5.4/10
107
4 user 2 critic

Smokescreen (1988)

Palais Royale (original title)
An ad-agency bookkeeper (Matt Craven) follows his billboard dream-girl (Kim Cattrall) to a shady nightclub in 1950s Toronto.

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, (original story) | 3 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Odessa Muldoon
...
Gerald Price
...
Tony Dicarlo
...
Michael Dattalico
...
Gus
...
Sergeant Leonard
Dee McCafferty ...
Officer Nichol
Victor Ertmanis ...
Sal
Mario Romano ...
Joey
...
Mr. Gillis
Robin McCulloch ...
Rick
David Fox ...
Bob
Helen Hughes ...
Mrs. McDermott
Sam Malkin ...
Sam
...
Dominic (as Henry Alessan)
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Storyline

An ad-agency bookkeeper (Matt Craven) follows his billboard dream-girl (Kim Cattrall) to a shady nightclub in 1950s Toronto.

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Crime

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Release Date:

22 February 1990 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Smokescreen  »

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Trivia

Feature film debut for director Martin Lavut. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Matt Craven makes a bid for business success and for Kim Cattrall
24 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Smokescreen" (1988) aka "Palais Royale" is a neo-noir listed by critic John Grant. The story takes place in Toronto. Its main character is played by Matt Craven, a very skilled actor with a screen presence that holds you. He makes the most out of his character, who is an accountant with much bigger ideas of having an ad agency. His heart is set on a model whom he's never met, played by sophisticated Kim Cattrall; and circumstances bring them together. Now, Matt's a straightforward honest guy. The local mob boss turned legitimate businessman, Dean Stockwell, recognizes this, even calling Matt by the nickname "Cornflakes" to stress his all-American character. Stockwell's nephew is a trigger-happy Kim Coates. He's running Stockwell's shell company in carpets badly, and he's Cattrall's lover. Craven is given control over three of Stockwell's legit businesses to be used for money laundering; plus Craven is moving in on Cattrall.

The movie has a romantic comedy drive to it with a more serious edge than a romantic comedy might typically have. This is that variant of neo-noir that brings in a somewhat comic aspect mixed intimately with the serious matters. Thus, Stockwell can be berating Coates in a comic vein while all the while we are aware that Coates is a dangerous man with a gun.

The color scheme of the movie is one aspect of 80s style, of which "Union City" was a forerunner in 1980. Bold primary colors, somewhat like comic book, are used to suggest an earlier time frame like the 50s. The dance band, the makeup and the clothing also suggest the same. It doesn't come across like either the 50s or 50s movies. It comes across as 80s doing its own thing to suggest the past, and this is okay by me. It was creative in its time before the 90s took over.

The IMDb rating of 5.4 is about right, in my view, suggesting some reservations about the film. The main one is STORY. The story just doesn't drive forward enough through action or, alternatively, bring out deep character conflict to engage us in that way.


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