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Compromising Positions

Overview

Director Frank Perry brings Susan Issacs' comedic whodunit novel to the screen with Susan Sarandon as a Long Island housewife who tries to escape her deadening suburban life by trying to solve the murder of a philandering local dentist. The dentist, Bruce Fleckstein Joe Mantegna, is the kind of swinging ladies' man who wears gold chains and jazzy clothing. He also arranges to meet his lonely housewife patients in hotel rooms for afternoon quickies. When he is found murdered in his office, the suspects are as ...
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Overview

Director Frank Perry brings Susan Issacs' comedic whodunit novel to the screen with Susan Sarandon as a Long Island housewife who tries to escape her deadening suburban life by trying to solve the murder of a philandering local dentist. The dentist, Bruce Fleckstein Joe Mantegna, is the kind of swinging ladies' man who wears gold chains and jazzy clothing. He also arranges to meet his lonely housewife patients in hotel rooms for afternoon quickies. When he is found murdered in his office, the suspects are as numerous as the names in the Nyack telephone directory, especially since Fleckstein had the habit of taking incriminating Polaroid snapshots during his one-on-one sessions. Judith Singer Sarandon is an ex-Newsday reporter and bored wife of Bob Singer Edward Herrmann, a stuffy business executive, and she was one of the last people to see Fleckstein alive. Considered a suspect by police detective David Suarez Raul Julia, she determines to solve the case herself, interviewing suspects and searching for evidence. If she solves the crime, Judith hopes to write an article about it and get her old job back at the newspaper.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The screenplay for Compromising Positions has all the ingredients for a delightful murder mystery-comedy. There's an amusingly despicable murder victim, a long list of could've-done-its, a spunky and determined amateur sleuth, a seasoned crime professional, and an interesting (although determinedly non-exotic) setting. Unfortunately, the screenplay also includes a number of characters who are not entertaining enough to make up for their essential unpleasantness (and therefore come across as bores to the audience). Frank Perry's direction, which emphasizes the venality of the characters at the expense of their comic potential, only adds to its misanthropic feeling, and his often sluggish pacing doesn't help the situation. Fortunately, Compromising Positions has a strong cast. Susan Sarandon can't quite make Judith a fully rounded character -- the screenplay spends too much time whizzing her from one clue to another and not enough time fleshing her out -- but she's fun to be with, and she and Raul Julia exhibit a nice chemistry. Judith Ivey is a standout as a cynical sculptress, and Joe Mantegna is perfect in his all-too-brief role as the victim. In addition, the film is quite effective in its precise observations about the emptiness of suburban life. Director Perry would follow Compromising Positions with only one more directorial effort, the unmemorable Hello Again.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/1995
  • UPC: 097360192834
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Sarandon Judith Singer
Raul Julia David Suarez
Edward Herrmann Bob Singer
Judith Ivey Nancy Miller
Mary Beth Hurt Peg Tuccio
Joe Mantegna Dentist Bruce Fleckstein
Anne de Salvo Phyllis Fleckstein
Josh Mostel Dicky Dunck
Deborah Rush Brenda Dunck
Joan Allen Mary Alice Mahoney
Harris Laskaway Leader Cop
William Youmans Motel Clerk
Kaiulani Lee Scotty Hughes
Tanya Berezin Newsday Editor
Amanda Lyons Kate Singer
Chris Cunningham Joey Singer
Jason Beghe Cupcake
Tim Jerome Rabbi
Jack Gilpin Patrol Car Cop
Bill Cobbs Sgt. Williams
Paul Butler Cop
Pat Harper Newscaster
Elkan Abramowitz Police Sergeant
Jon Polito Cop
Technical Credits
Frank Perry Director, Producer
Joseph G. Aulisi Costumes/Costume Designer
Kathryn Bihr Makeup
Nora Ephron Screenwriter
Howard Feuer Casting
Brad Fiedel Score Composer
Peter C. Frank Editor
Susan Isaacs Screenwriter
Tony Jannelli Camera Operator
Victor Kempster Set Decoration/Design
Peter Larkin Production Designer
Patrick McCormick Associate Producer, Production Manager
Peter Odabashian Sound Editor
Rita Ogden Makeup
Barry Sonnenfeld Cinematographer
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