5.9/10
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33 user 17 critic

The First Deadly Sin (1980)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Dr. Bernardi
...
Monica Gilbert
...
Christopher Langley
...
Captain Broughton
...
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Charles Lipsky
Anna Navarro ...
Sunny Jordeen
...
Sergeant Fernandez Correlli
John Devaney ...
John Rogers
Robert Weil ...
Sol Appel
Hugh Hurd ...
Ben Johnson
Jon DeVries ...
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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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Primeiro Pecado Mortal  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor David Dukes once said of the film's star Frank Sinatra that he was "... wonderful to work with. He knew that I was doing 'Bent' at night, and it was an impossible schedule. If I wasn't needed on camera, he wouldn't let them call me". See more »

Goofs

As suspect Blank (Dukes) is fleeing from Detective Delaney (Sinatra), he goes around a corner carrying an ice ax in his right hand but he was not holding it when approaching the corner nor right after heading toward the camera. See more »

Quotes

Calvin Samtell: Hey sucker! Bang bang!
[laughs]
Edward Delaney: Bang bang!
See more »

Connections

Follows The Anderson Tapes (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played by the Salvation Army Band outside the hardware store
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"No, I'm in no psychical danger."
22 April 2011 | by 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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