6.3/10
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29 user 26 critic

Dead of Winter (1987)

A fledgling actress is lured to a remote mansion for a screen-test, soon discovering she is actually a prisoner in the middle of a blackmail plot.

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Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Gayle Hunnicutt
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Julie Rose / Katie McGovern / Evelyn
...
Mr. Murray
...
Dr. Joseph Lewis
...
Rob Sweeney
...
Officer Mullavy
...
Officer Huntley
Mark Malone ...
Roland McGovern
...
Highway Patrolman
Sam Malkin ...
Gas Jock
Pamela Moller ...
Woman at Audition
Dwayne McLean ...
Killer
Paul Welsh ...
New Year's Eve Reveler
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Storyline

Katie McGovern is a struggling actress living with her husband and her student brother, who is visiting. She attends an audition that she found in the paper and is selected to shoot a short video which will be sent to the director for his approval. Mr. Murray, the man holding the audition, picks Katie up and takes her to a remote mansion where they shoot the video. Katie is selected to replace the previous lead in the film who looks remarkably like her. Soon, however, things begin to look as if they are not what they seem. Katie soon realizes she is in danger and attempts escape. Written by Brian D. Switzer <bswitzer@uoguelph.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Froid comme la mort  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,413,427 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie upon which this film's based; My Name Is Julia Ross (1945), starred Nina Foch. See more »

Quotes

Gas Jock: Free with every ten-dollar purchase!
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Connections

Version of My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A wintry tale that is guaranteed to give you the shivers...
10 October 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Once upon a time (1945 to be exact) there was a B-film from Columbia called MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS starring Nina Foch, Dame May Witty and George Macready. It caused quite a stir even though it played the lower half of double bills and lasted a mere 65 minutes.

DEAD OF WINTER is rather transparent in borrowing from MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (the heroine's name is Julie Rose, for example), and it has taken the original material, expanded it with some clever additional plot lines, taken the Cornwall atmosphere and transported it to wintry New England for a weather-beaten effect, and turned out a smart little thriller that will give you plenty of winter chills no matter what the temperature is outside.

It's another one of those tales where nothing is what it seems. A pretty young actress (MARY STEENBURGEN) is a down on her luck gal who accepts the offer of a film test from a producer (RODDY McDOWALL) who invites her to his secluded mansion where the test will take place. Sure, it's an unbelievable plot contrivance, but that's part of the fun. Nothing is to be taken too seriously from this point on.

When a series of rather unpleasant incidents take place, the woman realizes she is in a trap, but neither she nor the audience understands why she is there and what the purpose is of keeping her prisoner.

STEENBURGEN is excellent as the frightened woman (who should have had more common sense than accepting such an offer), and McDOWALL's polite cat-and-mouse game with her is fascinating as it unfolds. It's a creepy film, filled with authentically wintry atmosphere and it builds toward a surprising and violent climax.

Under Arthur Penn's direction, this expanded version of the B-film is every bit as cleverly plotted and written, no matter what some of the other commentators here have said. It's an atmospheric mystery that's guaranteed to give you some satisfying wintry chills--and then some.


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