5.4/10
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5 user

Dead in the Water (1991)

Prominent lawyer Charlie Deegan has almost everything he has ever wanted. He has an important, prosperous law practice, a beautiful secretary as his lover, and the chance to be appointed to... See full summary »

Director:

Bill Condon

Writers:

Harry Whittington (novel), Eleanor Gaver (teleplay) (as Eleanor E. Gaver) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Brown ... Charlie Deegan
Teri Hatcher ... Laura Stewart
Anne De Salvo ... Olivia Deegan (as Anne DeSalvo)
Veronica Cartwright ... Victoria Haines
Seymour Cassel ... Lt. Frank Vaness
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Lou Rescetti
Anna Levine ... Edie Meyers (as Anna Thomson)
Ron Karabatsos ... Mike Welch
Daniel Reichert Daniel Reichert ... Jack Homelin
Tim Haldeman ... Prosecutor
Tom Wright ... Hotel Clerk
Ralph Oliver Ralph Oliver ... Trial Judge
Eric Christmas ... Judge Griffin
Michael Kaufman Michael Kaufman ... Neurosurgeon
C.H. Evans C.H. Evans ... Lodge Manager
Edit

Storyline

Prominent lawyer Charlie Deegan has almost everything he has ever wanted. He has an important, prosperous law practice, a beautiful secretary as his lover, and the chance to be appointed to the high court. The only thing wrong with this is that his shrewish wife Olivia, whose father made all the wealth and all the power, is living and berating him at every opportunity and that greatly upsets Charlie. So when his lover, Laura, jokingly suggests that they get rid of Olivia, Charlie thinks, being a successful lawyer, that he can actually create a fool-proof plan. In this plan, he must incorporate a socialite named Victoria whom he detests, but she can help him get into the court and be part of the plan for Olivia. But dreams of judgeship, money and Laura makes him proceed. However, things never turn out as planned and he may not be as smart as he considers himself. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When it comes to murder, nobody's perfect.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der perfekte Mord See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Charlie Deegan: The smart thing would have been to fire her. Nobody's that smart.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Down Memory Lane with Veronica Cartwright (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
NOIR NOVEL CONVERSION, WITH HIGH STYLE.
9 July 2004 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

Harry Whittington, author of over 200 novels during a lengthy career, with "Web Of Murder" the noirish thriller upon which this film is based appearing in 1958, is widely recognized as one of the more skillful plotmasters within the field of crime fiction and this production adheres to the basic structure of the original. The work is replete with wit, although the majority is not found within the mildly disjunctive scenario or from the, at times, somewhat languid direction of canny Bill Condon, but instead is centered within the moodily clever lighting and camerawork under supervision of Ron Murphy, along with the creative and droll costumes of Grania Preston. Murphy's fellow Australian Bryan Brown capably portrays Charlie Deegan, a rather unsavoury American defense attorney in love with his secretary Laura (Teri Hatcher), and conspires with her to murder his moneyed wife whom he detests, but as we must expect from a cinematic crime of passion, dire complications ensue after there is no turning back. Whittington's novel, of the hard boiled genre, whisks along at a fevered pace whereas this picture, utilizing a voiceover track of Brown, is more leisurely yet still quite enjoyable largely due to its sharp casting from top to bottom with only the aesthetic exceptions of Anne DeSalvo and Veronica Cartwright, each next to impossible to make as undesirable as their characters are in the book. Cartwright gathers in the acting laurels here with her feral performance as Deegan's fly in the ointment, with Hatcher's prototype from the mystery novel being far more aggressive than is the actress in a role that, after all, depicts murder for profit, while top-flight supporting turns come from Pruitt Taylor Vince, Ron Karabatsos, Anna Thomson and Brent Hinkley; additionally notable are the splendid sets of Jim Adams, art design by Richard Sherman and a wry thematic score by Philip Giffin, all complementing the visual concepts of the cinematography, while one shall not overlook the extraordinary opening credits, employing a spider and a hapless fly (come into my parlour....), highlighted by excellent sound mixing for this stylish and generally overlooked film.


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