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The First Deadly Sin (1980)

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 Devaney ...
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 <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Primeiro Pecado Mortal  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This took a long time to hit cinema screens. It was first announced by Columbia as a Don Siegel movie way back on 1974. See more »


When Detective Delaney (Sinatra) enters the apartment of suspect Blank (Dukes), he leaves the home-made key in the lock. 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

Decent Performance From Sinatra In An Otherwise Unexciting Movie
9 March 2009 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Frank Sinatra put on a pretty decent performance here (in what's billed as his last starring performance, although he was in "Cannonball Run II" a few years later) as Edward X. Delaney - a New York City police detective weeks away from retirement, who gets caught up in a murder investigation that his commanding officer (for reasons I never clearly understood) would prefer him to leave alone. Sinatra's performance, though, was really the only thing that made this movie worth watching. The story of the search for the psychopathic killer wasn't all that interesting, and while the subplot revolving around the illness of Delaney's hospital-bound wife (a rather simple role played by Faye Dunaway) took up a fair amount of screen time, it also added nothing to spark the movie, except perhaps to ground Delaney as a loving husband. Delaney does come across as a sympathetic character for the most part, although he's a cop willing to go to any lengths (legal or otherwise) to get this killer. Aside from that there was one very effective scene in which the curator Langley (Martin Gabel) goes to a hardware store trying to figure out what the murder weapon was which added some welcome comedy relief to this otherwise rather poorly structured and poorly paced movie, which I would frankly have to say was one of the least exciting and least interesting murder mysteries I've ever seen.

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