An art dealer murders one of his artists in the hopes of increasing the market value of his work.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Callendar
David Packer ...
Sam Brown
Catherine Walker
William De Acutis ...
Billy Brawthwaite
Nettie Brown
Mary Casal
Brooke Davida ...
Denise Tipton
Simon McQueen ...
Holly Windsor
Alma Beltran ...
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Chic Girl
Barbara Perry ...
Severe Woman
Morris Beers ...
Man in Sandals
Scowling Man
Kenia ...
Latin Girl


An art dealer murders one of his artists in the hopes of increasing the market value of his work.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Murder is a dying art See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'originale  »

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Curious survival from the 1980s
6 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a strange and somewhat amateurish film starring the even stranger person who calls himself 'Adam Ant'. Adam Ant, born with the normal name of Stuart Goddard, formed a pop music group called Adam and the Ants, and then he decided to joint the ants by actually becoming one himself, proudly displaying the fact by means of his new moniker. The pop group had many hit songs and established a name for themselves in the music scene and in the eyes of that section of the public who have suitably entomological inclinations. By the time he starred in this film, Adam Ant had already been appearing as an actor in films and television for 12 years, so he had plenty of acting experience. In this film, he plays an unscrupulous art dealer who has discovered that he can raise the value of the paintings he exhibits by murdering the artists, since it is well known that an artist's prices go up as soon as he is dead. Makes sense, no? The film is really a very savage satirical attack on the art world, and God knows that is a subject which well deserves such treatment! Unfortunately, the film is not entirely successful. One fault of the film is the bad music composed by the normally adequate Elmer Bernstein. I was really surprised! Also, either the sound mixing was hopeless or it was just the ancient 1989 video going wonky, but the music drowned out a lot of the dialogue, and it was as if some outside broadcast were suddenly breaking in, for without warning and without any apparent justification, one would suddenly hear some Mozart playing. It was as if there were someone next door turning up his stereo, if there had been anyone next door, that is, which there is not. So it was an odd ant-like experience watching the film, never knowing from one scene to the next when the next Mozart interlude would suddenly occur and be entirely inappropriate. (Query: was Elmer Bernstein really Mozart?) A very good performance as the ingénue of the story was delivered by Talia Balsam (daughter of Martin), who is now so well known for being married to one of my favourite actors from MAD MEN (2007, see my review), John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling. And in that series, Talia plays his wife, Mona Sterling, so there you go. Strange coincidence, that. (I noticed also that John Slattery directed some of the episodes for MAD MEN. He must be some mover and shaker, and one wonders whether Talia Balsam is both shaken and stirred as a result of all that energy her husband apparently has.) So the film creaked and groaned under the weight of its 25 years of antiquity and was not that strong to begin with, but was nevertheless a curiosity worth examining by the art collector and definitely a film to avoid if you are an art dealer who might be too sensitive to bear the burden of the odium. (I love the word odium, but rarely get a chance to use it.) It's interesting in its way, trust me.

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