Chicago psychiatrist Judd Stevens is suspected of murdering one of his patients when the man turns up stabbed to death in the middle of the city. After repeated attempts to convince two cops of his innocence, Dr. Stevens is forced to go after the real villains himself, and he finds himself up against one of the city's most notorious Mafia kingpins.Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
Moore plays a psychiatrist caught in a web of intrigue and murder, as his patients become victims of a sinister plot. Steiger and Gould play a pair of detectives assigned to the case, but their disdain for Moore affects little progress in solving the case, and he turns to wily amateur sleuth Carney, to solve the mystery before he becomes the next victim. Generally well constructed thriller, with occasional brutal, graphic and somewhat gratuitous violence that might offend. The scene in which Moore's office is ransacked is especially cold and callous in its excess.
Some neat twists are employed by actor-turned-director Forbes, with solid performances from Moore, Steiger and Gould in particular. Moore's normally nonchalant persona is replaced here with suitable concern, as he's pursued by sadistic villains with little inclination for mercy. The executions are particularly nasty and the tone is never far from dark and threatening. In some ways, "The Naked Face" is similar in vein to both "Still of the Night" and "Colour of Night" in terms of its content, and has a render reminiscent of a Brian De Palma thriller (though it lacks De Palma's signature styling).
Despite the sophisticated elements, the dialogue is only functional and at one hour and forty-five minutes, the film does overstay its welcome. Worth a look, but nothing spectacular.
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