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Novelist Catherine Tramell is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.
The wife and mistress of a cruel school master collaborate in a carefully planned and executed attempt to murder him. The plan goes well until the body, which has been strategically dumped, disappears. The strain starts to tell on the two women as a retired police investigator who is looking into the disappearance on a whim begins to think that they know more than they are telling, and their mental state is not helped when their victim is seen, apparently alive and well by one of the pupils.Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
Suckered by an American remake of 'Diabolique' (not that I'm bitter)
I saw that 'Diabolique' was showing on a cable movie channel, and I had heard great things about it, and so I was prepared to be impressed and intrigued, and to improve my 'cultural literacy' in the process.
Instead, what I got was a draggy, lifeless 'film noir' remake with Sharon Stone and Chazz Palmintieri. The frustrating thing about the movie was that it was JUST GOOD ENOUGH and kept JUST ENOUGH of the elements of the original plot to make me hope that things would improve somehow. So I kept watching it. But it never did.
I am not Sharon Stone's biggest fan, but I acknowledge that she gave a compelling performance in "Casino", and that very few actresses past or present could have played her role better. (Joan Crawford or Betty Davis, maybe). And she's a black hole of bitterness and anger here -somehow sexually inviting and repellent at the same time. That doesn't make for comfortable viewing. There's the same problem with the lesbian undercurrents between the wife and the mistress - it ought to be titillating or erotic, but it's just stale and nasty. And Chazz Palmintieri is a great character actor( see 'The Usual Suspects' or "Bullets Over Broadway"), but the character he plays is such a flat-out son-of-a-bitch that you really don't want to watch him.
But the real the problem with the film is that they were going for dread and suspense, but the pacing and rhythms of each of the individual scenes was way off - empty and interminable. So the viewer wound up feeling dread and BOREDOM instead. That doesn't make for 'recommended film viewing'.
I still hope to seek out the original one of these days, so at least the remake didn't spoil anything. And some one else might like this version just fine on its own merits, depending on how big a Stone fan they are (it is really her movie - her character drives the events in the plot).
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