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The Point of Betrayal (1995)

 -  Thriller
5.5
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Title: The Point of Betrayal (1995)

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Ted Kitteridge
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Monet Fletcher
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George Contini ...
Hotel Manager
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Ted's Attorney
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Cop
Hazel Medina ...
Nurse
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Golfing girlfriend
Ute Weigel ...
Kristy (as Ute Luisa Weigel)
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Attorney
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Sinister and Unsatisfactory
1 February 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a strangely, and largely pointlessly, sinister film. For reasons which are not really explained, and which have no connection with the plot at all, elderly newly-weds Rod Taylor and Dina Merrill decide on a whim to spend $15 million buying a 'house' two stories below the surface of the earth, a kind of luxury bunker where you switch the daylight and starlight on and off with a remote. On top of this nightmarish 'home' with ghoulish murals of 'country scenery' sits a lighthouse! We only ever see this lighthouse in long shots and it also has no relation to the story. One suspects that some pages of several different scripts were dropped onto the floor, picked up, and interleaved by mistake in a single binding, and then they shot it as a film. There is a very strong and sympathetic central performance by an elderly Rod Taylor, who had proved decades earlier in 'Young Cassidy' that he really could act and not just be a movie star, and here he does that again. Dina Merrill is effortlessly genteel as Rod's wife, but it is difficult to sympathize with her because she is so bafflingly stupid. The most outstanding performance in this film is by Rebecca Broussard, as a slinky, smiling villainess who enjoys murdering people. She positively oozes sex from every pore, and looks as if she wants to rip all of her clothes off all of the time. Despite the fact that she had no nude scenes, all of her scenes are nude scenes, if you see what I mean. There is 'something about the way she moves', as the old song line goes. She really was a most talented actress, but seems to have abandoned the screen for motherhood. Her hysterically joyful portrayal of a psychopathic killer who cannot wipe sensuous grins off her face at the very prospect of wielding a 'killer hypodermic' (she is impersonating a nurse, and you should see her in that outfit which seems to slide around her body like a portable water bed!) is so disturbing that it remains in the mind long after the film has ended. The premise of the story is that the two children of a billionairess (the now remarried Dina Merrill) are both so keen to get their hands on their mother's fortune that killing her off is a 'no problem' solution. Being super-rich is not enough for these spoilt brats, who are also insane of course (in addition to being insane with greed, which is their normal social condition), they have to be super-super-rich. (It is the extra 'super', like one more stripe on a sergeant's sleeve, that matters to them.) The film takes for granted that one would kill one's mother for a few more hundred million, rather than wait for her to die first, as instant gratification is so all-engrossing. Rod Taylor tries to stop all this, but so feebly that one suspects once again that the script contains stray pages from another story. It is a pointless tale, and makes pointless viewing.


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