6.3/10
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72 user 39 critic

Black Widow (1987)

Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
A federal investigator tracks down a gold-digging woman who moves from husband to husband to kill them and collect the inheritance.

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writer:

Ronald Bass

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Debra Winger ... Alexandra
Theresa Russell ... Catharine
Sami Frey ... Paul
Dennis Hopper ... Ben
Nicol Williamson ... William
Terry O'Quinn ... Bruce
James Hong ... Shin
Diane Ladd ... Etta
D.W. Moffett ... Michael
Lois Smith ... Sara
Leo Rossi ... Ricci
Danny Kamekona ... Detective
Rutanya Alda ... Irene
Mary Woronov ... Shelley
Wayne Heffley ... Etta's Husband
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Storyline

Catherine is a black widow. "She mates and then she kills". Black Widow is the story of a lady (Catherine) who marries lonely millionaires, waits until they've changed their will to leave all to their beloved wives and then murders them to inherit the fortune. With each man Catherine marries, she changes her appearance to suit the mans personality. Only there's one problem. Alexandra is a smart cookie and has found a link between these unexplained mysterious deaths and the partners wives. But now her only problem is proving that a killer is on the loose and saving herself from the deadly Black Widow. Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every man she marries is mysteriously murdered. Finally, one woman has uncovered the truth. But proving it could be fatal. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First theatrical feature film in around six years for director Bob Rafelson whose last at the time having been another "film noir" called The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). See more »

Goofs

Debra Winger shadows Theresa Russell on the top deck of the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry. The same mountains in the Olympic range are behind both actresses, even though one lady is on the starboard and the other is on the port side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sara: When he didn't come to the office, 10:30, 11:00, I called the house. Catherine... he went in his sleep, peacefully. The doctor said if you'd been sleeping right next to him, you wouldn't have even known. You couldn't have done anything.
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Connections

Referenced in Addams Family Values (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Night Hearts
Written and performed by Peter Rafelson
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User Reviews

 
Guilty pleasure
27 November 1999 | by ShinwaSee all my reviews

Hilariously contrived and utterly compelling, Black Widow is always worth a re-viewing when the video shelves are dry. It's beautifully filmed, competently acted, and contains some of the most rousingly misguided plot twists known to this cinephile.

No spoilers here, but the ending is a knee-slapper, as is the otherwise quite capable Theresa Russell's foray into a southern belle accent. It's all very slick, but in a good way, with the considerable lily gilded by attempts at intellectualizing a movie which could be refilmed with startlingly few changes for a Cinemax Late Night soft-core extravaganza. Kudos to Russell, of course, Winger, James Hong and Mary Woronov just for being Mary Woronov for at least one scene; it's just a shame that a movie which makes a stab at well-rounded female characters (at the very least by making the male characters so weak [truth is, I can scarcely remember the names of any of the male characters] that one cannot help but invest all subjectivity with the female characters) operates under the notion that the Debra Winger character discovers her womanhood vicariously through the exploits of the sensuous, if surprisingly (in context) asexual, man-killer Russell, which is not exactly the most progressive notion. Essential viewing nonetheless.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Borgia See more »

Filming Locations:

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,426,831, 8 February 1987

Gross USA:

$25,205,460

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,205,460
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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