The Third Day (1965)

The Third Day which is a nice suspenseful film, modeled somewhat on the Gregory Peck classic Mirage which is about an amnesia victim has George Peppard as the protagonist amnesia victim. It is both the debut film of Sally Kellerman and the farewell performance of Herbert Marshall.

It was quite a debut for Kellerman, she’s seen only in flashback as a pleasure driven hedonist who is killed in automobile accident as the car they were driving in went off the road and into the Pacific Ocean. Peppard survives the crash, but it’s left him an amnesiac and he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life.

Turns out he’s married to the wealthy and socially prominent Elizabeth Ashley as he was then in real life and it was a case of marrying the boss’s daughter as Peppard was in middle management of the town’s main employer, a ceramics factory. But he’s been driven from her and Kellerman has been more than willing to meet Peppard’s needs. Ashley also has an upper crust twit brother in Roddy McDowell who’s got an agenda all worked out for Peppard and that factory. McDowell and Kellerman are the best ones in the film.

Liz and Roddy’s parents are Mona Washburne and Herbert Marshall. What was sad in this film was that Marshall spoke not a word and I wonder if his part was written that way because of his own health problems. He plays a stroke victim and he’s catatonic. Because of that a lot of people like McDowell are playing all kinds of games with the business he is the head of. There’s also a really ambitious new District Attorney played by Robert Webber who would like nothing better than to nail a prominent hide like Peppard’s as that boost him to higher office.

It takes three days to finally sort all the pieces out hence the title The Third Day. It’s a pretty good suspense drama that the cast does full justice to.

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