A deputy-district attorney, assigned to investigate the murder of the mayor's cousin, finds himself falling for the victim's wife.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Taylor Lewis
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Missy Baldwin
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Angela Carter
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Jonas Phifer
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Det. Carmine De Luca
Edward Yankie ...
Sean Malloy
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Al Bailey
Michael Rudder ...
Clive Johnson
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Luke Carter
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Leonard Sheck
John Dunn-Hill ...
Domenico Vittorio
Dean Hagopian ...
Max Farmer
Janine Theriault ...
Catherine Bicks-Ahmed
Harry Standjofski ...
Dr. Earl Waxman
David Sharp ...
Moe Fritkin (as David Shaap)
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Storyline

A deputy-district attorney, assigned to investigate the murder of the mayor's cousin, finds himself falling for the victim's wife.

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Guilt Is In The Eye Of The Beholder. [Germany]


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Rated R for language, some violence and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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3 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Causa da Morte  »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly effective--definitely worth a rental
8 October 2000 | by (Falls Church, Virginia) – See all my reviews

This movie was released straight-to-video here in Bulgaria. However, "Cause of Death" turns out to be a surprisingly entertaining whodunit. It has a couple of major flaws in the story, but nothing so serious as to prevent me from recommending it as a weeknight rental.

Patrick Bergin is the prosecutor leading the case against Joan Severance, who's accused of the brutal shotgun murder of her husband, a corrupt businessman. But things get complicated, and Bergin starts to develop some sympathies toward the defendant's story, and soon Severance is responding. Did she or didn't she commit the murder, and will he or won't he cross the line between the prosecution and the defense?

I mentioned a couple of major flaws. One is that it takes too long to explain an episode from Bergin's past that makes him especially cautious in the case against Severance. The viewer is left to wonder for about 70 of the film's 90 minutes what all of the references to the "Gennaro case" mean, and whether they explain Bergin's bizarre decisions. That's the other major flaw: even when the "Gennaro case" is explained, there's still no rational explanation for the ridiculous choices Bergin's character makes. There are some things you can and can't do when you work in the prosecutor's office. Bergin breaks the rules in such a careless and self-destructive way as to be implausible.

But if you can be patient and wait for the "Gennaro case explanation, and you try not to think about whether Bergin's character makes realistic decisions, "Cause of Death" is a pretty good thriller. Joan Severance (whom I recall fondly from TV's "Wiseguy," as Susan Profitt, the sister of Kevin Spacey's Mel Profitt) is aging gracefully--I thank the filmmakers for including a lingerie scene.

Maxim Roy plays Bergin's long-suffering co-prosecutor, who has a crush on him. She has an electric presence, stealing every scene in which she appeared (okay, there's a badly-written polygraph scene she limps through, but she does her best with some terrible lines). I'd never seen her, but I'll have to remind myself to keep an eye out for anything else she appears in.

Although Michael Ironside receives top billing on the video box, he hardly has any screen time. Maybe in a few years, around 2004-5, after Maxim Roy is a well-known screen presence, "Cause of Death" can be re-released with her name in Ironside's place. Hey, I can hope, right?


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