- 1 hr 35 min
Crescendo is a suspenseful thriller from 1970 that centers around an orchestra conductor named Michael (played by James Olson) who becomes fixated on a talented young pianist named Lisa (played by Stefanie Powers). The film follows Michael's increasingly irrational and dangerous obsession with Lisa as he tries to control her personal and professional life.
The story begins with Lisa auditioning for Michael's orchestra and impressing him with her skills. Michael takes an immediate interest in Lisa and begins to offer her personal coaching sessions, which soon turn into him stalking her outside of rehearsals. Lisa is initially flattered by Michael's attention and eager to learn from him, but things quickly turn dark as Michael starts to become more possessive and controlling.
Despite Lisa's attempts to distance herself from Michael, he continues to pursue her relentlessly. He even goes so far as to sabotage her relationship with a fellow musician and try to ruin her chances of getting a solo performance. As Michael's behavior becomes increasingly erratic and dangerous, Lisa realizes that she needs to find a way to escape from his grip before it's too late.
The film is filled with suspenseful moments and tense music that reflects the growing anxiety of Lisa and those around her. The performances by Stefanie Powers and James Olson are excellent, with Powers bringing a vulnerability and naivety to her character that makes her all the more sympathetic. Olson, on the other hand, is convincing as the charming yet menacing Michael who becomes increasingly unhinged as the story progresses.
One of the strengths of the film is the way it portrays the power dynamics between men and women in the music industry. Lisa is a talented pianist, but she struggles to assert herself in a world dominated by men like Michael who see her as a prop to be used for their own benefit. It's a theme that still resonates today and adds an interesting layer to the story.
Overall, Crescendo is a well-crafted thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The performances and the music are both excellent, and the story raises important questions about power and control in relationships. If you're a fan of suspenseful movies from the 1970s, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Crescendo is a 1972 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2.