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The First Deadly Sin (1980)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  3 October 1980 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,109 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 16 critic

A police inspector, nearing retirement, tracks a serial killer who is terrorizing New York.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Edward Delaney
...
Barbara Delaney
...
Daniel Blank
...
Dr. Bernardi
...
Monica Gilbert
...
Christopher Langley
...
Captain Broughton
...
Dr. Sanford Ferguson
Joe Spinell ...
Charles Lipsky
Anna Navarro ...
Sunny Jordeen
...
Sergeant Fernandez Correlli
...
John Rogers
Robert Weil ...
Sol Appel
Hugh Hurd ...
Ben Johnson
Jon DeVries ...
Calvin Samtell
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Storyline

A serial killer is stalking New York. Inspector Edward X. Delaney is an NYPD detective, nearing retirement, who is trying to put together the pieces of the case. Are the victims somehow linked? What does the brutal method of death signify? Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's searching for a killer. She's searching for a miracle .... And time is running out.

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Primeiro Pecado Mortal  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As outlined on the DVD sleeve notes, the movie was actor-singer Frank Sinatra's "first starring movie role in a decade", with Sinatra's last having been in Dirty Dingus Magee (1970). See more »

Connections

Follows The Anderson Tapes (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"No, I'm in no psychical danger."
22 April 2011 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A sombre character drama crossed with an old-fashion police detective story is broken up in two parts, as a retiring NYPD Edward X. Delaney is on his last case tracking down a psychotic serial killer while also dealing with his bed-ridden wife (a warm-hearted Faye Dunaway) that's dying in the hospital from an unclear disease. How these two threads are connected isn't really garnished, other than to give the lead character more emotional weight and progressive depth. Instead it just comes across as depressing and somewhat pointless. It manages to hold you there, but not much really happens in this slow-grinding thriller as Frank Sinatra's wearily brooding performance is determined, but filled with melancholy heartache. Ambitious, but unfulfilled and too long toothed is how you can describe it. The narrative just feels incomplete, like it was aiming for something more profound (like the symbolic use of the cross) and mysterious (the killer's motive) but it came away rather puzzling and affected in its intentions. The grungy New York setting is painted with darkness, dreary atmospherics as there's a killer randomly leaving his victims with a hole in the back of their heads. A lot of the running time (and at times it does drag) has Delaney working the case, starting with very little. Putting in the hours, strenuously gathering info, seeking help outside the police force and thoroughly digging in as his personal life begins to crumble. The focus on his sick wife does very little for the story, but it takes up a fair amount of screen time. When Sinatra isn't mugging the screen, there's some able support in the cast; Martin Gabel, James Whitmore and Joe Spinell added some much needed life. David Dukes makes for an effective loony, but his icy character was just felt too one-note. An interesting, but sleepily underdone dramatic thriller.


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