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Malice
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Synopsis for
Malice (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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A young college coed is leaving school for the day. She jumps on her bike and heads home. Upon arriving, she calls out to her cat to come for her meal. She spies the cat cowering under a table, growling softly. Just as she comes close to reassure her cat, a mysterious figure comes out from the shadow and violently attacks her.

Quick cut to college professor Andy Safian (Bill Pullman) and Detective Dana Harris (Bebe Neuwirth) at the hospital discussing the ongoing problems with campus security. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin), the new surgeon at St. Agnes hospital works feverishly to save the girl, even though he is told "we're going to lose her." The surgery is successful. In the locker room, Hill tells the surgeon who made the comment that while he wants to make new friends, if he ever says something like that again, he will "remove (his) lungs with a f***ing ice cream scoop."

Andy and Jed meet to discuss the girl's condition. After a moment, Andy realizes that he knew him from their old high school, Van Buren. They hope to see each other around.

Andy goes to see his wife, Tracy Kessinger (Nicole Kidman), at work. As they talk in the elevator, Dr. Hill steps in with a colleague. They are invited to a reception to welcome Jed to the hospital. They politely decline and leave. As they walk along the street, they talk about the new plumbing for their Victorian house will cost them $14,000. Tracy suggests renting out the third floor to a tenant, but Andy refuses. He also suggests that she be very careful coming home from work, a maniac being on the loose.

When she arrives home. Andy notices his wife getting out of the car with a man, who gives her a gentle peck on the cheek. She had told him she was coming home with a woman. She claims the man is a lawyer who is handling old buisness with her mother's estate. Andy apologizes. Later they are eating Chinese food in bed and she seductively feeds him and she gently gyrates on his lap. They begin to have sex, when Andy quickly turns off the light, noticing their next door neighbor's young son is watching them. (He assumes this because of the silhouette in the window). Tracy doesn't seem bothered by it, since the mother works nights and the boy might just be lonely.

The next morning, Andy is sanding the stair railing, and is surprised by Jed's appearance in the front doorway. They have a pleasant conversation and Jed invites him to go out for a drink. Jed happens to point out a Degas statue and asks if it's the real thing. Andy assumes it is.

As they are drinking, Andy lets it slip that his wife has been having trouble getting pregnant. He mentions a doctor named Lillianfield that Tracy has been going to. Jed says he "is a good man." When he gets home, he suggests to Tracy that Jed take the third floor as a tenant. Tracy does not seem thrilled with the idea, even suggesting that Andy is doing it to relive his high school years again, hanging with the star quarterback. When she finds out that Andy discussed her problem with Jed, she is annoyed, but not mad. She gives in and says it's OK for Jed to move in. The doorbell rings and she asks Andy if he wants to bet if it's Jed. He says no. "Because when money is involved, you take me seriously," she mutters.

Detective Harris comes in while Andy is in the middle of a session with Paula Bell (Gwenyth Paltrow). He asks his secretary to make sure she gets a wake up call in order to not miss her next class. Harris tells Andy that not much progress is being made on getting the rapist. Andy laments that he is tired of seeing students leaving the school for fear of their safety. She asks for a list of people who have access to the student's schedules.

Tracy comes home and prepares to take a bath. Her pain shoots up again and she is startled when Jed appears in the bathroom to check on her. They share a long glance as they hear Andy announce that he is home. Later that night, Jed is involved in a sexual marathon with one of the nurses from the hospital. Tracy is extremely annoyed because the noise is keeping her awake. As Andy is about to go ask him to hold it down, the noise stops. The nurese jokes with him that the only reason he is a doctor is for the money and women. He laughs, and jokes about his tolerance with alcohol. After coming out of the bathroom, Tracy stares coldly as the nurse runs naked to the upstairs bathroom.

The next day. Andy is annoyed that Paula still has not shown up for her appointment. After talking to his secretary, he decides to go to her house to check on her. He arrives and the house is completely quiet. He calls out for her, but gets no answer. The front door is open, so he lets himself inside. He then notices the back door is slightly ajar and that a lock of her hair is on the floor. He walks out back and notices one of her shoes. He then approaches the hedges and finds her brutalized body hidden inside. Detective Harris says he will need to provide a statement.

Leter, Jed tries to cheer up Andy at the bar. He relays a story about the first time he saw a dead body in medical school. After Jed makes a comment about pro athletes not being able to stay clean for a million dollars, Andy says he would "give his right arm" for a million. Jed presses him on it, saying what if was a surgical prcedure. Would he do it? Andy says no, as does Jed after cracking an ice cube in his mouth. Andy heads home as Jed decides to check on the local women playing darts.

Andy comes home and Harris is waiting for him. She tells him there is circumstantial evidence tying him to the rapes. He is outraged at being considered a suspect. She then tells him he needs to come to the station to provide some sperm to rule him out. Reluctantly, he agrees to go.

Tracy comes home and her pain is now unbearable. She calls out for Andy, but he is still at the station. She calls 911. While chatting it up with the dart ladies and drinking bourbon, Jed is paged to the hospital, where he sees that Tracy is the person he needs to operate on. Back at the station Andy is ruled out as a suspect and as he is leaving, is told his wife called 911. He rushes to the hospital.

It turns out one of her ovaries has ruptured and needs to be removed. They discover that she was 4 weeks pregnant, but she miscarries due to the trauma. A doctor notices a problem with the second ovary and Jed says they need to get a histology report to make sure it isn't still a live ovary. They realize they don't have the time to do it. Jed goes out and tells Andy the options. They can remove the ovary and she'll be fine (but never able to have kids). Or they can leave the ovary in and hope she does not die from toxic shock. Andy says to do whatever he needs to. He tells Andy that she was 4 weeks pregnant, but the baby is gone. Jed goes in and against the advice of fellow surgeons, he removes the other ovary.

Later, it comes to light that he removed a healthy ovary. Jed has the chance to bury the report, but declines. He stands by his judgement call. The turn of events destroys Tracy. She tells Andy she is leaving him, and she files a lawsuit against Jed Hill, for $20 million.

At the deposition, Jed is made out to be a top notch surgeon, but has a "God-complex". He states that when people go into the chapel and pray to God that their loved ones will be alright, who does the lawyer think they are praying to. "You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something. I am God." He then gets up and walks out. Tracy's lawyer then mentions they know he was drinking the night of her surgery. They decide to settle. Tracy doesn't seem to care about the money. As she exits the building, she notices Andy across the street. She shoots him a cold stare and then leaves in her lawyer's car.

Back at work, Andy is working late into the night, when one of his bulbs goes out. He goes downstairs and finds the janitor (Tobin Bell) has a makeshift place and is living down there. He finds a lock of hair on the night table as well as in a cigar box. He is startled when he appears behind him. He explains that he got kicked out of his old place and this is just temporary. Andy says not to worry about it and leaves. As he is walking away, he is jumped from behind and he ends up fighting him off and rendering him unconscious.

At the station, Detective Harris invites Andy to get a drink. While there, she talks about how her family accuses her of wielding her honesty like a blunt instrument. She tells him that there is something he needs to know about his wife. Something important. He goes back to the station with her.

Later, he goes to Jed's hotel to tell him that thet baby was not his. It turns out that Andy is sterile (which cleared him of the rapes). Jed tells him it doesn't change anything regarding his situation. He feels bad for Andy and says that bad things happen to good people all the time, for no good reason. Andy, suspecting that maybe Tracy's lawyer is the father, goes to confront him.

Andy barges in and accuses her lawyer (Peter Gallagher) of having an affair with his wife. He says he did not. But since he cannot give him any information about where she is, he should talk to her friends or mother. Andy says he should know her mother is dead, since he handled her estate. He says he never did. As he is leaving, he suggests that Andy bring her a bottle of scotch.

Andy arrives and uses the bottle of scotch to entice Tracy's mother (Anne Bancroft) to open the door. They talk about Tracy's childhood, how she always stashed away any money she had, how her father abandoned her and took her hidden money. As she is drinking, she laughs about how gullable Andy is. He says he knows she has been there becuase of the Degas statue on her mantle. She laughs and say you can get one of them anywhere. She then tries to get him to do a card trick, and asks him to bet. He says no. "Because when money is involved, you take me seriously." She then tells him he should just "get into the game" and go for the $20 million himself. When he brings up Dr. Lillianfield, she smiles and tells him "Welcome to the game."

He finds Lillianfield's address through a ruse using a change of address excuse. He finds out the address and lies in wait inside the house. He hears Tracy as she comes in the door. To his horror, Dr Lillianfield turns out to be Jed Hill. They kiss passionately as she orders him to take her upstairs and have sex with her. After they go upstairs, Andy leaves the house, devestated.

He goes home and knocks a bunch of items from her dresser to the floor. But, he notices something odd. There is a syringe with some liquid still inside of it. He then notices they neighbor's son's silhouette again, playing on his keyboard.

As they walk along the beach the next morning, Jed laments about how his mentor wrote him a letter saying he was sorry about everything. While Tracy finds it amusing, Jed is upset that his mentor never apologized about not giving him the chief of staff job at Mass General. They kiss and head back to the house to make love again. While she is laying on the bed, a syringe sticks her. Jed realizes that now Andy knows what it going on, that he has been in the house. Jed rehashes the plan and lets Tracy know the improvised part of her getting pregnant was what tipped Andy off. He figured out there was no Dr Lillianfield. Tracy says to let her handle him.

At a bar/restaurant, Tracy acts all loving and seductive with Andy, trying to convince him that things can go back to normal. She runs her foot up his leg, until Andy tells her that she dropped her shoe. She realizes that her ploy is not working. She then goes on the attack, trying to intimidate him, saying that if he goes to the police, that will make him look crazy. She gets up and wishes him "happy hunting." Andy then tells her to "sit the f*** down." He tells her he knows what was in the syringe and that the lab guys told him that the substance in the syringe could cause the ovarian cysts she got if injected in massive doses. He then suggests that maybe he should have put curtains up in the bedroom because someone might have seen her injecting herself to cause the cysts. Enraged, she shatters a wine glass in her hand. He then warns her that if anything is to happen to him, the police will go to her neighbor's son. He wants half the money.

Back at the house, Jed suggests strongly they give him the money and they should leave the country. He tells her they don't have a choice. She then suggests that without the kid, there is no case. He is horrified by the suggestion. He then slaps her and tells her not to bring it up again. If something happens to the kid, he will be the state's star witness against her. She then pulls out a gun and kills him.

Tracy waits outside her former neighbor's house and waits for her to leave. She calls Andy and tells him she has his money. He gives her a meeting place and then heads out in his car. After he leaves, she approaches the neighbor's house. She then silently walks upstairs and slowly approaches the boy with plastic wrap, while he is playing his keyboard as usual. She puts it around his head, only to find that it is really a CPR dummy from the police station. Tracy goes ballastic, smashing the dummy on the keyboard. Andy turns out the light and taunts her saying, "Like shooting tuna in a barrel, huh?" She lunges for him and they fall through a bannister and land on the floor. As she is about to get up, Detective Harris, dressed as the neighbor (she is a nurse), stomps on a piece of wood Tracy is preparing to pick up saying "I won't mind shooting you." She tells Andy he may need a doctor. He laughs.

Tracy is led out to the police car and sees the neighbor and her BLIND son go back into the house. She is stunned. She looks at Andy with a mixture of sadness, shock and, belatedly, respect. The car drives off and Harris and Andy sit on his porch. She suggests he needs ice. He says he'll take his with some scotch. They head off in her car.

THE END

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