6.5/10
149
4 user 1 critic

Undue Influence (1996)

Lawyer Paul Madriani becomes embroiled in his most baffling case at a most difficult time. His wife Nikki has died of cancer, and he's caring for his daughter Sarah while negotiating a ... See full summary »

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Paul Madriani
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Laurel Vega
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Dana Colby
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Harry Hines
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Clem
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Jack Vega
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Danny Vega
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Melanie Vega
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Sarah Madriani
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Carla Morgan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Falconer Abraham ...
Security Guard
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Funeral Priest
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Jack's Lawyer
Brenda Bazinet ...
Nicole Madriani
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Teenage Gang Leader
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Storyline

Lawyer Paul Madriani becomes embroiled in his most baffling case at a most difficult time. His wife Nikki has died of cancer, and he's caring for his daughter Sarah while negotiating a custody settlement between his sister-in-law Laurel and her ex-husband, Senator Jack Vega, over 17-year-old Danny. When Vega's new wife Melanie is found murdered, suspicion points to Laurel who was filmed by a security camera arguing with her at her home just hours before the shooting. At the crime scene, Paul meets a long-time friend, U.S. Attorney Dana Colby, and grudge-bearing detective Lama, who claims an airtight case against Laurel. Paul tries unsuccessfully to arrange a plea bargain. Investigating, he finds the Vegas' neighbors, George and Kathy Merlow, have disappeared. His questioning of Kathy's postal co-worker is cut short by a package bomb meant for him. Before the blast that kills the co-worker and six patrons, but spares Paul, he learns the Merlows are hiding in Jamaica. A romance develops... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Steve Martini's Undue Influence  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
For the beauty of Jean Smart alone, this is worth it !!
14 September 2003 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

A very beautiful lady, Jean Smart, with auburn hair is absolutely magnificent in this film and this alone is one excellent reason not to miss it ! Seriously though, This film is definitely good, as are the vast majority of films involving Brian Dennehy, whom I adore as an actor ! The plot, of the "whodunnit" type is not complicated but there is a lot of side-tracking and red herrings which have nothing to do with the truth. Some of this side-tracking, notably everything concerning the Merlo family is rather confusing and one gets the impression that it's there as padding to make the story much longer than it would have been but without any real relevance to the story itself. In spite of these plot holes and script defects, the film makes for excellent watching.

Denneyhy's daughter is really cute, and the scenes between him and here about her recently departed "Mummy" are very touching indeed, both from Dennehy and the young lady herself who acts the part very very convincingly. I had watery eyes during all these scenes.

I enjoy this sort of "courtroom-drama-made-for-tv" movie which only the USA seem capable of producing. I luckily found it issued on DVD in the UK and certainly didn't regret my purchase. I have seen the film previously on French TV under the title "Abus d'Influence".

Highly recommendable entertainnment then to be watched curled up before the fire on a cold wet and windy winter's afternoon !!


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