201 user 67 critic

A Perfect Murder (1998)

0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.



(play), (screenplay)
3,840 ( 773)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Disclosure (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, he's horrified to discover that the abductors' demand is that he break through to a post traumatic stress disorder suffering young woman who knows a secret...

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Unfaithful (2002)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A New York suburban couple's marriage goes dangerously awry when the wife indulges in an adulterous fling.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Wall Street (1987)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A billionaire offers $1,000,000 to a young married couple for one night with the wife.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Police hunting for a serial kidnapper are helped when a victim manages to escape for the first time.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes


Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael P. Moran ...
Ambassador Alice Wills
Sandra Bradford
Jason Gates
Maeve McGuire ...
Ann Gates
Effete Man at Met
Laurinda Barrett ...
Met Woman #1
Aideen O'Kelly ...
Met Woman #2
Merchant Prince #1
Merchant Prince #2


Millionaire industrialist Steven Taylor is a man who has everything but what he craves most: the love and fidelity of his wife. A hugely successful player in the New York financial world, he considers her to be his most treasured acquisition. But she needs more than simply the role of dazzling accessory. Brilliant in her own right, she works at the U.N. and is involved with a struggling artist who fulfills her emotional needs. When her husband discovers her indiscretion, he sets out to commit the perfect murder and inherit her considerable trust fund in the bargain. Written by [ dark angel grace ]

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A powerful husband. An unfaithful wife. A jealous lover. All of them have a motive. Each of them has a plan. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dial M for Murder  »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,615,704, 7 June 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the artworks featured in this film are Mortensen's own. See more »


I don't see any reason to dust the house, elevator, access, etc. with the obvious intruder dead in the kitchen. What would they hope to find? Not standard intrusion/murder investigation.

And what are the cops questioning about her story? Just hyperbole to add to the plot and script. See more »


Emily: [talking privately in Steven's office] But why did you put his key on my key chain?
Steven: David threatened violence from the very beginning so when I saw the body lying in the kitchen I'm sure it was him none of the doors have been forced open so I assumed he had your key.
Emily: But when? I had just used it to come that evening.
Steven: Are you sure? He used your key? Because if memory serves me right, the door was wide open I saw you walk in.
Emily: Maybe.
Steven: In which case he could've taken your key the day before, did you ...
See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Gwyneth Paltrow Movies (2011) See more »


The Sands of Time
Written by Chris 'Hambone' Cameron and Tad Robinson
Performed by Tad Robinson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not Perfect At All
18 October 1998 | by See all my reviews

A Perfect Murder is a lot better than I thought it would be, probably because of the smart direction from director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Under Siege). Given a fairly involved script and an action film, (never mind the dialogue, just cut quickly to the next scene) shooting scheme, Davis has concocted a mainstream thriller that works quite well. A Perfect Murder is based on a middle rated Hitchcock film which was in turn based on a hit Broadway play called Dial M For Murder. Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas, in part revisiting Wall Street's Gordon Gecko) is in financial strife and decides to knock Emily his wife off to grab her money. She's played by the hapless Gwyneth Paltrow. Hubby blackmails his wife's lover (Viggo Mortensen) to do the dirty deed. This film is ferociously mainstream. The music chimes in just so. The bathrobe disappears just so. Michael Douglas plays Michael Douglas to perfection, Paltrow is protected from any line more than fifteen words long, but still A Perfect Murder is never boring. The original Hitchcock version starred Ray Miland and Grace Kelly. There weren't any mobile phones and the wife wasn't screwing the killer. And then there was Grace Kelly rather than Gwyneth Paltrow in that old film. I know who I'd prefer.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 201 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page