Play Misty for Me  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in his directorial debut. Jessica Walter and Donna Mills co-star. The original music score was composed by Dee Barton. In the film, Eastwood plays the role of a radio disc jockey being stalked by an obsessed female fan.

The film was a critical and financial success, with Walter earning praise for her first major film role.


Plot overview

Eastwood plays David "Dave" Garver, a radio disc jockey who becomes the target of Evelyn Draper, an obsessed female fan, played by Jessica Walter. Donna Mills plays his re-acquainted girlfriend, Tobie Williams. The title comes from Draper's habit of phoning in to Garver's radio show and asking him to play the classic Erroll Garner ballad "Misty".

The film paved the way for later stalker films such as Fatal Attraction, particularly those with a female antagonist, and also those where the villain appeared to have died prematurely. It is also notable for its use of location shooting, mostly in the area of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where Eastwood has long made his home, and where he was elected Mayor in 1986. Additional scenes were shot at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1970, featuring jazz greats Johnny Otis, Cannonball Adderley, and future Weather Report founder Joe Zawinul.

The film features a romantic montage backed by Roberta Flack's recording of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."


  • David "Dave" Garver - A radio disc jockey who is stuck in a bad situation when Evelyn Draper enters his life.
  • Evelyn Draper - A female fan of Dave who enters his life and tries to force him into making her his girlfriend. As he tries to distance himself from her, she becomes more possessive and eventually, very dangerous. She always calls the radio station and asks him to play the jazz song "Misty." Evelyn takes the name Annabel in order to become a roommate of Tobie so Evelyn can hold Tobie hostage. Evelyn took the name from the poem "Annabel Lee." Dave figures out "Annabel"'s identity after reading "Annabel Lee" while in the radio room; this causes Dave to call Tobie to warn her that her roommate is Evelyn, only to receive Evelyn's "invitation" to Tobie's house where Tobie was already bound and gagged,with her hair cut off.
  • Tobie Williams - Dave's re-acquainted girlfriend and an aspiring artist. There is quite a romantic part of the movie- when Evelyn is supposedly in the mental institution. The scenes are set to Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and include Dave and Tobie on the beach, in the woods, and generally exploring their relationship.
  • Sergeant McCallum - The policeman in Dave's town who assists him in getting out of Evelyn's stranglehold.
  • Birdie - Dave's housekeeper, who suffers from the wrath of Evelyn. Birdie is injured after being stabbed many times.



  • The role of the bartender is played by Don Siegel, a friend of Eastwood and the director of films such as Dirty Harry.
  • Play Misty For Me is the film showing at a movie theater seen at the beginning of Dirty Harry.
  • When the Comedy Central channel showed Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the mid-1990s, they encouraged viewers to vote online for which episode they wished to see and they called it "Play MiSTie for Me".
  • Play Misty for Me was number 26 on Bravo's 30 Even Scarier Movie Moments.
  • The plot was reworked for the third season Starsky & Hutch episode "Fatal Charm", in which a woman becomes obsessed with Detective Ken Hutchinson (David Soul). Soul appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force (1973).
  • The movie is referenced in the videogame Grand Theft Auto III, where the first mission is called "Drive Misty For Me".
  • Served as the inspiration for the USA version of the video clip for Crazy by Icehouse

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Play Misty for Me" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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