5.7/10
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39 user 23 critic

Mortal Thoughts (1991)

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0:31 | Trailer
Two detectives interrogate a hairdresser on two homicides she may or may not have been involved in.

Director:

Alan Rudolph
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Demi Moore ... Cynthia Kellogg
Glenne Headly ... Joyce Urbanski
Bruce Willis ... James Urbanski
John Pankow ... Arthur Kellogg
Harvey Keitel ... Det. John Woods
Billie Neal Billie Neal ... Det. Linda Nealon
Frank Vincent ... Dominic, Joyce's Father
Karen Shallo Karen Shallo ... Gloria, James' Mother
Crystal Field Crystal Field ... Jeanette, Joyce's Mother
Marianne Leone ... Aunt Rita (as Maryanne Leone)
Marc Baron ... Usher (as Marc Tantillo)
Doris McCarthy ... Pat - Cynthia's Mother
Christopher Scotellaro Christopher Scotellaro ... Joey, James' Brother
Ron J. Amodea Ron J. Amodea ... Band Leader
Leonid Merzon Leonid Merzon ... Yuri
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Storyline

The hairdresser, wife and mother Cynthia Kellogg is in police department being interrogated by the experienced detective John Woods and his partner, Detective Linda Nealon. Through flashbacks, she reveals how her best friend and colleague Joyce Urbanski married the scum and nasty James Urbanski; how hard Joyce's life with James was; and why Joyce became a criminal. The smart detective finds some contradictions in her statement and presses Cynthia, trying to disclose the truth of two murders. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Something terrible happened that night. Something everyone wanted to talk about. Something no one was telling the truth about. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, momentary violence, and for some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pensamientos mortales See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayonne, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,068,524, 21 April 1991

Gross USA:

$18,784,957

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,784,957
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Harvey Keitel and Bruce Willis also starred in Welcome to L.A. (1976) and Breakfast of Champions (1999) respectively, also directed by Alan Rudolph. See more »

Goofs

While Cynthia and Arthur are alone in the house arguing about the murder, you can briefly see a person in a white t-shirt (not a character in the movie) sitting to the left in the dark in the room behind Arthur. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Kellogg: You know what they say? Most murders are committed by someone you know. Family even.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Anything That Moves (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Kung Fu Fighting
Written by Carl Douglas (uncredited) and Biddu (uncredited)
Performed by Carl Douglas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Ordinary Suspects
28 March 2005 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

Bryan Singer's 'The Usual Suspects' was itself a rather unusual thriller: almost the entire plot consisted of a criminal suspect telling the police a lie. By literally representing the character's words in images, the film exploited the trust that any movie-watcher has to put in what they see; the very concept of cinema only works if the audience can believe their own eyes, so it's a somewhat underhand trick to take advantage of this. But 'The Usual Suspects' nonetheless worked as a film, for three reasons. Firstly, the lie was extraordinarily entertaining in itself. Secondly, it's essentially falsity was brilliantly revealed. And thirdly, this revelation forced the viewer to reconsider everything they had seen in the film. If all movies were like this, cinema would die, but as an isolated film, it definitely made the grade.

Alan Rudolph's curiously named 'Mortal Thoughts' (surely "morbid thoughts" are actually what feature in this film) is a kind of precursor to 'The Usual Susepcts', but less acclaimed, and with good reason. The basic tale is less interesting than in the later film; there's no cleverness in the revelation, and the actual truth does not anyway fundamentally change one's opinion of the characters. The film doesn't even try and fool the audience: Harvey Keitel's policeman tells the witness throughout that he doesn't believe what she is saying, and once you accept that the woman may be lying, then the possibilities are limitless (something Singer dealt with deftly by only uncovering the lie at the very end, before it truly sinks into the audience that if the story was a pack of lies, then the truth could be anything). The result is a film that is reasonably watchable, but hardly distinguished. Yet in the true story, revealed at the end, there's actually a tale of human drama that might have driven a pretty strong film. The secondary tale of someone merely lying about such a story, however, is comparatively dull.


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