Cinema: Hitchhiking the Mean Streets

STILL OF THE NIGHT Directed and Written by Robert Benton

This year's (or should one say this month's?) Alfred Hitchcock pastiche is of the sober rather than the raffish variety. It is intended not as a knockoff but as an hommage (the French pronunciation on that word, if you please) to the Old Master's late high style. The stars, Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep, are pleasing people; Nestor Almendros' carefully burnished cinematography imparts to Manhattan's streets a theatrically menacing glow that subtly transforms and romanticizes their mean reality. Writer-Director Benton, working from a story he and his onetime partner David Newman concocted...

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