Remember My Name (1978) Geraldine Chaplin, Anthony Perkins, Moses Gunn, Jeff Goldblum Movie Review

Remember My Name (1978)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Geraldine Chaplin in Remember My Name (1978)

Memorable Yet Forgettable

Emily (Geraldine Chaplin) arrives in town and takes a room in a boarding house where she tries to chat to Floyd (Moses Gunn) a man in another room before going to her mostly empty room where she flounces around for a bit before flaking out on her mattress. She also goes to a store where thanks to a connection to Mr. Nudd's (Jeff Goldblum) mum she gets a job working as a cashier. Meanwhile construction worker Neil Curry (Anthony Perkins) is a bit on edge after he thinks he sees someone drive past him in a car he thinks he knows and then his wife starts getting silent calls. Before long it becomes apparent that Emily is not only disturbed but she is stalking Neil, the question is why?

I've said it before but some movies only really work for the era they are made and for the most "Remember My Name" is one of those movies. But the issues with "Remember My Name" is not one of being visually dated but more to do with the style and what it expects from the audience as this movie gives you a mysterious woman who stalks a man and his wife and you have to keep watching for an explanation. It is not like modern movies which tend to be in a hurry to tell you what is what but it expects you to pay attention to everything including the song lyrics. I will be honest the reveal is so slow that at times it was a bit of a struggle for me.

Anthony Perkins in Remember My Name (1978)

But despite a struggle "Remember My Name" is still fascinating because you want to know what is going on and much of that is down to the casting. Geraldine Chaplin brings this really curious aspect to the character of Emily making it is extremely hard to work her out. On one hand she is flaky, talking to herself whilst seeming to impose herself on Floyd but then gives him a hug which he reciprocates as if her was a father. And that is before we even get to the stalking aspect and because we know so little about her we can't work out why she seems to want to terrorise Neil and his wife. It is such a curious character that other than knowing she has a bit of a screw loose you just can't work her out.

Then there is the clever casting because Anthony Perkins plays a regular guy, a loving husband who works construction. But what that means is that when Perkins has a hammer in his hand you begin to wonder whether if Emily pushed him too far would he end up snapping and bludgeon her to death with it. It is just that bit of carry over from starring in "Psycho" which makes the character much more interesting than it is. Plus there are some minor roles for future stars with Alfre Woodard in her first movie role, Dennis Franz in his first credited role as well as Goldblum in an early role.

What this all boils down to is that "Remember My Name" is now more of a curiosity piece to see actors in early roles as well as to see how tension and mystery was built up during the 70s rather than how it is now. But whilst fascinating I wouldn't say that "Remember My Name" is entertaining.