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A Perfect Murder (1998)

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A wealthy Wall Street speculator discovers that his wife has a lover. He investigates him and uses the carrot and stick to make him murder his wife. Planned to detail, it seems like a perfect murder.

Director:

Andrew Davis

Writers:

Frederick Knott (play), Patrick Smith Kelly (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,190 ( 476)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Steven Taylor
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Emily Bradford Taylor
Viggo Mortensen ... David Shaw
David Suchet ... Mohamed Karaman
Sarita Choudhury ... Raquel Martinez
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Bobby Fain
Novella Nelson ... Ambassador Alice Wills
Constance Towers ... Sandra Bradford
Will Lyman ... Jason Gates
Maeve McGuire Maeve McGuire ... Ann Gates
Stephen Singer ... Effete Man at Met
Laurinda Barrett Laurinda Barrett ... Met Woman #1
Aideen O'Kelly Aideen O'Kelly ... Met Woman #2
Reed Birney ... Merchant Prince #1
Robert Vincent Smith ... Merchant Prince #2
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Storyline

Millionaire industrialist Steven Taylor is a man who has everything but what he craves most: the love and fidelity of his wife. A hugely successful player in the New York financial world, he considers her to be his most treasured acquisition. But she needs more than simply the role of dazzling accessory. Brilliant in her own right, she works at the U.N. and is involved with a struggling artist who fulfills her emotional needs. When her husband discovers her indiscretion, he sets out to commit the perfect murder and inherit her considerable trust fund in the bargain. Written by [ dark angel grace ]

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Husband. Wife. Lover. A Dangerous Affair. A Perfect Murder. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dial M for Murder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,615,704, 7 June 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$67,638,368

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$128,038,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

To calm her and create a certain atmosphere of intimacy before filming the lovemaking scenes, Viggo Mortensen sang a couple of love songs to Gwyneth Paltrow that he learned in Argentina when he was young. In an interview he said, "I don't know if that ended up scaring her instead." See more »

Goofs

Steven tells David, David would receive fifteen years without parole if David were to inform the police on Steven's plan to have Emily killed. Only a judge could determine the sentencing. See more »

Quotes

David Shaw: [in David's loft] What's the five hundred grand for?
Steven: Killing my wife.
David Shaw: Emily?
Steven: One hundred thousand now, four hundred thousand after cash and carry.
David Shaw: You're out of your mind.
Steven: Not really.
David Shaw: Why?
Steven: I appreciate your curiosity but my agenda doesn't concern you.
David Shaw: What if I go to straight to Emily and tell her all this?
Steven: That'd be my word against yours, Winston.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD includes alternate endings in which the protagonists behave differently prior to the final denouement. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Savage Harvest 2: October Blood (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Park Jam
Written and Performed by Richard Davis
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User Reviews

Not Perfect At All
18 October 1998 | by Steve-176See all my reviews

A Perfect Murder is a lot better than I thought it would be, probably because of the smart direction from director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Under Siege). Given a fairly involved script and an action film, (never mind the dialogue, just cut quickly to the next scene) shooting scheme, Davis has concocted a mainstream thriller that works quite well. A Perfect Murder is based on a middle rated Hitchcock film which was in turn based on a hit Broadway play called Dial M For Murder. Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas, in part revisiting Wall Street's Gordon Gecko) is in financial strife and decides to knock Emily his wife off to grab her money. She's played by the hapless Gwyneth Paltrow. Hubby blackmails his wife's lover (Viggo Mortensen) to do the dirty deed. This film is ferociously mainstream. The music chimes in just so. The bathrobe disappears just so. Michael Douglas plays Michael Douglas to perfection, Paltrow is protected from any line more than fifteen words long, but still A Perfect Murder is never boring. The original Hitchcock version starred Ray Miland and Grace Kelly. There weren't any mobile phones and the wife wasn't screwing the killer. And then there was Grace Kelly rather than Gwyneth Paltrow in that old film. I know who I'd prefer.


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