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The Last of Sheila Reviews

THE LAST OF SHEILA is a superb murder mystery and something of a curio in film history, thanks to a script (by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim) that is written in the style of a British crossword puzzle. A wealthy Hollywood producer (Coburn) whose wife was killed by a hit-and-run driver at a party a year before, invites six people, all suspects, to his yacht in the south of France, hoping to uncover the culprit. He engages the six--a failed screenwriter (Benjamin); his rich, neurotic wife (Hackett); a movie star (Welch); her manager-husband (McShane); an aging film director (Mason); and a high-powered agent (Cannon)--in a psychological game designed to provoke the murderer into revealing his or her identity. The producer actually succeeds in getting murdered himself, and another death follows before the mystery is solved. If you enjoy puns, anagrams, and wordplay, you will find THE LAST OF SHEILA a positive Joycean delight. Listen for Bette Midler singing "Friends" on the soundtrack.