The movies "A Stranger Is Watching" and "Lili Marleen" open unscreened Friday in Washington.
STRANGER stars Rip Torn as the heavy and Kate Mulgrew as the newscaster he kidnaps, manacles to a post, knifes and leaves bleeding. Also kidnapped in this, her film debut, is 11-year-old Shawn von Schreiber, who saw the same psychopath hammer her mother to death two year earlier.
"What makes the movie so reprehensible," wrote Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Thomas on March 26, "is that genuine skill has been expended upon it. Sean S. Cunningham, who directed the shock blockbuster 'Friday the 13th,' knows how to terrify, and Torn. . .is a convincing psychopath. But it is depressing to see an actor of his stature, especially on the heels of 'Heartland,' in a picture like this, and that goes for the talented Mulgrew, too."
LILI MARLEEN--While Marlene Dietrich sang "Lili Marlene" to the Allies, Lale Andersen sand "Lili Marlene" to the Axis.
Andersen's life is the subject of a film directed by the New German Cinema's R.W. Fassbinder, who has "come up with a lavish popular entertainment and a wicked send-up of the Naziera taste for kitsch," said critic Thomas on July 29, 1981.
"Lili Marleen" stars Hanna Schygulla (called Willie Bunterberg instead of Lale Andersen) as a struggling entertainer--in love with a Jew--who becomes a star overnight when Hitler hears her recording of the popular World War II song. The film "belongs to Schygulla with her firm stance, bold Teutonic beauty and fiery passions," said Thomas. "She and Fassbinder are beginning to seem like the Dietrich and Sternberg of the 80s."
A STRANGER IS WATCHING--At the Capital Hill Cinema, Hampton Mall, Herndon Twin, Jerry Lewis Cinema, Laurel Cinema, Lincoln, NTI Arlington, NTI New Carrollton, Rolling Valley Mall, Roth's Mt. Vernon, Roth's Parkway, Senator, Super Chief Drive-In and Wheaton Plaza.
LILI MARLEEN--At the K-B Janus.