector. The other actors do as well as they can with a lusterless script.

Getting in and out of the asylum is a fairly intriguing bit but the entire movie has some holes in it, holes that might have been covered by superior direction. The direction, however, is not superior; only sluggish.