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Back Stab (1990)

An architect goes to bed with a seductive stranger only to awaken beside the corpse of his boss.

Director:

Jim Kaufman (as James Kaufman)

Writer:

Paul Koval
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Brolin ... Cliff Murphy
Dorothée Berryman ... Juliet Powell
Meg Foster ... Sara Rudnick
June Chadwick ... Mrs. Chambers
Brett Halsey ... Ken Updike
Isabelle Truchon Isabelle Truchon ... Jennifer
Robert Morelli Robert Morelli ... Steve Howe
Terrence Labrosse Terrence Labrosse ... Mr. Chambers
Norris Domingue Norris Domingue ... Stanley
Bronwen Mantel Bronwen Mantel ... Judge
James Rae ... Ad Executive
Tom Berry ... Court Clerk
Brian Dooley Brian Dooley ... J.H. the Guard
Robert Ozores Robert Ozores ... Prisoner
Charles S. Doucet Charles S. Doucet ... Cop at Station (as Charles Doucet)
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Storyline

Cliff Murphy is a lonely widow architect still grieving the death of his wife Anne. On the day the company where he works is sold to Mr. Chambers, a very wealthy man, his co-worker and friend Juliet Powell convinces him to join the other colleagues in a celebration in a bar. He reluctantly goes and he meets the gorgeous Caroline being harassed by a strong blonde guy. He stays with her and they have a hot intercourse in the back seat of her car. On the next day, Caroline calls him in the office and invites him to go to a restaurant. Then, they go in two cars to her house. After some kisses and hugs, Cliff meets Mr. Chambers back stabbed and dead on the bed in the master bedroom. Cliff goes to Juliet's flat and calls Sara Rudnick, a lawyer and former friend of Anne, asking her to defend him. She tells him to turn himself in to the police. He is put in jail and in the preliminary audience for the trial, Caroline is another woman. Cliff's world and defense turns upside down and he finds ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Last night he fell in love with her. Today he's being framed for murder. Only she could save him... And she has disappeared.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backstab See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the bartender hands Juliet her drink and Cliff's, he says "Here's your drinks!", but his lips do not match what he is saying. See more »

Quotes

Cliff Murphy: God, it's funny.
Jennifer: What?
Cliff Murphy: You can go months and months waiting for some kind of a change in your life. And when you least expect it, it just tumbles in right out of the blue. You know what I mean?
Jennifer: Sure. I know what you mean.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Isabelle Truchon's and James Brolin's nude scenes were re-shot for television with their respective clothes and underwear on. A small portion can be seen in the film's trailer. See more »

Soundtracks

Touch
Written by Daniel Barbe and Marty Simon
Performed by Radar
Courtesy of Polygram Music Publishing Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Almost good in spite of itself, but the script works against it.
2 August 2003 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

As the story opens, architect Cliff Murphy (James Brolin) has retreated into his profession after the death of his wife. He joins his co-workers who have gathered at a local bar to signal the sale of his employers' firm to a new set of partners. The celebrants soon miss Cliff's presence and for good reason: he has scampered off with a splendrous young blonde, Jennifer (Isabelle Truchon). Apparently lacking self-denial, the duo soon consummate their newly-hatched relationship within the cramped bounds of Jennifer's automobile. This affair of the loins turns equivocal for Cliff during the passionate pair's follow-up date the next evening when, after their common interest results in a soft porn living room floor encounter, Jennifer disappears and Cliff finds himself to be alone, but for an upstairs and very fresh murder victim. Cliff then pays a visit to a friend and criminal attorney, Sara (Meg Foster) whom he must convince of his innocence. We are then tasked, alongside the beleaguered architect, with recalling any clues that might bring about his freedom. If one would care to bother with analysing the scenario, it will soon become palpable that an ongoing flux of coincidences fancifully moves the paranoia based action. The film is paced to a quick beat, and the largely capable cast generally avoids over emoting, with specially good work from Foster. Brolin, whose hirsute predilections for this production give him the appearance of a latter-day Wolfman, is not obligated to perform beyond his circumscribed aptitude, and his customary combination of perplexity and outrage is appropriate for his character. Talented Dorothee Berryman manages to make something interesting of her role, but June Chadwick cannot seem to figure out hers, and is undone in the attempt. Director Jim Kaufman induces some excellent turns from his cast but his endeavours cannot handle by half the absurdities of the screenplay, by Paul Koval and the film's editor, Paul Ziller. Montreal's suburbs in autumn are served well by a blend of skills from cinematographer Rodney Gibbons and set designer Richard Tasse, but the score by Marty Simon is consistently intrusive. In sum, this is a piece which moves along smartly and provides choice moments from some accomplished performers, but the jarring elements stemming from an overstrained and oft silly narrative ultimately lay it low.


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