8.1/10
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13 user 4 critic

Murder by Natural Causes (1979)

Allison, the unfaithful wife of a famous mentalist with a heart problem, together with her lover tries to kill him by scaring him to death, but the whole thing goes downhill when (spoiler)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arthur Sinclair
...
Allison Sinclair
...
George Brubaker
...
Gil Weston
Bill Fiore ...
Marty Chambers
...
Eddie, Private Detective
Eve McVeagh ...
Helen Carrington
Jeff Donnell ...
Mrs. Mathews
Maida Severn ...
Garden Party Hostess
Lloyd McLinn ...
Director
...
Television Actress
Jessica Rains ...
Technician
Judith-Marie Bergan ...
Production Assistant
Vivian Brown ...
Maid
Rosanna Huffman ...
Woman in Play
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Storyline

The film opens as Arthur Sinclair, a successful mentalist (Hal Holbrook) is talking on the phone with his young wife Allison (Katherine Ross). She wishes him luck as he departs to give an interview. Than we learn that she is in bed with another man Gil (Barry Bostwick). Gil is a trying actor in love with Allison and we soon learn that she is planning to have Gil kill Arthur by scaring him to death (as he has a heart problem). Their plan is to have Gil storm the house pretending to be a thief and than point a gun at Arthur who would die from the shock. The faithful night comes and Gil storms the house but Arthur sees him before he can reach the gun. Gil presents himself as a journalist there to make an interview with Arthur. He and Gil have a hearty conversation and it turns out that both men have something on each other. Gil knows that Arthur is a fake and that he somehow knew the information about a killer in a different town and Arthur knows that Gil is not a journalist. Gil is not ... Written by Matthew James (Filmfan 97)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

17 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinato por causas naturales  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play that "Gil Weston" is appearing in is "Prescription: Murder", an actual play from 1962 written by William Levinson and Richard Link, notable for introducing their most famous creation, Lieutenant Columbo. In the original play, Lt. Columbo was portrayed by the famous character actor, Thomas Mitchellin what would be his last acting role. See more »

Quotes

Gil Weston: You are one cold-blooded lady.
Allison Sinclair: [slowly slides a hand into the open front of Gil's bathrobe] Cold-blooded?
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User Reviews

 
A 2-hour acting role, worth Millions.
3 February 2010 | by (the Bay Area) – See all my reviews

A "professional" mind reader post-heart attack: He has recovered enough, but . . .

This man is worth Millions. His dutiful wife would love to divorce him for her boyfriend. But she had signed a pesky pre-nuptual agreement, only giving her a portion of his Millions. Unfortunately, for him, she wants it ALL.

With the scene set, she devises a plot so that her young actor boyfriend can use his acting skills to ramp-up the stress on hubby, so he has another heart attack, this time not bothering to call for medical help (just the coroner, later).

As others have made perfectly clear this movie ends in a torrent of plot twists. This can (and will) cause you dizziness.

A lot of the movie shows (quite interestingly), the behind-the-scenes life of a mentalist, preparing for each performance. Then it shows his performances (seamlessly incorporating his prep work).

I have looked for this movie to re-run for about 20 years (so far). I cannot believe that this hasn't been released onto video. It is a killer.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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