(out of 5)
An alcoholic, once-famous actress (Jane Fonda) wakes up to find a murdered man lying next to her in bed. Naturally, this makes her a prime suspect to the crime, but she has no recollection of the night it happened or how he even got into her house, let alone her bed. Is she really insane, or is someone manipulating her? The only people she can turn to at this point are a fellow former drinker and ex-cop (Jeff Bridges) and her hairdresser (Raul Julia) with whom she shares a close personal friendship. It’s a routine thriller with a predictable outcome, but it rises slightly above the mundane with its complex lead character and the terrific job Fonda does of playing her. It’s also indicative of the change in popular movies from the seventies to the corporation-studio eighties: the actress who wowed us in Klute and The China Syndrome teams up with the director of Network and Dog Day Afternoon to pull off a cookie-cutter genre movie. No wonder Fonda retired early.
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Screenplay by James Cresson
Cinematography by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cast Tags: Anne Betancourt,Betty Lougaris, Bob Minor, Bruce Vilanch, Corinna Everson, Diane Salinger, Don Hood, Drew Berman, Fran Bennett, Frances Bergen, Geoffrey Scott, George Fisher, Gladys Portugues, James ‘Gypsy’ Haake, Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, José Angel Santana, Kathleen Wilhoite,Kathy Bates, Laurel Lyle, Michael Flanagan, Michael Prince, Michael Zand, Patti Song, Raul Julia, Richard Foronjy, Rick Rossovich, Sam Scarber
Academy Award Nomination
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jane Fonda as “Alex Sternbergen”)