A Perfect Murder (1998)

(On TV, June 2015) Some good movies just slip by unseen, but the beauty of endless reruns is that sooner or later, they come back.  So it is that I was able to catch up on old-fashioned thriller A Perfect Murder, adapted from classic Hitchcock thriller Dial M For Murder but more than good enough on its own.  The first few minutes all pile up the mini-revelations, as a woman (a young-looking Gwyneth Paltrow) is revealed to be having an affair with a man who is further revealed (by her husband, no less) as being a career con artist who’s probably up to no good.  A deal is made; money for murder for money, the husband paying the con man to get rid of his wife so that her inheritance can shore up his bad investments.  It’s already twisted, but there’s more to come, with murder and suspense aplenty.  Michael Douglas can play the wealthy heavy like no others, while Paltrow looks suitably vulnerable as the heroine of the film.  Director Andrew Davis keeps things moving, the film has that pleasant mid-nineties sheen and the suspense sequences do have a classic quality to them despite the odd eruption of blood.  It amounts to a decent time, perhaps a bit overlong but not outrageously so.  A Perfect Murder remains a thriller in the classical mode, and that’s not an inconsequential advantage at a time where we seem to have moved a bit too much beyond the classical.

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