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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

thriller!

Author: the_pink_panther from melbourne, australia
15 May 2003

I am not a film student, critic or expert in any way. I'm just a guy who watched and enjoyed this little known tele-movie and found it to be very suspenseful. Some of the camera shots reminded me of techniques used by spielberg in gremlins and the music was constantly building an air of tension a bit like in the excorsist. There was something almost hitchcock-like about it. Some aspects of the movie were a bit stupid but i found it to be a very suspensful thriller and would definately recommend it. It also has barry bostwick in it who always makes me laugh because he reminds me of the mayor from spin city.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The definition of the word "average".

6/10
Author: gridoon
30 May 2003

"The Secretary" is one of the many "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle"-inspired thrillers that were made in the early 90's. It is a totally routine, paint-by-numbers movie. And yet, it's made with a certain workmanlike competence. The director knew, of course, that he was making a forgettable film, but he showed some respect for the audience, to the degree of at least delivering something watchable. Not worth renting, but seeing it for free, if you happen to catch it on TV, won't hurt. (**)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Only if you're really bored.

4/10
Author: capkronos (capkronos00@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
24 February 2004

THE TEMP (1993) didn't do much theatrical business, but here's the direct-to-video rip-off you didn't want, anyway! Ellen Bradford (Mel Harris) is the new woman at Millennium Investments, a high scale brokerage firm, who starts getting helpful hints from wide-eyed secretary Deidre (Sheila Kelley). Deidre turns out to be an ambitious daddy's girl who will stop at nothing to move up the corporate ladder, including screwing a top broker she can't stand and murdering anyone who gets on her bad side. She digs up skeletons in Ellen's closet, tries to cause problems with her husband (Barry Bostwick), kills while making it look like she is responsible, kidnaps her daughter and tries to get her to embezzle money from the company.

Harris and Kelley deliver competent performances, the supporting cast is alright and it's reasonably well put-together, but that doesn't fully compensate for a script that travels down a well-worn path and offers few surprises.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great film.....very hot.

7/10
Author: weissjenny from United States
28 April 2006

The Secretary A film about power in the workplace and relationships. When a business man hires a woman to work as his secretary, the lines are crossed very quickly. Each person has a need that is met by the other person. In the fetish world of Dominant and Submissive, this movie serves truth in these relationships. Some may find this film weird, but those of you, like myself, who are open minded about this may find this film hot. Isn't everyone searching for love in some way or another....so when we find it or watch others find it we must applaud. These characters are lonely people with dark secrets and tell their stories brilliantly. In the end the woman proves her true love to the man who doesn't believe in it....and they find happiness in each other. Hot sexy scenes that get steamy as the film goes on....a good date movie...will make for good conversation after the film is over. My vote for this film is 8 out of 10.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

not unique in the least

2/10
Author: Goon-2 from WA
4 February 1999

"The Secretary" is one of those cheesy, cliched, "thrillers" that one is subjected to watching on a Sunday afternoon, when there is virtually nothing else on. While the plot (a demented woman becomes jealous of all who succeed over her in the office and decides to do whatever she can to stop them) may be one of a kind, I recognized countless plot twists, probably taken from other TV movies that I had been subjected to for the very same reason.

To make matters worse, I was not wild about the cast. Mel Harris is one of those actresses who appears in so many TV movies as either a "mom" or some sort of "victim" of foul play or abuse, that one must wonder the kind of life she leads. In this one, she gets the joy of playing a mom AND a victim of psycho secretary Sheila Kelly, who was not a very good choice as the villain. While Sheila Kelly has made some good career moves(Singles, Breaking In, and I guess, Law and Order), she is also beset by a string of pitiful TV movie roles, and this one just adds to it. As for the others, I don't have any clear memories of them, so that must say something.

This one WILL play on the Lifetime network(I think that's where I saw it), but don't bother watching it, unless you are too bored for words. Not that it will make you any more excitied...

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Office Intrigue Pulp

Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
22 June 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS**

Kind of a twisted plot in detail but familiar enough that it should hold no big surprises for the viewer. Ellen applies for a job at a brokerage. She gets it with the connivance of the secretary Dierdre, although Ellen knows nothing about the sub rosa activities and thinks of Dierdre merely as a knowledgeable new office friend. Ellen runs into some rivalry at the office from another broker, Ted, who has been boffing Dierdre at night and whose career is on the skids. As Ellen and Ted begin working together, however, they each find that the other isn't so bad. I hope you're following this because it gets worse. Late one afternoon, while Ellen and Ted are hard at work on a rush job, Dierdre sets a fire and rings the alarm, so Ellen and Ted must go to his house to finish work. Later that night they part on friendly terms. Then Dierdre sneaks into Ted's house and plugs him in the back of the head while he's taking a hit from his drink, which, if you have to go, is the way to do it. The action is a little fuzzy here, or maybe my attention was drifting. After the foul deed, Dierdre gets the briefcase containing Ellen and Ted's joint project and soaks it in Ted's blood. Then she types an incriminating message on Ted's PC, which reads: "Ellen. I'm sorry, I just couldn't do this anymore." Somehow this message reaches the police as, "I just couldn't take it anymore," with no addressee. The intrigue becomes mollasses-thick. A pleasant blonde named Marcia catches on to Dierdre's machinations and is run over by her. Dierdre then takes Ellen aside and tells her the whole story. Ellen, prompted by Dierdre, and haunted by an earlier suicide in her past, has lied to the police. And Dierdre has planted incriminating evidence all over the place. Dierdre kidnaps one of Ellen's children and demands that Ellen transfer six million bucks to an account in the Philippines. Dierdre, it turns out, has been doing all of this in order to win the love and respect of her paraplegic father who was thrown down a flight of stairs by -- well, let's forget it. A shoot out between the police and Dierdre is narrowly avoided at the end.

You don't realize what an act of benificence this plot outline has been, but now, having read it, you don't really have to bother watching the movie. Most of the acting is up to TV-fodder par. Ellen has a neatly smooth aristocratic nose. Dierdre's nose is okay until it reached it's very end where we find a curious knob with a kind of phallic sulcus running down its middle. Dierdre is the most interesting person to look at in the movie. She has one of those engaging figures: slender limbs and a mammoth bosom, its size matched by those of her wide and expressive eyes, with the whites showing all around their dark irises. Her face vaguely recalls that of Jennifer Beals. Dierdre's performance runs sequentially through (1) amiable innocence, (2) malevolent sinistry, and (3) semi-psychotic rage. If she overacted more than she does, she could play the light bulbs too.

But her eyes fascinate. In fact, eyes are the most interesting feature of the entire movie. Take the eyes of Barry Bostwick as Ellen's husband. They are set so close together that they seem to be straining to reach one another across the pass between his nose and eyebrows. Too bad he's not a politician; he would get the vote of every political cartoonist in town. Then there's Marcia, the well-meaning blonde who gets deliberately squished by Dierdre. Her eyes are set so far apart that they seem almost on the sides of her face, like an iguana's. Just having a little fun. Actually Bostwick's performance is adequate -- he plays the generic understanding but ultimately helpless husband. And Marcia does allright by the role too.

But there is simply no imagination in the movie. Nothing is new. There are no insights into characters beyond the most banal. The director leads us step by step through the plot like the guide at a theme park. The story could have been written by a committee whose assignment was to produce "something about a nasty secretary who tries to kill her way into a fortune, with the central figure being another victimized woman, too trusting for her own good."

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