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Nadine Reviews

The plot for NADINE wouldn't have even made a good TV movie were it not for the talents of Kim Basinger, Rip Torn, and Jeff Bridges, all of whom fill out the thin material. The movie takes place in Austin, Texas, circa 1954. Nadine (Basinger) is the estranged wife of Vernon Hightower (Bridges). She's concerned with getting back some "art studies" she once posed for, but sleazy photographer Raymond Escobar (Jerry Stiller) won't return the pictures. Escobar is murdered, though, while Nadine is in another room, and she quickly grabs an envelope marked "Nadine," thinking she has the pictures. The nude photos aren't in the envelope. Instead, there are some plans for a new highway. Whoever knows about this will make a killing in Texas real estate. Vernon gets hold of the plans, but unfortunately Buford Pope (Rip Torn), the local real estate czar and resident slimeball, finds out and he wants the plans back. Director-writer Robert Benton meant to make a 1950s screwball comedy, but the screws came loose and what happened was not very funny, hardly gripping, and somewhat dissatisfying. Bridges turns in the same kind of job he usually does--competent but hardly inspired. Torn is typecast in the same kind of mean-spirited role he's played so often, and he does it well, even subtly. The most one can say for this misfire is that it gave America another chance to see how good Basinger has become.