Long before writer Joe Eszterhas penned Basic Instinct and Showgirls , both full of complacency and cliché, he produced this edge-of-seat thriller and popular hit.
After newspaper heiress Page Forrester is stabbed to death and her husband injured, evidence suggests a ritual slaying. D.A. Krasny (Peter Coyote) looks toward the newly-widowed Jack (Jeff Bridges) as a suspect and after mounting evidence, Jack is charged, and prepares for court by hiring Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) to defend him.
She hires a weary private eye (Robert Loggia) to smear the prosecution and he is able to counter evidence of Jack’s unfaithfulness with proof of Page’s infidelity, and as the case progresses, it begins to obsess Barnes, who falls for her client. A sexual liaison ensues, compromising the young attorney and blinding her to Jack’s dark and tragic secret…
Although most attention was focused on the twist, the film’s strength is in retaining pace during the long and burdensome (but vital) courtroom scenes. Marquand – who made his name by directing Return of The Jedi – has a different kind of force here, cutting through exposition to reduce the film to a simple, devastating climax. The Welsh-born, BBC-trained director made only one more film before a fatal heart attack in 1987, at the age of 49.
USA | 108 minutes | 1985
Director: Richard Marquand
Script: Joe Eszterhas,
Glenn Close as Teddy Barnes
Jeff Bridges as Jack Forrester
Peter Coyote as Thomas Krasny
Lance Henriksen as Frank Martin
Robert Loggia as Sam Ransom
Michael Dorn as Dan Hislan
Maria Mayenzet as Page Forrester
Dave Austin as Policeman
William Allen Young as Greg Arnold
Ben Hammer as Dr. Goldman
James Karen as Andrew Hardesty
Sanford Jensen as Scott Talbot
Woody Eney as Austin Lofton
Al Ruscio as Carl Siegal
James Winkler as Ted Fitzpatrick
Bruce French as Richard Duffin
Brandon Call as David Barnes
Christina Hutter as Jenny Barnes
Guy Boyd as Matthew Barnes
Phyllis Applegate as Mrs. Stiles
John Clark as Dr. Holloway
Louis Giambalvo as Anthony Fabrizi
John Dehner as Judge Carrigan
Leigh Taylor-Young as Virginia Howell
Diane Erickson as Eileen Avery
Marshall Colt as Bobby Slade
Walter Brooke as Duane Bendix
Sarah Cunningham as First Judge
Ann Walker as Ms. Barne’s Secretary
Sharon Madden as City Editor
David Wiley as Court Clerk
Bill Gratton as Jury Foreman
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