V.I. Warshawski (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  26 July 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 3,825 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 17 critic

A female PI babysitting for a boyfriend gets stuck with his daughter and the case of her murdered father.



('V.I. Warshawski' novels), (screen story), 3 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Mallory
Nancy Paul ...
Frederick Coffin ...
Charles McCaughan ...
Lynnie Godfrey ...
Anne Pitoniak ...
Philip Pugh
Tom Allard ...
Big Eddie
Babe (as Michael G. Hagerty)


Victoria "V.I" Warshawski is a Chicago based private detective who agrees to babysit for her new boyfriend; then he is murdered. Being the detective type, she makes the murder her next case. In doing so she befriends the victim's daughter, Kat, and together they set out to crack the case. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


V.I. Warshawski: A private detective with a name as tough as she is. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and moments of violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 July 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

V.I. Warshawski, Detective in High Heels  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,128,309 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In an interview, author Sara Paretsky was angry over an original script that had the independent female detective subordinate to a male counterpart for fear that a female character could not hold the lead role. See more »


Late in the film, Victoria "V.I." Warshawski (Kathleen Turner) returns to Smeissen's (Wayne Knight) hideout to get some information out of him. She goes upstairs to his office and, as a warning, fires her gun at a bowl of walnuts sitting on his desk. The film cuts to a reaction shot of Smeissen, then back to the wide shot. Several items on the desk have moved on their own. Most notably, the red file folder has gone from sitting under the bowl of walnuts to sitting next to it. The phone straightened itself out, and the walnuts that flew out of the bowl have drastically changed positions. See more »


Victoria "V.I." Warshawski: My face got betrayed by my mouth.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Kelis (2004) See more »


Sittin' On Top Of The World
Written by Renée Geyer and James Reyne
Performed by Saundra "Pan" Alexander
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User Reviews

Critical disaster that ended Kathleen Turner's string of hits
28 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the 1980's Kathleen Turner was a tremendous star. Several of her films were huge box-office hits:"Romancing the Stone"(1984), "Jewel of the Nile"(1986), "Peggy Sue Got Married"(Best Actress Oscar nomination,1986), and "The War of the Roses"(1989). Critics loved her in John Huston's "Prizzi's Honor"(1985) and "The Accidental Tourist"(1987). Her sexy voice helped make "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"(1988) an enormous blockbuster. And who can forget her star-making performance that made her quite the sex-symbol in "Body Heat"(1981). When "V.I. Warshawski" came out Turner was still at her peak. The huge success of "War of the Roses" made her the #1 female star at US BoxOffices in early 1990. But "V.I." opened to disastrous reviews. She is actually very good in it but the script is so mediocre and the direction is so flat. She is given nothing to work with but her vibrant personality and sultry looks keep it together. The film ended up pulling in only 12 million in the US. This disaster immediately derailed Turner's career. Male stars like Bruce Willis and Nicolas Cage can star in one flop after another pulling in huge salaries but it does not matter as long as they get an occasional blockbuster. But take a huge Female star like Turner- give her one colossal dud and she is more or less finished in Hollywood. Turner's career never recovered. A few more mediocre duds followed then her looks went so now she is stuck in supporting roles that make it hard to believe she was once among the greatest of female stars. Maybe she can make a comeback as a star character actress. WHo knows.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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