The most visually arresting film that Sharon Tate ever starred in was J Lee. Thompson‘s Eye of the Devil (’66). It was poorly reviewed and lost money, but the black-and-white lensing by the exacting Erin Hillier was quite handsome. The outdoor lighting is just right. And look at the cloud formations behind Tate, Deborah Kerr and David Hemmings, and consider a mention of Hillier’s “obsession with clouds…he would often beg for filming to be delayed until a cloud had appeared to break up a clear sky.”
Tate was a limited actress, of course, but there’s something mesmerizing about her glazed-over, steely=eyed performance as a witch named “Odile de Caray”. It strikes me as a semi-respectable effort because at the very least she was part of a prestige-level horror film with grade-A costars.
And it hit me this morning that if Once Upon A Time in Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino had decided to depict Margot Robbie‘s Tate catching an Eye of the Devil screening at, say, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or at Arthur Knight‘s USC’s film school class instead of showing her traipsing over to Westwood to catch an afternoon showing of the reprehensible The Wrecking Crew…well, I for one would have been happier because it would have presented Tate in a more respectable light.