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A Perfect Murder 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars (81) IMDb 6.5/10

Inspired by Hitchcock's seminal Dial M for Murder, this thriller features society heiress Emily who's married to successful Steven. She is due to inherit a $100 million trust fund. But an adulterous affair by Emily with David gives Steven a chance to outwit them for the big prize.

Starring:
Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow
Runtime:
1 hour, 43 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller
Director Andrew Davis
Starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow
Supporting actors Viggo Mortensen, David Suchet, Sarita Choudhury
Studio Warner Bros.
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This glossy, stylish, and elegant remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film, "Dial M for Murder", forges its own identity, as it leaves behind the theatrical underpinnings of the original film. Screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly offers up an intelligent, well written script with some surprising twist and turns. Beautifully directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Under Siege, The Package), the film delicately weaves its ingenious plot.
Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas) is a driven, wall street tycoon whose wife, Emily Bradford Taylor (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an heiress, fabulously wealthy in her own right. They live in a lavishly appointed apartment in Manhattan. The only fly in their ointment, or so it seems, is that Emily is having a love affair with a down and out artist, David Shaw (Viggo Mortensen).
It seems, however, that there is a dark side to the relationship between Steven and Emily, as Emily is decidedly unhappy with it. Moreover, unbeknownst to Emily, her artist boyfriend is not all that he appears to be nor is her husband, Steven, who is not as rich as he purports to be. Apparently, a series of bad investments have left him with margin calls that are set to leave him on the brink of bankruptcy. What's a guy to do?
Well, if you are like Steven Taylor, a ruthless, self-absorbed creep, you look to get your wife's money, at all costs. He knows about his wife's lover and will seek to use him, making David an offer he can't refuse. This decision sets in motion a cat and mouse game that leaves the viewer wondering, just who is the cat and who is the mouse? Who will live and who will die?
This is a solid thriller that will keep the viewer riveted to the screen. Excellent performances are given by all.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I recently reviewed Michael Douglas in The Game which was part of an excellent box set Game The / Perfect Stranger / Identity (15) (NEW DVD).

There is no doubt that he can perform any acting role with great flair,humour,anguish or any other emotion called for by the director.

Here he is extremely believable once again playing the menacing husband to Gwyneth Paltrow's naive wife who is having an affair with struggling opportunist Viggo Mortensen.
Quite soon Douglas manipulates Mortensen into a plot to murder his rich but unfaithful wife.
But of course in true Hitchcockian style nothing goes quite to plan and director Andrew Davis formulates a terrific thriller that the master would be proud of.

After all this is a remake of Dial M for Murder [1954] [DVD],regarded as one of Alfred Hitchcocks many classics.

Well worth a watch and an excellent addition to anybodys thriller collection.
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Format: DVD
This is a good movie and well worth the watch. Michael Douglas plays a familiar role similar to his early 1987 Wall Street Gordon Geiko role but now much more sinister, and Gwyneth Paltrow plays his younger and slightly gullible trophy wife who is searching for happiness.
The movie tells how she is taken in by an artist, and how her husband Douglas reacts. His acting is good, but not up to the level of some of his earlier roles, which would be hard for him to match in every movie. Gwyneth is likeable and adds some zing.
I watched the movie because of Douglas, but as the movie progresses the center of attention seems to shift from Michael towards Gwyneth, a more recent Oscar winner, because of her believable acting and her sympathetic role. So even with the less than a great new role for Douglas, the movie is entertaining. It is definitely worth a watch, especially for Douglas fans, which includes myself plus I am now a budding Paltrow fan.
This is a minimalist movie, and although the credits (see the Amazon movie info above) lists many actors, there are really only four characters of note in the play, i.e.: the two stars both Oscar winners along with the artist and a police detective. It is the type of movie that lends itself to being just a short play since most of the action takes place in just two apartments. The movie is set in New York city, and the director manages to work in a few local attractions such as Penn Station, the Staten Island Ferry, some skyline, and some museums. But the New York scenes are just a bonus, like icing on a cake, and the movie really hangs on the stars and their interactions. It is a good drama with some surprising turns.
Highly recommend but just 4 stars.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the second time of viewing and I enjoyed it all over again. Michael Douglas is an excellent actor and puts his heart and soul into his work. Because of this others act well with him. In Wall Street though he might have been the only actor on the set and I don't know how he coped, he must have been colosally bored, (I know I was) but his professionalism steered him through. This film though was superb and Paltrow is at her best while acting with him. Very clever and enjoyable. I think those who have moaned on here must have been falling asleep. Brilliant.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
Stephen and Emily Taylor seem to have the perfect life of wealth, elegance and privilege -- until Stephen hires his wife's lover to murder her.

If that sounds slightly familiar, that's because it's similar to the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M For Murder," which "A Perfect Murder" is a loose rewritten adaptation of. Andrew Davis is no Alfred Hitchcock, but he does fill the polished movie with a sense of tense, unnerving fear, and he gets some amazing performances out of a strong quartet of actors.

Wealthy New York socialite Emily Taylor (Gwyneth Paltrow) is having a torrid fling with a handsome young artist, David (Viggo Mortensen). At the same time, her husband Stephen (Michael Douglas) is seeing his business investments collapse. Emily and David believe their affair is a secret, until Stephen contacts David and reveals that he know all about their affair, AND about David's secret past as a thief and conman.

He offers David $500,000 to murder Emily and make it look like a random robbery, and arranges an elaborate ploy involving the house-key. It seems like the perfect murder. But not only does Emily manage to stab her attacker to death, but he isn't David. It seems like a random break-in, but Detective Karaman (David Suchet) seems to be suspicious -- and Emily begins to suspect that her husband arranged the murder attempt.

Most of the plot is lifted (and then rewritten) from "Dial M For Murder," so sadly I cannot credit Andrew Davis with the tightly-wound mystery plot, and the subsequent tangle of suspicions, blackmail and evidence that Stephen can't explain away. The strong point of "A Perfect Murder" is the acting, which is pretty brilliant all across the board.
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