31 October 2014

Still of the Night (1982)
92 min.
Directed by Robert Benton.
With Roy Scheider, Meryl Streep, Jessica Tandy, Sara Botsford, Josef Sommer, Joe Grifasi, Frederikke Borge, Irving Metzman, Larry Joshua, Tom Norton, Richmond Hoxie.
A subpar modern-day Jacqueline the Ripper tale.

Roy Scheider is Dr. Sam Rice, a NYC psychiatrist is shaken when he discovers one of his patients, an art dealer named George Bynum (Sommer), has been murdered.

Rice is even more bewildered when Bynum's mistress Brooke (Streep) pays a visit to his office.

He's also intrigued. An icy blonde, Brooke seems to be a central figure in George's psychiatric treatments before his death.

But could she also have something to do with the poor man's murder? If only Dr. Rice could figure out the connection...before it's too late.

A pedestrian story - and too much emphasis on "psychobabble" - sinks this one early on.

The killer's identity manages to be dumbfoundingly obvious, despite last-minute post-production restructuring that delayed the film's release for months (Sliver, anyone?).

Though there's a classy cast, some eerie dream sequences, and a melodic love-theme by John Kander, this is no Dressed to Kill. Unfortunately, it's a failed attempt by director/co-writer Benton to one-up the early 80's trend of Hitchcock homages!

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