“We’re probably dealing with a woman who on the surface seems childlike and innocent, but underneath is capable of extreme violence.”
When one of his patients (Josef Sommer) is murdered, a psychiatrist (Roy Scheider) suspects that Sommer’s nervous mistress (Meryl Streep) — with whom he is gradually falling in love — may have something to do with it.
Robert Benton’s atmospheric homage to noir thrillers of the ’40s and ’50s is a welcome, enjoyable effort. While not entirely successful — Scheider’s use of dream analysis as a legitimate method of deduction is particularly suspect — there’s enough suspense and creativity sprinkled throughout to keep most viewers happy. Meryl Streep gives yet another knockout performance as the “icy blonde” who may or may not know something about Sommers’ death; every moment she’s on-screen, we watch with bated breath, and she alone makes this film “must see” viewing.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Meryl Streep as “icy blonde” Brooke Reynolds
- Josef Sommer as the philandering murdered man (seen in flashbacks)
- Nestor Almendros’ atmospheric cinematography
- A fun homage to several Hitchcock classics, including Rear Window and North by Northwest
- The unexpected final plot twist
Yes, simply for Streep’s wonderful performance. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.