34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caustic noir with a mesmerising central performance
Wendy (Aka Bridget played by Linda Fiorentino) is sitting in a bar in the salubrious surroundings of Beston, which is near Buffalo NY apparently. She is enjoying a quiet drink alone, the archetypal femme fatale dressed in black smoking sultrily, when local boy Mike (Peter Berg) decides to try his luck with this lavicious beauty. She looks at him like he's a pool of...
Published on 5 Jun 2006 by russell clarke
3.0 out of 5 stars Overhyped
Overhyped film noir which sort of cashed in on the times. Good to see a female protagonist but it just didn't come off.
Published 19 days ago by Dan Smith
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caustic noir with a mesmerising central performance,
Wendy (Aka Bridget played by Linda Fiorentino) is sitting in a bar in the salubrious surroundings of Beston, which is near Buffalo NY apparently. She is enjoying a quiet drink alone, the archetypal femme fatale dressed in black smoking sultrily, when local boy Mike (Peter Berg) decides to try his luck with this lavicious beauty. She looks at him like he's a pool of something vile and unidentifiable on a pavement and tells in no uncertain terms to leave her alone .Mike in a last desperate attempt to impress tells her he's hung like a Grand National winner. She promptly checks this out herself and satisfied designates him to service her carnally. Mike is blown away, if you'll forgive the pun, this is the best sex he's ever had. He is putty in her hands. Which is good for his libido but very, very bad for his long term well being. This is one cruel amoral lady. Just how cruel and calculating, the audience like poor dork Mike has yet to discover.
The Last Seduction was released in 1994 and may well have earned Fiorentino an Oscar nod, but she was denied because it was shown on cable TV before it's theatrical release. A great shame, as she is truly superb in this movie dispensing caustic home truths and waspish witticisms with laser like accuracy. She is also undeniably incontrovertibly sex on a stick. Her allure exudes from the screen. This woman should have been a major star but somehow it never happened and we have ended up with Jennifer Aniston and Katie Holmes who are about as sexy as a supermarket trolley......in a canal.
Fiorentino is the main reason this film works so well but it's directed with metricious zeal by John Dahl who you feel is aiming for a noir classic but the scabrous wit in Steve Baranciks screenplay and the zesty interplay between the characters lets the light in too often for that. Though be in no doubt the films heart is blacker than a space shuttle full of Republicans orbiting a dark star.
The plot has Bridget duping her husband Clay (Bill Pullman in a wonderfully lugubriously outraged role) out of near a million dollars after persuading him to run a scam involving cocaine and some not very nice people. She has fled with the money and left him to face whatever unpleasant consequences ensue which is why she has hitched up in Hicksville. Which brings us to her meeting with Mike, who she promptly gives the run around in a way that makes you question whether anyone would be that gullible .But then you remember as a bloke, some of the trials and travails you have undergone in order to get laid and realise that just about any bloke would have done exactly the same as the unfortunate Mike. Berg is great in this movie, resisting the temptation to play Mike as a downtrodden hero, content to sit it out in a manipulated naïve role. Some may feel outraged that there is no moral payback for Bridget but if there was the film would not really work as well as it does. Life is sometimes as downright vindictive and iniquitous as this film.
This two disc set includes a directors cut with extra scenes which are ostensibly sex scenes though there is an alternative ending. This also includes a making of documentary, a dry director's commentary by Dahl and for some reason an episode of "Fallen Angels" starring Pullman, Heather Graham and Jon Favreau which was written by Dahl based on a Mickey Spillane story. But the main draw is the film, which is a cold yet cool classic......and Fiorentino of course.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Seduction Two Disc Set,
Great performances from Linda Fiorentino, Bill Pullman and Peter Berg in this 90's film noir, full of twists and turns. Directed by John Dahl who also directed another underated film in the same decade called "Red Rock West."
Fiorentino's Bridget will literally stop at nothing to get what she wants. She runs rings around the men in the film by messing with minds, taking advantage of love and lust, and even murder in this tale of passion, greed and revenge.
Apart from the original 1 hour 45 minute film presented with an excellent print and 5.1 audio, this two disc package contains an "extended directors cut" which lasts 2 hours 9 mins. The annoying thing about this is that the quality of this version is interrupted by the additional scenes shown as "rushes." These scenes are out of place in sound and viewing quality with the rest of the film, and the timings are shown at the top of the screen. The directors cut should have just been shown like a normal film as it looks a decent alternative to the original release.
Various bonuses include a commemorative 12 page booklet, alternative ending, commentaries, "The Art Of Seduction" documentary, trailer, and a short film (29 mins approx) starring Bill Pullman and Heather Graham, which is really just a filler to the overall package.
An excellent soundtrack is worth highlighting; provided by Joseph Vitorelli, the jazzy main theme stays with you long after the film has ended - it is endearingly beautiful. The rest of the music is a mix of jazz and blues and I recommend getting the soundtrack on cd.
All in all a good set slightly let down by the viewing and sound fragmentation of the directors cut.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last this is available once more on video...,
This review is from: The Last Seduction [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The Last Seduction is a classic of Film Noir and one of the best films of the 1990's. I have been seeking it on video since I first saw it on TV but it has been unavailable in this country for many years. At the price it is now offered at no one should miss this opportunity...now where is the DVD version? Renowned at the times for it's sex scenes this was perhaps a little unfair to such a wonderful film. Certainly it is sexy, but even for 1993 the sex scenes were not over the top and are absolutely essential to both storyline and character development. Linda Fiorentino is both alluring and blatantly sexual in the main role as a femme fatale running away from New York and her husband with the proceeds of their first and only drug deal end up in a small town, which as a city gal she despises. He, played by Bill Pullman, understandably attempts to get the money back but is thwarted by his ice cold wife and her new lover (Peter Berg) who she manipulates mercilessly into solving all her problems. To reveal more would be to ruin the storyline of this brilliant film. Fiorentino demonstrates here that she is a cut above the typical hollywood actress, Bill Pullman is great as her husband and Peter Berg suitably unsophisticated as the small town lover out of his depth as her latest conquest. The late J T Walsh puts in a typically excellent - though small - performance as her lawyer. In a word buy it....wait for the inevitable DVD then buy that too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Fiorentino and a Director's Cut,
I was a big fan of this movie when it came out in the nineties, and was thrilled to find it available in this edition. Linda Fiorentino is effectively the traditional Hollywood male lead in the movie, and it is great that the makers of this film managed to sneak it into the style it is without their movie bosses noticing until it was too late. Very early on the movie did well outside of the USA, and was especially popular in France.
The two disc collector's edition gives you the original theatrical release on disc one, plus some bonus features. Disc two gives you the Director's Cut, with deleted scenes, audio commentary and the like. The only drawback to the Director's Cut, is that no post production work was done on the scenes that were re-inserted into the movie. It does add some additional texture to the timeline of the main character on her arrival in town, and sheds some light on further motive and plot which didn't make it into the theatrical release.
I'm really glad someone put the effort in to make a proper collector's edition package in honour of this movie. Linda Fiorentino remains my favourite smokey seductress, and she makes a forceful and great villain to boot.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Fiorentino is ferociously good" ...,
"[The Last Seduction] is a roller-coaster of twists and turns. It is the classic film noir thriller, but it turns everything on its head. Just when you think you know what's going to happen, it does a twist into the unexpected. I'm a fan of the [noir] genre. I like atmosphere and I'm fascinated by the psychology of the characters - the deceit, the betrayal and the desperation." - John Dahl, director of THE LAST SEDUCTION
Linda Fiorentino has since appeared as fluff in, for example, MEN IN BLACK ... but why oh WHY is such a talent being made to go to waste? As tough-as-nails, rotten-to-the-core femme fatale Bridget Gregory/Wendy Kroy there was just no stopping her - "Fiorentino is ferociously good" ...
John Dahl (KILL ME AGAIN and RED ROCK WEST) delivers this unusual, dark, tongue-in-cheek neo-noir thriller about Bridget Gregory, a sexy and oh-so-savvy hustler who connives unlikable husband Clay, a struck-off doctor, into selling pharmaceutical cocaine to pay off a loan shark ... then takes off with the $700,000 whilst he's in the shower. No packing of bags, no checking for passport - nothing. She simply takes the haul and leaves. Stopping in Jerkville, USA (Beston in up-state New York) to 'phone her lawyer (the late J.T. Walsh: stripey shirt, red braces, slick dialogue - yeah, he's The Sharp Attorney), she is advised not to start spending the $700,000 loot for another six months at least.
What now? Oh well, have a beer first. She breezes into the nearest bar, where local boy Mike Swale (Peter Berg) is berating Beston, NY and all its inhabitants for its bland and unimaginative provincialness. He is immediately bowled-over and conquered by Bridget's confidence - needing a place to stay the night, she enlists him with the irresistible, "You're my designated f*** for the evening ..." Bridget leaves in the morning, having exhausted Swale. To lay low for six months means taking a job. No problem, she was in telemarketing in New York and there's a director's position going at the local electronics firm. And so is a rented house.
To Swale, Bridget Gregory (now adopting the nom de noir Wendy Kroy) is a slick city-chick, and his soon-to-be ticket out of Beston (actually, it's his second attempt; the first ended in humiliating farce in Buffalo), and he cannot get her out of his mind or out of his system. But he need not try too hard for Wendy 'keeps' him anyway, as suitable cover while she has to put up with Beston, where people always say "Hello!" "please" and "Thank you," and no one locks their doors at night ... Fractious Bridget/Wendy shudders in unconcealed contempt. "Spare me your brainless, countrified morality." When Clay's loan-shark heavy, Harlan, tracks her down, he is almost-casually despatched by sexily luring him out of his seat-belt ... to his cost. Wendy Kroy is at her chessmaster's best when epitomizing the maxim "never underestimate a man's ability to underestimate a woman ..." by using stereotypical assumptions about women to her advantage.
Such as the scene where, in cutesy smiles and twee little apron, she brings cookies out to the detective who is keeping an eye on her house. As we already see Bridget as the Ice Queen, we wonder what this is about - it's a ploy so that she can plant nails under his tyres. Then there's another in which she convinces Mike that she loves him by planting a note for him to find showing his name in a little heart ... aaahhhh ...! Gradually, the big-hearted but garrulous Mike is seduced deeper into Wendy Kroy's web of evil intrigue, involving murder on behalf of deceived and cheated-upon wives. Eventually, Mike Swale is persuaded to kill a Mr. C. Cahill in New York ...
Linda Fiorentino is enchantingly and intoxicatingly wicked as the icily cold-blooded beauty who redefines the terms 'calculating' and 'ruthless.' Bill Pullman and Peter Berg add an element of comic relief as mere cyphers, the objects of her wrath (read: saps), whilst legal eagle J.T. Walsh is just about Bridget's professionally-detached equal in her unconscionably dastardly doings ("Anyone check you for a heartbeat lately?"). The best lines are about Bridget: "I love you ... I'm sure you feel the same way - I'm sure you love you, too" - or from her: Dahl saturates this picture with atmosphere - the incidental music is a near-continuous cool strumming by a cocktail-lounge trio!
THE LAST SEDUCTION was filmed-for-cable (and therefore Fiorentino could not really qualify for any Academy Award nominations) and is far better than most in the genre, thanks to the creative and well-paced unfolding of the plot and character development. It also has a well-written script that reveals just enough of the evil lurking beneath the surface but not too much. Because Steve Barancik deliberately avoids providing us with any easy motivation for Bridget's actions (like, say, a troubled childhood), her amorality becomes all the more questionable - but all the more effective.
Perhaps what makes the maliciously calculating and amoral Bridget Gregory/Wendy Kroy just that teensy-weensy bit endearing after all ... is that her adversaries clearly deserve what they get; they have few, if any, redeeming qualities - they are themselves either too corrupt (Clay), too mean (Harlan), or too naïvely stupid (Mike). One cannot help chuckling with her in the back of the limo ... as she gets away with it ...!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated thriller.,
Wendy Croy (Linda Fiorentino) was awarded the title "best femme fatale" by the BBC's Film 2013. The character is played with icy cool in this somewhat overlooked but eminently watchable thriller. The film has aged very well and is worth a look by noir fans and anyone who likes a strong female lead.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully mean!,
After being goaded into stealing, and then selling pharmaceutical cocaine by his wife, Clay Gregory is aghast when she steals the money and flees to god knows where. But really this is only just the tip of the iceberg, for his wife, Bridget, has plans and motives, and nothing it seems will get in the way of her achieving her goals.
One always gets a sense of dread when reading of a modern Noir film doing the rounds, that sense that the film is obviously poor and the makers are desperately trying to sell it to the uninitiated genre seekers. Two fold worry comes when the said film is a TV movie that, until it's word of mouth got it noticed, had no theatrical release at all. Of course when said film turns out to be a clinically great movie then the joy is hard to contain, two fold! The Last Seduction is a darkly funny, cynically nasty, triumphant piece of cinema.
What is most refreshing with the piece is that it gives the movie watching world a female character of rich devilment substance, the kind we rarely see in the modern age of cinema. Here with Bridget Gregory we have not only a sexually aggressive femme fatale, but also a girl who is so wickedly intelligent it makes the men in her life seem like lobotomised amoeba's! It's quite a role that any serious actress should want to take on and conquer. As it was, the gig went to the (then) largely unknown Linda Fiorentino, who positively grasps the opportunity with both her hands and teeth to create one of the 90s most unheralded female performances. Backed up by the astute casting of Bill Pullman and Peter Berg as the differing hapless men in her life, the result is close to being TV movie gold.
Technically the film obviously pings with a TV movie production value, but this is off set by the excellent photography from Jeff Jur, smoky bars captured in the truest feel of a noirish dream about to become a whole heap of trouble and strife. Great score from Joseph Vitarelli that perfectly fuses jazz beats with the pulse beat of the story, the story that is so very well written by Steve Barancik, and it's here outside of Fiorentino's performance where the success of the film can be found. The plot twists and turns like a worm trying to negotiate its way out of some noir labyrinth, with dashes of crackling dialogue helping to keep the journey a compulsory viewing, and then the end caps it off and you will not know if you should laugh or be shocked? Chances are you will be doing both.
Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but one of the best TV movie's ever? Hell yes, immense fun to be had with this one. 8/10
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb seduction is Frightful Fiorentino,
Bridget Gregory (Fiorentino) cons her husband out of a fortune and finds herself in a new job in Buffalo where things she learns are very different.
When taking a trip down memory lane and looking at the great femme fatales Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction may pop up or Kim Basinger in L.A Confidential may flash by but has any actress ever stolen a film like Linda Fiorentino did in 1994? The star broke minds 14 years ago with a sophisticated sexy portrayal as Bridget Gregory, the woman with the deceptiveness of the devil and the image of a Goddess. She is the film, the main reason to watch and represents that onscreen magic that makes you want evil to triumph over good, like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs or the Joker in The Dark Knight. Fiorentino is a marvel and the gem of an intricately woven drama.
Opening with a drugs deal sequence and you have a crime thriller on your hands. This opening montage is interesting if somewhat bizarrely arranged and once Bridget takes off with the money we have a none stop thriller on our hands that never stops entertaining. What we see is a fast and flowing showcase of minds, the independent mindset of the stealing predator against the vulnerable and cocky victim that is Bill Pullman. You will always be routing for the perfect predator.
Filled with living issues and pride, the Last Seduction brings out passion of lives and the deals to survive. More than a thriller, looking deeper and you have almost a personal sentimental viewing.
The charisma of Gregory and her seductive traits almost make for an erotic thriller but the strong mindedness of real life and the thrill of the chase cement this 1994 picture into dramatic thriller territory.
Always consistent and interesting, John Dahl's direction brings the story to the viewer in an entertaining and realistic way. There are minimal dull moments and no one, not even Gregory's talky love interest, can spoil the viewing.
As charismatic as the narrative is and how dramatic Dahl makes the direction, there is one thing viewers will remember when that excellent ending finishes, Bridget Gregory
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smart thriller in the tradition of "Double Indemnity",
If you are looking for a smart thriller, where you go along for the ride because you are never going to be able to catch up with what is going on, then "The Last Seduction" is a prime choice for your late night enjoyment. Directed by John Dahl and written by Steve Baranci, this 1994 film begins with Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) lording it over an office of telemarketers trying to sell collectible coins. Meanwhile, her husband Clay (Bill Pullman) has pulled his first drug deal and netted $700,000. However, as they talk about celebrating he makes the mistake of slapping her and by the time he gets out of the shower she has disappeared with the money. Of course, by the end of the movie when he are thinking that Clay made a mistake marrying Bridget in the first place. Bridget calls up her lawyer (J.T. Walsh) to find out what her options are preserving stolen money as a marital asset when she gets a divorce while Clay hires a private eye (Bill Nunn) to find her and get his money back because he has a loan shark who is not happy with him.
The obvious historical antecedent for "The Last Seduction" is "Double Indemnity," and when Bridget takes the name Wendy Kroy (look at it backwards) and starts working for an insurance company it is hard not to notice the similarities (that and she calls herself Mrs. Neff at one point). However, before that happens she hooks up with Mike Swale (Peter Berg) at a bar and is less than thrilled to see that he works there two. They continue to meet at the bar for sex and he keeps trying to get closer, but she is still on the run and needs to come up with a way of saving her life and the keeping the money (not necessarily in that order).
"The Last Seduction" begins trying to lull you into thinking this is a romantic comedy (my wife kept saying "You said this was a thriller, this is not the music of a thriller"), but then things take a more serious turn. Once that happens the twists and turns just keep coming as Linda Fiorentino makes Barbara Stanwyck's Phyllis Dietrichson look like a prim and proper little schoolgirl. Unfortunately, "The Last Seduction" was shown on television before its theatrical release, which put the kibosh on any hopes of Fiorentino getting an Oscar nomination. Yes, the character is that memorable, as good at being bad as anyone you can recall and she never, ever lets the mask slip away as this mistress of improvisation takes care of everyone and everything in her own sweet way.
There are no extras of any kind on this DVD, which actually is a good thing. That is because this is the sort of film that should really stand on its own without a look behind the curtain and it makes perfect sense that there are not any deleted scenes. Even a trailer might give away too much of the game. This might not be a great film, but it is very, very good and worth a late night viewing.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the last seduction,
the last seduction is one of my favouritealltime erotic thriller the plot is cleaverly thaught of an story of erotic passion and betrayal and bill pullman is phenomenal and linda fiorentino is stunningly and hypnoticaly
excellent and great suporting performances from peter berg and bill nunn
perfect movie to get in the erotic mysterie mood for an great night in
and an escape from the usual rubbish that is on the tv and sky.
i give it 20/10
from. frankie smales
(for the south leeds free press uk)
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The Last Seduction [Blu-ray] by John Dahl (Blu-ray - 2015)
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