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A Slight Case of Murder (1999)

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0:31 | Trailer
A film critic accidentally kills his lover during a spat in which she falls and hits her head. In panic, he immediately covers up his involvement and leaves the apartment. A private ... See full summary »

Director:

Steven Schachter

Writers:

Donald E. Westlake (book), William H. Macy (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William H. Macy ... Terry Thorpe
Adam Arkin ... Detective Fred Stapelli
Felicity Huffman ... Kit Wannamaker
James Cromwell ... John Edgarson
Julia Campbell ... Patricia Stapelli
James Pickens Jr. ... Detective Larry Gray
Paul Mazursky ... John Brant
Vincent Pastore ... Cabby
Michael McMurtry ... Scott
Stephanie Belding ... Laura Penny
Vik Sahay ... Bob
Wenna Shaw Wenna Shaw ... Brant's Assistant
Len Doncheff ... Mr. Petrovsky
Tanja Jacobs Tanja Jacobs ... Bank Teller
Vito Rezza Vito Rezza ... Captain O'Donnell
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Storyline

A film critic accidentally kills his lover during a spat in which she falls and hits her head. In panic, he immediately covers up his involvement and leaves the apartment. A private investigator had been tailing the woman for her ex-husband. Realizing what happened, the investigator launches a blackmail scheme. The critic turns the tables after the investigator turns in his report. Meanwhile the police enter the case. Led by a detective with screenwriting ambitions, the chief suspect becomes the critic. But the detective's ambitions shrouds his judgment. He invites the critic to dinner and an affair with the detective's wife is initiated. Meanwhile, the critic's regular girl friend is suspicious of the whole affair. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

TNT

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Travesty See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

From scene to seen Macy's hairline in the back changes. See more »

Quotes

Terry Thorpe: If you're going to commit a murder -- and I don't recommend it -- one thing you should definitely not do is sleep with the investigating officer's wife. It just makes for a lot of unnecessary complications.
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Connections

References Love on the Run (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Written by Eric Idle
Arrangement by Chris Desmond
Used by permission of Kay-Gee-Bee Music & Python (Monty) Pictures, Ltd.
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User Reviews

A nifty little postmodern anti-Columbo
19 September 1999 | by Ian-121See all my reviews

Okay, I love Bill Macy, who's invariably fun to watch, with those pouchy eyes and that "please don't kick me again" expression-- or maybe it's "please don't kick me again so hard." And I love Donald Westlake, one of the best writers of light capers on the scene today. Westlake wrote the novel on which this is based, which I seem to recall reading as "Enough," not "A Travesty," which is what it says in the credits. The combination of these two guys is inspired, all the better in that Macy co-wrote the adaptation and tailored the lead precisely to his acting strengths. Macy just looks like a typical Westlake hero-- only, as one of the other characters points out, he really can't be the hero if he's killed his girlfriend, even accidentally. And he's not really the hero, I guess, although you do sort of root for him. Macy plays Jerry Thorpe, a not-very-nice TV film critic, whose attempts to evade the consequences of committing an accidental murder get more and more involved as the plot thickens. It's an anti-Columbo, where we follow the criminal, not the cop, and wonder when and how he's going to blow it. Macy's stayed true to the book, adding a lot of character touches and a couple of nifty flourishes. He even includes a funny reference to one of his own previous pictures, "Searching for Bobby Fischer." I guess, for me, the fun was just watching Macy have so much fun in a leading role-- like Steve Buscemi, he's a terrific character actor who rarely gets the chance to carry a film. He carries this one, and I hope to see him carry more.


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