6.1/10
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50 user 23 critic

Still of the Night (1982)

A Manhattan psychiatrist probes a patient's murder and falls for the victim's mysterious mistress.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writers:

Robert Benton (screenplay), David Newman (story) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Sam Rice
Meryl Streep ... Brooke Reynolds
Jessica Tandy ... Grace Rice
Joe Grifasi ... Joseph Vitucci
Sara Botsford ... Gail Phillips
Josef Sommer ... George Bynum
Frederikke Borge Frederikke Borge ... Heather Wilson (as Rikke Borge)
Irving Metzman Irving Metzman ... Murray Gordon
Larry Joshua ... Mugger
Tom Norton Tom Norton ... Auctioneer
Richmond Hoxie ... Mr. Harris
Hyon Cho Hyon Cho ... Mr. Chang
Danielle Cusson Danielle Cusson ... Girl
John Bentley John Bentley ... Night Watchman
George A. Tooks George A. Tooks ... Elevator Operator
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Storyline

George Bynum, a patient of Manhattan psychiatrist Dr. Sam Rice, is brutally murdered. Soon afterward, Dr. Rice is visited by Bynum's co-worker and mistress Brooke Reynolds and by the investigating officer Detective Vitucci. As Dr. Rice reviews the case notes on his sessions with Bynum, he starts his own investigation. At the same time, he finds himself falling for enigmatic blonde Brooke, despite her increasingly suspicious behavior. The closer Rice comes to the truth, the more he puts his own life in danger... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If looks could kill...

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stab See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,980, 21 November 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,979,947
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When director Robert Benton and David Newman co-wrote this film's original story, the project had to be then shelved for a considerably long time when Benton went to work on the filmed adaptation of Avery Corman's Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) novel. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Doctor Sam Rice: Now listen to me! On account of you, I'm an accessory to something. I don't know what! I'm withholding evidence. I'm obstructing justice. I'm gonna get my license revoked if I'm not thrown into jail first. And on top of that, I've just spent fifteen thousand dollars for a painting I don't even like!
See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Most Delicate Mood Picture
5 September 2011 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Still of the Night is a mood picture, in the purest and simplest way. It can almost be said that it's a meditation on a full moon. It begins and ends with a long, still take of one. Both times are the only times the film is scored with music. The story is not a series of situations being vocalized and handled in the physical world. It's about things dawning on a character, that character's feelings being stirred and reacting to events that take place around him, or in the past.

We don't get to the bottom of everything until he does, and to the extent he does. Gradually, he understands a woman about whom he only knows so much, and throughout is uncertain of how to feel about her. Indeed, it's a film so carefully measured, so understated that if the story of a scene can be told with no words, then we will hear no words. In this way, it's pure cinema. It's a flow of sequences that build a dark, quiet stairway of tension, yet they're also thoroughly self-contained because they're so finely and fully attuned to setting, atmosphere and the inside and outside of every character in these very moments.

Roy Scheider is so masculine and intense and yet he is so mild-mannered and tenderly human in these beautiful surroundings, but it is the object of his experiences here, Meryl Streep, who fits in to the universe of the film with a profound naturalism as a sort of mirror image of it. Just as the film cycles to and fro between the beautiful mundanities of the present tense and the amber antiquity of the past so seamlessly owing to the stream of consciousness interconnecting these scenes, Streep, having so fully internalized through Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice the persona of a woman who can't escape her bondage with her past, brings that same energy here with such naturalism that she evokes it in a performance so minimal in what she says or how much she betrays at all. And when she does, it's a film climax equal to any special effect, gun fight, chase or struggle.

A crucial aspect of how Robert Benton fashions an atmosphere as real, certain and arresting as one of the wood furnishings in the murder victim's flashback scenes is how barely he employs music score. His choice to use it when he does is as emotively precise as when the score is sound itself, murmurs, humming washing cycles, strange sporadic thumps coming from the shadows, all cadenced to create tension in their own deliberate ways. Benton again substantiates that delicacy and understatement are his forte. It comes as practically a kick in the teeth to see a modern suspense picture as erudite, well acted and exquisitely made as Still Of The Night.


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