Sarah Tobias goes to her local bar and is gang-raped by three men. The district attorney on the case is Katheryn Murphy who wants to prove that although Sarah had taken drugs that night and was acting provocatively while in the bar, this is no reason for her to be so brutally attacked and the men responsible should be brought to justice. Written by
Sami Al-Taher <email@example.com>
Jodie Foster has since acknowledged that she purposely gave a trite performance in her audition so that Paramount executives would feel that she was a safe choice. Foster had been going through a bit of a dry spell at the time and badly needed a big role in a mainstream movie. It was only after Kelly McGillis - then a hot property due to the enormous success of Top Gun (1986) - signed on that Paramount would let Foster play Sarah, since the studio didn't believe this film stood a chance if neither of its stars had box-office clout. See more »
Kelly McGillis's Character is credited as "Kathryn Murphy", but after Sarah walks out of her office and the door is shut, we can see a sign on the office door with the name "Katheryn Murphy" See more »
Jodie Foster stands out; not much else to recommend it
On 6 March 1983, a woman named Cheryl Araujo was gang-raped by four men on a pool table at Big Dan's Tavern in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A number of men in the bar were cheering the attackers on and after the victim escaped into the street, they continued drinking and joking about the incident.
Ms. Araujo, 21, and all four of her assailants were Portuguese, a major ethnicity in former New England "mill towns" like New Bedford. The Portuguese community sided with its errant sons, rather than their victim, and Cheryl Araujo was basically driven out of town by the animosity of her neighbors. She was killed in an automobile accident in Florida in 1986, leaving behind two children.
This film was loosely based on the Araujo case. Several of Jodie Foster's scenes were so powerful they nearly brought me to tears -- specifically, the scene where she confronts lawyer Kelly McGillis in the latter's apartment during a dinner party; her courtroom testimony; and the horrifying rape scene.
Kelly McGillis seemed to be sleepwalking through this entire film, with only a few moments when she roused herself a bit, but not enough to help. Even so, she appeared more sensitive than the volunteer from the rape crisis center, who stood NEXT TO the ER doctor during the post-assault pelvic exam. If I had been on that table, I'd have wrenched a foot out of the stirrups and kicked her. A woman who has just been gang raped doesn't need one more person invading her privacy.
I agree with an earlier poster who noted the difficult roles of the "cheer and clap" trio. It must have been extremely challenging for a guy who has any sensitivity at all about women to convincingly portray the kind of jerks those three were. My hat's off to all three of them.
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