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San Francisco heiress Page Forrester is brutally murdered in her remote beach house. Her husband Jack is devastated by the crime but soon finds himself accused of her murder. He hires lawyer Teddy Barnes to defend him, despite the fact she hasn't handled a criminal case for many years. There's a certain chemistry between them and Teddy soon finds herself defending the man she loves. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Joe Eszterhas originally titled the screenplay "Hearts of Fire". Columbia disliked the title and decided it had to be changed. They assigned a secretary at the studio to go through the script in an effort to come up with another title. The secretary found "jagged edge" in the description of the murder weapon: "a knife with a jagged edge". Eszterhas and director Richard Marquand would still get to use the original title when they collaborated again on 1987's Hearts of Fire (1987). See more »
After court,Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges are on top floor of a parking garage. Parking garage located by Fisherman's Wharf. This parking garage
is miles away from the Court buildings which are located in the Civic Center
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A weak plot plus poor on-screen development don't make good cinema.
Leading lady lawyer Teddy Barnes (GLENN CLOSE) allows passion to overrule professional ethics and recklessly embarks on an affair with her client. Teddy Barnes is defending newspaper publisher Jack Forrester (JEFF BRIDGES) who is accused of viviously slaying his leading socialite wife with a hunting knife. The plot is mediocre and is not helped by poor on-screen development. The main dramatic effect is produced by the use of unexpected twists and turns in the unfolding courtroom drama as suspicion shifts from suspect to suspect and new witnesses are miraculously found who contradict all that has gone before. The device is overused and becomes gimmicky but nevertheless remains effective as an instrument for creating suspense. Somewhat reminiscent of Casablanca where the story changed on set from day to day. Glenn Close plays the feisty lawyer with conviction but Jeff Bridges renders a bland newspaper tycoon, adding nothing to a poor script that fails to give character to the magnate; although he is portrayed as someone leading an affluent life style appropriate to any well-heeled prominent member of the community such as a doctor, lawyer or successful businessman his actual status has no relevance to the story. This sort oof superficiality is a general weakness of this film which fails to fill in any of the characters except lawyer, Teddy Barnes.
Major acting honours go to the support cast. John Dehner delighfully underplays the aging, almost senile, Judge; although Marshall Colt's makeup is overdone as the repugnant tennis pro cum gigolo he gives a very convincing performance. Robert Loggia achieved an Oscar nomination for supporting actor in the role of Teddy Barnes' private investigator, Sam Ranson. He is very much a father figure to her but that does not prevent his incessant use of porn-speak. Given a more eloquent use of the English language with a fine turn of phrase he could have been a much more interesting character but as it is he is just an uncouth pulp fiction nobody. Characterisation is one of the film's weaknesses, coupled with some trite dialogue such as when Teddy Barnes asks Sam Ranson whether his mother ever washed his moth out with soap. The film fails to tell the sory visually but falls back on straight narrative between characters (after all it is supposed to be a picture!). Another weakness is that there is no police investigation of the murder, all the enquiries are conducted in the courtroom. And why, when the murder weapon is discovered, are finger prints not mentioned? The court scenes are very flat and much of it seems more like the mutual mudslinging of a divorce case as the philanderings of the suspects are pursued by Teddy Barnes and the DA, effectively played by Peter Coyote.
The sound was so indistinct in a number of scenes that I had to play them back to catch what had been said.
OK for passing a couple of hours away but hardly worthe watching otherwise.
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