The First Deadly Sin (1980)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  3 October 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,138 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 16 critic

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



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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Primeiro Pecado Mortal  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First film directed by Brian G. Hutton in about seven years, Hutton's last having been another thriller, Night Watch (1973), starring Elizabeth Taylor. See more »


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


Follows The Anderson Tapes (1971) See more »


Rock of Ages
Music by Thomas Hastings
Played by the Salvation Army Band outside the hardware store
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User Reviews

Strays to far from the original novel.
9 April 2004 | by (Temple City, California, usa) – See all my reviews

This is the worst adaptation of a novel I have seen to date. I recently started reading Sanders' novels. This was my first. I thought it would be fun to watch the movie so I got it from Netflix.

What a disappointment. The screenplay artfully removed all the interesting story weaving; the jumping back and forth from killer to cop; the character development and motivation.

The movie is so fragmented I doubt anyone who hadn't just read the book will have any idea what is going on. Especially so with Delaney's helpers and the approach to solving the crime. This is no doubt one of the reasons current novelists try to keep approval rights when their books are converted to screenplays.

The only bright spot, if you catch it, is a young extra named Bruce Willis who walks through one scene.

My advice? Don't bother with this one. Read the book.

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