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Tricks of the Trade (1988)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Mystery  -  6 December 1988 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 111 users  
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Catherine's world goes to pieces when she learns from the police that her husband Donald got killed - shot in the apartment of a prostitute! To her he was a model husband, determined to ... See full summary »

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Title: Tricks of the Trade (TV Movie 1988)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Catherine
...
Marla
...
Frank
James Whitmore Jr.
...
Lt. Stryker
John Durbin
...
Criminal
...
Donald Todsen
Tanya Boyd ...
Beverly
Laura Owens ...
Liz Morgenson
...
Rental Agent
John DiSanti ...
Tony
...
Al
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cheryl Carter ...
Victoria Van Adams
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Storyline

Catherine's world goes to pieces when she learns from the police that her husband Donald got killed - shot in the apartment of a prostitute! To her he was a model husband, determined to make them wealthy by investment banking. Catherine visits the call girl Marla and they befriend each other. But soon they're both threatened by filthy guys who are on the search for something that Donald stole from them. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

6 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buscando un secreto  »

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 »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
It's not Beverly Hills; it's Brentwood
27 August 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

The mystery part of this made-for-TV flick is better than the comedy routines, most of which fall flat, though there are a few skits that tickle the funny bone, such as the shootout in a sex toy shop. To enjoy the show, the viewer must accept John Ritter as a philandering stockbroker crafty enough to foil big time wise guys; Markie Post as a Hollywood hooker named Marla, without a pimp or madam; and Cindy Williams as Catherine Todsen, the most naive woman since Doris Day was a virgin. If you can dig this, then you should enjoy the shenanigans of the two opposites, Marla and Catherine, trying to solve the mystery of who killed the husband/lover Donald Todsen (John Ritter), gunned down in the line of duty (while being serviced by Marla). Add to this pot of mirth two of the dumbest cops since Rosewood and Taggart in "Beverly Hills Cops," and you have a dukes mixture that works part of the time.

Though this film predates the big hit "Pretty Woman" by two years, its depiction of prostitution is just as far-fetched, Marla being viewed as a victim of society's pliers and philosophizing about the virtues of being a streetwise harlot. Only once does Catherine bring up the ugly subject of such negative aspects of the trade as disease. Marla makes a short rationalization in reply then changes the subject. Making such a virile and demeaning profession glamorous is questionable, especially when it is compared to the dreary, boring, unexciting lifestyle lived by Catherine.

"Tricks of the Trade" as a double entendre is an apropos title since Marla uses her tricks of the trade to track down the killer and uncover the hidden loot. The viewer may also be surprised when the real murderer is revealed at the end.


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