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Name: Baffled!
Date(s): 1973
Medium: television movie
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: wikipedia
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Baffled! is a television movie about a race car driver (played by Leonard Nimoy) who suddenly suffers from visions and Susan Hampshire as Michele, an ESP expert who believes that his visions will really happen. It was intended as a pilot for a tv series that was never realized.


Reactions and Reviews

Baffled! is an apt title, because that's exactly what I was -- completely baffled by what was going on during the entire movie. In a word, it was bad. The script was disjointed, the photography was amateurish, the pro­duction was poor: etc, The actors did the best they could with what they were given to work, and the few cases of competent acting managed to drag the film in spots all the way up to mediocre.

Leonard Nimoy, as racing driver To Kovack, stumbled through the movie with a light, tongue-in-cheek attitude that accounted for what little humor the film had. Susan Hampshire's delicate, doe-eyed beauty and all-around good acting made her the show's one hight point. There were several instances when Nimoy and Miss Hampshire had some beautiful dialogue, such as when there were trapped in the elevator shaft ...


The big laugh of the show is at the very end when Miss Hampshire inquires of Nimoy, "Tell me, Tom Kovack, do you have a middle name?"

Nimoy pauses, then answers resolutely, "Chester!"

The film shows promise in the first two spots. The first is during the opening race when Nimoy has abrupt visions of the English manor house that he will eventually end up in and wakes up to find himself wrapped around a tree. The second is the vision he has in his New York apartment of the manor house, where he falls from the balcony several hundred feet into the turbulent waters off Cornwalll, they abruptly finds himself back in his apartment, dripping wet. Unfortunately, the action deteriorates from that point on.

The plot twists around the myriad guests at "Wyndham in Devon" and their spooky heiress, who resembles for all the world Lara Parker, the witch Angelique in Dark Shadows. The characters are Agatha Christie stereotypes and bad ones at that. It is never clear what is going on and there are so many dead ends and false leads that one finds oneself hopelessly confused at the end of the first hour of the film. The mysterious wolf cult that enlists Jennifer, the young girl in the film ("My!" declares Miss Hampshire to Nimoy as Jenny passes. "It took me three years to go from twelve to fifteen!"), the stranger who is her father but isn't because her father is dead, the young newlyweds who are supposedly smuggling drugs but turn out to be selling French cosmetics, the Italian count who is in reality a butcher, the crippled cousin of Jennifer's father who is neither... all are obstacles this movie never quite hurdles.

There are several very poorly done scenes, particularly the car chase. It almost smacks of Mission: Impossible with the panel truck skulking about the woods, but... Nimoy bouncing after the modern panel truck in a 1927 Bentley along wooded English lanes verges on the ludicrous. Overtaking and running that truck off the road passes the film's last vestige of believability. And, to top it off, we never did learn for sure just who was driving the truck, who conked Miss Hampshire on the head, and why the heck they did it anyway!!

Altogether, this has got to be one of the all-time low points in Leonard Nimoy's career, going even lower than Catlow, which is undoubtedly one of the worst movies this writer has ever had the misfortune to see.

In my opinion, Mr. Nimoy would do well to consider a life-time enlistment in the Space Service! Spock, by now, must be in violent need of a good cry! [1]


  1. ^ from Tal Shaya #1 (1973)