Someone's Watching Me!
- For the song, see Somebody's Watching Me.
|Someone's Watching Me!|
|Written by||John Carpenter|
|Directed by||John Carpenter|
|Music by||Harry Sukman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Richard Kobritz|
|Producer(s)||Anna Cottle (associate producer)|
|Production location(s)||Los Angeles|
|Cinematography||Robert B. Hauser|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Warner Bros. Television|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||November 29, 1978|
Someone's Watching Me! (also known as High Rise) is a 1978 American made-for-television horror film written and directed by John Carpenter and starring Lauren Hutton and Adrienne Barbeau. The film was made immediately prior to Carpenter's theatrical hit Halloween. The film was produced by Warner Bros. and aired on NBC on November 29, 1978.
A woman named Leigh Michaels moves to Los Angeles, and finds a job directing live television. An older man sees her on the balcony of her new apartment, through a telescope. He enters her apartment when she's out, and begins to terrorize her with phone calls and strange gifts from a fictional company, "Excursions Unlimited".
Michaels reports the harassment to the police, but because no threat has been expressed, they take no action. The gifts include a telescope, but Michaels does not understand she is being watched until the second half of the film. With the help of co-worker Sophie and boyfriend Paul Winkless, she attempts to take action against the voyeur.
- Lauren Hutton - Leigh Michaels
- David Birney - Paul Winkless
- Adrienne Barbeau - Sophie
- Charles Cyphers - Gary Hunt
- Grainger Hines - Steve
- Len Lesser - Burly Man
- John Mahon - Frimsin
- James Murtaugh - Leone
- J. Jay Saunders - Police Inspector
Among fans, Someone's Watching Me! is often referred to as "the lost Carpenter film" due to its scarce availability on home video for many years.
It was originally called High Rise. Carpenter was hired by Warner Bros in 1976 to write a feature script based on a true story about a woman in Chicago. He spent three months writing it and handed it in. Eight months later Warners contacted him saying they wanted to do it as a TV movie and offered Carpenter chance to direct it.
"I thought it was a really, really good idea," said Carpenter. So I had my first experience with television. And my first union experience. I got into the Director's Guild through that. I had a real good time on it, I have to tell you. I met my wife."
The film was shot in eighteen days. "I had some control over it," said Carpenter. "I was able to shoot only what I wanted, I wouldn't cover it... I just gave them what I wanted and it got okayed."
Carpenter worked with Adrienne Barbeau, whom he married in 1979, for the first time when making Someone's Watching Me!. Barbeau later starred in The Fog (1980) and had a supporting role in Escape from New York (1981).
Carpenter was nominated for the 1979 Edgar Award of Best Television Feature or Miniseries for the film.
The television station Leigh Michaels gets a job at is named KJHC. The last three letters are a secret wink to the writer and director's full name: John Howard Carpenter.
NBC promoted Someone's Watching Me! as a "Tales of the Unexpected special," implying that the film was related to the 1977 NBC television series Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected, but Quinn Martin Productions played no role in the making of the film, which was unrelated to the series.
Carpenter says that two weeks later he started filming Halloween and many of the techniques in Halloween he devised on Someone's Watching Me. Carpenter later said he was "very proud" of the film even though it was not one of his better known works.
- "Interview with John Carpenter". You Tube.
- Trick and Treat McCarthy, Todd. Film Comment; New York Vol. 16, Iss. 1, (Jan/Feb 1980): 17-24.
- Classic TV Archive: Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected