After calling 911 to report his wife's accident, successful novelist and aspiring politician, Michael Peterson, becomes the prime suspect in her alleged murder.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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David Rudolf
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Caitlin Atwater
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Todd Peterson (as Brandon Olive)
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Margaret Peterson
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D. A. Jim Hardin
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Detective Castell
Kate Donadio ...
Erica
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Kathleen Peterson
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Martha (as Stephanie Honore)
...
Bill Peterson
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Clayton Peterson
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Candace Zamperini
Melinda Walsh ...
Patty Peterson
Lisha Brock ...
Freda Black
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Storyline

When Michael Iver Peterson, a successful novelist and aspiring politician in Durham, North Carolina, finds his wife Kathleen's body on the staircase, bloody but still breathing, he calls 911 in panic. His son Todd confirms his parents were in true love, would never harm each-other. However the police, notably Detective Joe Castel, and D. A. Jim Hardin, holding a grudge for a column the author once wrote against the incompetent force, disbelieve their postulation she fell from the stairs, notably because her blood was found very high. Adoring step-daughter Caitlin, who privately shows suspicious pleasure in the jewelry inheritance and is named executor of Kathleen's estate, was all night at her Cornell sorority. The female coroner excludes her trainee's preliminary theory of a fall, bluntly stating multiple blows and at least two hours painful death-struggle. Wine - and blood traces suggest Michael may have staged her having drunk too much wine and tried to wipe her blood. The family ... Written by KGF Vissers

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15 April 2007 (USA)  »

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The Staircase  »

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User Reviews

 
Good but not great
26 May 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This true-crime drama is a perfectly reasonable if not absolutely outstanding film. Starting with the good things, it is ably directed by Tom McLoughlin, Treat Williams is excellent as Michael Peterson being very enigmatic, and Kevin Pollack is just as good as his unprincipled defence lawyer. The other performances are variable, some are good others are so-so. The music is also very nice and the film is wonderful to watch visually, and the script is reasonable. While there are some good plot twists, the film can get episodic in places, and the pacing is pedestrian in parts. The characters also could have been developed more, that way I would have felt empathy for them, while the ending is just nice if not exactly one that makes you think wow that is clever and ingenious, why didn't I think of that? Overall, a nice crime drama to watch, but not outstanding. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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