7.1/10
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25 user 3 critic

Rehearsal for Murder (1982)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | TV Movie 26 May 1982
A year after his fiancée's death, a playwright schedules a rehearsal for his new play, which proves to be a trap for her killer.

Director:

David Greene
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Preston ... Alex Dennison
Lynn Redgrave ... Monica Welles
Patrick Macnee ... David Mathews
Lawrence Pressman ... Lloyd Andrews
William Russ ... Frank Heller
Madolyn Smith Osborne ... Karen Daniels (as Madolyn Smith)
Jeff Goldblum ... Leo Gibbs
William Daniels ... Walter Lamb
John Finnegan ... Damon
Nicholas Mele Nicholas Mele ... The First Officer
Vahan Moosekian Vahan Moosekian ... The Moving Man
Charles Robinson ... The Second Officer (as Charlie Robinson)
Wallace Rooney Wallace Rooney ... Ernie
Buck Young ... Lieutenant McElroy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sergio Kato ... The Third Officer
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Storyline

In a theatre on Broadway, a group of friends remember the opening night from one year ago. On this night, the leading lady was apparently murdered. On this day, these people, all involved in the production, are brought back by the fiancee of this murder victim, a distinguished playwright, to read for parts in his new play. However, he believes she was murdered, and now wants to catch the killer. Written by <Fildapimp@netscape.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the curtain comes up on Terror


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cold Reading See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Russ and William Daniels later co-starred on the long running series Boy Meets World (1993) (Their characters, Alan Matthews and George Feeny, respectively, were next-door neighbors.) See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ernie: Who's there? Who's out there? Is that you Mr. Dennison?
Alex: Hello, Ernie, how you been?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This movie deserves to be on Broadway!
14 February 2007 | by CoolComix2See all my reviews

This has remained one of my favorite movies of all time. Written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the creators of "Columbo" and "Murder, She Wrote," the story takes place in an empty theater as playwright Alex Dennison stages an elaborate plan to reveal the truth behind his movie star fiancée's supposed suicide. Cast and crew from her first, and only stage play performance are gathered together a year after her death under the pretext of a reading of his new play. As the scenes are read, it becomes evident that Alex has an ulterior motive in inviting these people for this "rehearsal." When the group learns that Alex believes Monica was actually murdered, and that one of them is the prime suspect, it is only through various methods of duress that they reluctantly go along with his scheme. Very much like a stage play, each character is introduced, playing what seems to be a stock part: the ingénue yearning for stardom; the producer keeping his eye on the bottom line; the stage director trying to make a name for himself; the embittered ex-lover; the leading man with an eye for the ladies, and so on. At the center of the story, Robert Preston is perfect as the distinguished playwright who has suffered a tragic loss; determined to prove that the woman he loved was murdered. At times, you can't be certain that he hasn't simply gone over the edge in his grief.

Jeff Goldblum's face is the only one on the DVD cover, and although he was excellent playing the part of supporting actor Leo Gibbs, this movie truly is a shining example of ensemble performance, with great performances by William Daniels, Lawrence Pressman, Patrick Macnee, and Madolyn Smith. The only discordant note is Lynn Redgrave. Admittedly, playing a character that is only seen in flashbacks and manufactured scenes from a play, it is hard to get a sense of Monica Welles' true nature. Still, the movie was not so much about her, but rather about how others may have seen her from different perspectives, along with their possible motives.

There are many twists and turns, but the clues are there for anyone to see, especially in dialogue. The first and most notable one, is when Alex tells the group about his new play. "Unusual form, a mystery," Alex notes, "You take the audience by the hand, and you lead them... in the wrong direction. They trust you, and you betray them! All in the name of surprise." These words sum up the story perfectly and succinctly, and I'm glad I have the chance to give this movie a hearty recommendation.


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