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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Steve Martini's Undue Influence  »

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Short and Sweet... : )
22 April 2008 | by (Sunny Southern California, USA) – See all my reviews

Okay, since at this time there are only 2 reviews of this film and because of the specific nature of this film I felt that I really should leave a brief comment.

First off, for what it's worth, to the fellow who is all worked up about Jean Smart... Yeah, she looks okay... HUGE breasts, scrawny legs, so you call it as you see it... : ) Personally I kind of liked Patricia Richardson better. Cuter, less gamy (Yes, I think I could tell she had had work done; it looked pretty tight around the eyes...) None the less, cute in a kind of perky almost tom-boyish kind of way.

Anyway, sorry about that... Back to the film. All right, let me state right off (well, ALMOST right off) that within the first 30 minutes or so the acting and direction were SO bloody AWFUL that I took the discs out of my player and threw them in the trash cursing all the while. Because up till NOW I had yet to see any film with Brian Dennehy that I didn't like. Especially many movies where he has played either a cop or a lawyer. But THIS one... Lame, Lame, Lame... However, after I settled down a little and did a BIT more reading here on IMDb, I thought, okay the damn thing is 240 minutes long, of COURSE there's gonna be LOTS of padding at the beginning and I was curious as to what was really going on.

So, I steeled myself, took the discs BACK out of the trash and cleaned them off and continued with the movie (BTW, I had stopped when Brian Dennehy was meeting the dubiously lovely Ms. Smart in the fancy restaurant. Man, the dialog and delivery were getting SO damn clichéd and TRULY painful, that I just couldn't take it any more!) But, I did my best to try to ignore the amateurish direction, which I feel was indeed the main culprit, and just hold on to see how the plot was gonna develop.

Okay (I guess this really ISN'T very 'Short & Sweet' after all, is it; sorry about that : ) Here is the Bottom Line:

1. You have to endure the first 30-45 minutes at least, probably due to LAME direction, some amateurish acting and padded script.

2. BUT, and it's a BIG BUT like Mariah Carey's, IF you can hold out until the LAST 30-45 minutes THEN the story itself actually does indeed get fairly involving and there are a couple of decent twists.

So, that's about it; still quite sub-par overall for a film with Brian Dennehy and in my opinion probably the poorest one out of all of his. The STORY was not bad, it is just the WAY it was told could have been a LOT better...


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