70 user 39 critic

Deceiver (1997)

2:27 | Trailer

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Textile company heir Wayland is accused of murder of a prostitute named Elizabeth, whose body was found cut in two in the park. The murder is investigated by tough detective Kennesaw and ... See full summary »


Jonas Pate, Josh Pate


Jonas Pate, Josh Pate
3 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Roth ... Wayland
Chris Penn ... Det. Phillip Braxton
Michael Rooker ... Det. Edward Kennesaw
Renée Zellweger ... Elizabeth
Ellen Burstyn ... Mook
Rosanna Arquette ... Mrs. Kennesaw
Don Winston Don Winston ... Warren
Michael Parks ... Dr. Banyard
Mark Damon ... Wayland's Father
J.C. Quinn ... Priest
Jody Wilhelm Jody Wilhelm ... Mrs. Wayland
Ocie Pouncie Ocie Pouncie ... Boogie
Bob Hungerford ... Jebby
Genevieve Butler Genevieve Butler ... Mary Kennesaw
Chelsea Butler Chelsea Butler ... Chelsea Kennesaw


Textile company heir Wayland is accused of murder of a prostitute named Elizabeth, whose body was found cut in two in the park. The murder is investigated by tough detective Kennesaw and his less experienced partner Braxton. Wayland is a heavy drinker and compulsive liar, he is prone to memory losses and periods of heavy violence. He is rich enough to access necessary information, and he gets the interrogators' own dark secrets - Kennesaw is angry about affairs his wife had and had let off steam with Elizabeth, and Braxton has gambling debts with Mook, who is demanding payment. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There are two sides to every lie.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

MGM | Official site [Japan]




English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Earl Watt See more »

Filming Locations:

Charleston, South Carolina, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$279,103, 1 February 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$572,433, 15 February 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MDP Worldwide See more »
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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film of Mark Damon. See more »


[first lines]
James Walter Wayland: I'm cutting across the park, just below the reservoir. It's a nice night. I feel like walking. I met a girl on the path I knew. We had a brief conversation, then I continued on. I never saw her again.
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Breaking the Ethers/Serengeti
Performed by Tuatara
Written by Barrett Martin, Justin Harwood, Skerik
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

badly flawed high baroque murder thriller
29 January 2011 | by donaldkingSee all my reviews

This has hints of Abel Ferrara about it (esp. the welcome appearance of the late and lamented Chris Penn from Ferrara's 'The Funeral.') I've seen this twice now, and am still not quite sure who really murdered Elizabeth. It doesn't really matter, I suppose, but there's a sense here in which style predominates a bit too strongly over substance. Michael Rooker & Tim Roth overact a bit - so the steadying presence of Chris Penn is helpful here. I'd liked to have known more about Roth's upbringing and so forth than we're granted. The scenes of him with his parents & friends are some of the best - all that baloney with lie detectors in dimly lit rooms becomes a bit dreary after a while.

Nice to see 1) Michael Parks (one of the nastiest villains in Twin Peaks) - here confirming one's idea that psychiatrists and psychologists are easily more strange and conflicted than their patients, and 2) Mark Damon - most famous in American cinema from Roger Corman's Fall of the House of Usher way back in 1960! Worth an outing if you should ever get bored with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but hardly worth all the effort you need to expend in an attempt to 'work out the story.' (By the way, are all American police really like this?)

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