5.9/10
1,793
38 user 20 critic

The First Deadly Sin (1980)

A police inspector, nearing retirement, tracks a serial killer who is terrorizing New York.

Director:

Brian G. Hutton

Writers:

Mann Rubin (screenplay), Lawrence Sanders (novel)
Reviews
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Sinatra ... Edward Delaney
Faye Dunaway ... Barbara Delaney
David Dukes ... Daniel Blank
George Coe ... Dr. Bernardi
Brenda Vaccaro ... Monica Gilbert
Martin Gabel ... Christopher Langley
Anthony Zerbe ... Captain Broughton
James Whitmore ... Dr. Sanford Ferguson
Joe Spinell ... Charles Lipsky
Anna Navarro ... Sunny Jordeen
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Sergeant Fernandez Correlli
John Devaney John Devaney ... John Rogers
Robert Weil ... Sol Appel
Hugh Hurd Hugh Hurd ... Ben Johnson
Jon DeVries Jon DeVries ... Calvin Sawtell
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Storyline

A serial killer is stalking New York. Inspector Edward X. Delaney is an NYPD detective, nearing retirement, who is trying to put together the pieces of the case. Are the victims somehow linked? What does the brutal method of death signify? Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's searching for a killer. She's searching for a miracle .... And time is running out.

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward X. Delaney was a police captain in the novel, but inexplicably became a Sergeant in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, the endotracheal (breathing) tube being used on Barbara is not taped in place or secured in any other manner. Also, the x-rays displayed, correctly an IVP (intravenous pyelogram), show a non-functioning left kidney, but Barbara is positioned for surgery on her right kidney. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Bernardi: [Delaney's arrived at the hospital where his wife has been operated on] Sergeant Delaney, they got ahold of you.
Edward Delaney: Yeah, they said it was some kind of an emergency. What happened?
Dr. Bernardi: Well, several hours ago Barbara began running a high fever, and experiencing severe pain in the lumbar region. She was going into shock, so we thought it best to operate. We, uh, had to remove one of her kidneys.
Edward Delaney: [confused] Removed? What?
Dr. Bernardi: It was very badly infected. Diseased. Rotted. We had no other choice.
Edward Delaney: "Diseased"? With *...
[...]
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Connections

References Kojak (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings
Played by the Salvation Army Band outside the hardware store
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User Reviews

 
"No, I'm in no psychical danger."
22 April 2011 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

A sombre character drama crossed with an old-fashion police detective story is broken up in two parts, as a retiring NYPD Edward X. Delaney is on his last case tracking down a psychotic serial killer while also dealing with his bed-ridden wife (a warm-hearted Faye Dunaway) that's dying in the hospital from an unclear disease. How these two threads are connected isn't really garnished, other than to give the lead character more emotional weight and progressive depth. Instead it just comes across as depressing and somewhat pointless. It manages to hold you there, but not much really happens in this slow-grinding thriller as Frank Sinatra's wearily brooding performance is determined, but filled with melancholy heartache. Ambitious, but unfulfilled and too long toothed is how you can describe it. The narrative just feels incomplete, like it was aiming for something more profound (like the symbolic use of the cross) and mysterious (the killer's motive) but it came away rather puzzling and affected in its intentions. The grungy New York setting is painted with darkness, dreary atmospherics as there's a killer randomly leaving his victims with a hole in the back of their heads. A lot of the running time (and at times it does drag) has Delaney working the case, starting with very little. Putting in the hours, strenuously gathering info, seeking help outside the police force and thoroughly digging in as his personal life begins to crumble. The focus on his sick wife does very little for the story, but it takes up a fair amount of screen time. When Sinatra isn't mugging the screen, there's some able support in the cast; Martin Gabel, James Whitmore and Joe Spinell added some much needed life. David Dukes makes for an effective loony, but his icy character was just felt too one-note. An interesting, but sleepily underdone dramatic thriller.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The First Deadly Sin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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