The follow-up to director-writer Robert Benton's Oscar-winning KRAMER VS. KRAMER, this Hitchcockian thriller stars Roy Scheider as Sam Rice, a Manhattan psychiatrist who is a suspect in the murder of one of his patients, but who refuses to divulge anything that was told to him in the
confidence of their doctor-patient relationship. Brooke Reynolds (Streep), a chain-smoking blonde, is the mistress of the dead man, and though Sam wonders if she is the killer, he becomes obsessed with her, turning his quiet bachelor's existence upside-down. Sam begins having nightmares, seeing
flashing knives, going through the same kind of hell Jimmy Stewart experienced in VERTIGO. All of which makes him even more determined to get to the bottom of things. Although Benton's plentiful homages to Alfred Hitchcock are well handled, the major problem with this talky picture is that there's
plenty of suspense but not enough mystery. Rumor has it that Benton initially wanted to do a funny slasher film with Lily Tomlin in the lead, tentatively titled "Stab."
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