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Grace Quigley is nearing the end of her life, living alone in her New York apartment. One day she witnesses a murder being committed by top hit-man, Seymour Flint. She decides to blackmail him into killing her, however, she has one or two friends he has to get rid of first. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The third time was not the charm for the acting/directing team of Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Harvey. The two had been responsible for Kate's Oscar winning performance in The Lion In Winter and an acclaimed television version of The Glass Menagerie.
But gold went to brass in this black comedy, Grace Quigley about an old woman who sees a professional hit-man off her landlord. Truth be told the landlord was not the nicest guy in the world and there's no shock for the audience see the murder from Kate's point of view.
But Hepburn in the title role sees Nick Nolte as the hit-man as the solution to all her problems. She hasn't much reason to hang around this mortal coil with no family and friends taking the big trip, more it seems all the time. She blackmails Nolte into doing a hit on her, and maybe a few interested friends. And things get complicated there.
Kate also manages to pick a hit-man with issues. Nolte is in analysis and this new complication in his life is of interest to his doctor, Chip Zien. And Nolte who never had a family so to speak and the little old lady form one unusual bond that even Nolte's girl friend Kit Lefever can't break nor does she really want to.
This rather ordinary material is made much better by the sheer presence of Katharine Hepburn. She seems to be taking her Madwoman Of Chaillot character and Americanizing it in Grace Quigley. I doubt if a lesser actress could have made this palatable.
Grace Quigley marked the final performance of Walter Abel whose career stretched all the way back to World War I. Abel is one of the old folks just dying for Nolte's services.
Grace Quigley is primarily for Katharine Hepburn fans, I don't think it has too much appeal beyond that. Then again Kate has one big legion of fans.
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