Sunday, 6 July 2008

Final Analysis

Final Analysis is a 1992 movie described in some quarters as ‘neo noir’. Certainly, its elements are familiar, with a naïve if charming man falling victim to a glamorous blonde with murder on her mind. Fans of Vertigo will appreciate various references – not just the San Francisco setting, but also a couple of scenes in a lighthouse which call that classic Hitchcock film very much to mind. This time around, the plangent music isn’t courtesy of Bernard Hermann, but rather written by George Fenton, a British composer I first became aware of through his music for that excellent and much-missed tv series ‘Shoestring’.

Richard Gere plays a psychiatrist whose patient, Una Thurman encourages him to talk to her sister. Una’s sister turns out to be Kim Basinger, and Richard immediately becomes infatuated with her. This is understandable, for sure, but unwise, not least because Kim’s husband happens to be a rather unpleasant gangster with a taste for violence.

In a variation on the themes of Double Indemnity and Body Heat, Kim doesn’t persuade Richard to kill the nasty husband, but rather does the deed herself, and then has Richard use his professional expertise to assist her defence attorney get her off – or, rather, obtain a verdict that she was not responsible for her actions because she suffered from ‘pathological intoxication’ (a new concept to me, though it’s just possible I may have known one or two people who suffered from it.)

I enjoyed this film. It isn’t conspicuous for its subtlety, but the star cast does a good job with the twists and turns of the plot, and for the most part I managed to suspend disbelief. Good entertainment.


Anonymous said...

I thinkI may have seen this movie fairly soon after it came out, but I am afraid I can't remember much about it. Your account reminds me a bit of the one with Jeff Bridges - Jagged Edge. That was pretty good, though I don't know if it would stand the test of time.

I am a bit diffident about this, and do not want to be pushy, but I have just started a FriendFeed group for crime and mystery readers at
I hope you might take a look, and if you think it looks potentially interesting (early days), join. The user interface is very nice I think, from the point of view of having conversations about blog posts, questions, books, and so on.

Martin Edwards said...

I saw Jagged Edge a long time ago, but can't remember the plot! I seem to recall that it was pretty good, too, though not outstanding.

Can't imagine you being pushy; happy to join FriendFeed!