A Perfect Murder

Expecting a faithful adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER? Don't: This film claims only to be inspired by Hitchcock's film of Frederick Knott's play. But the elements screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly and director Andrew Davis borrow are the stuff of which good thrillers are made: jealousy, passion and double, sometimes triple, betrayals. It's...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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Expecting a faithful adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER? Don't: This film claims only to be inspired by Hitchcock's film of Frederick Knott's play. But the elements screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly and director Andrew Davis

borrow are the stuff of which good thrillers are made: jealousy, passion and double, sometimes triple, betrayals. It's the story of wealthy trophy wife Emily Taylor (Gwyneth Paltrow); bloated tycoon Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas), who's suffering a serious reversal of fortune; and a sexy,

mysterious artist named David Shaw (Viggo Mortensen), who's been dallying with Emily. To say much more is to risk spoiling it, but the plot's path is a very twisty one indeed. Davis -- who followed up the monster hit THE FUGITIVE with a couple of considerably less successful pictures -- is on

smooth footing here, directing this dark tale in a classic, slick Hollywood fashion. The Taylors glide through a rarefied world of elegant designer clothes, hobnobbing with their fellow rich and famous and gracing charity balls held at the Metropolitan Museum's Temple of Dendur. Shaw, by contrast,

is a struggling artist living in a gritty loft in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood. The chemistry between Emily and David is obvious: She's married to an autocratic, self-centered older man, while the much younger David is devoted, stylishly scruffy and good in bed. The little triangle gets

shaken up something fierce when Steven decides he's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. But just when you think you know how everything's going to turn out, Emily emerges as one tough customer. If the roller-coaster plot twists lose you, there's always the satisfaction of Douglas's

take on a script rife with amusing double entendres.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Expecting a faithful adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER? Don't: This film claims only to be inspired by Hitchcock's film of Frederick Knott's play. But the elements screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly and director Andrew Davis borrow are the… (more)

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