The Last Seduction (1994)
Directed by John Dahl
Produced by Jonathan Shestack
Written by Steve Barancik
Cinematography by Jeff Jur
Edited by Eric L. Beason
October Films, ITC
(1:50) New to me - FilmStruck
Whether you call it film noir, neo-noir or simply a crime picture, the performance of Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction stands as one of the greatest portrayals of a femme fatale in the past 25 years, perhaps the best.
Fiorentino plays Bridget Gregory, a high-stakes, supremely confident New York business executive married to Clay (Bill Pullman, above), who works in the pharmaceutical industry, selling drugs illegally. After getting knocked around by her husband, Bridget decides to take his latest score and disappear.
While Clay hires a private investigator (Bill Nunn) to track her down, Bridget (now calling herself Wendy Kroy, a sort-of anagram of New York) lands in a small burg called Beston, where she attracts the attention of a local insurance man named Mike Swale (Peter Berg, above). Let’s just say that Mike has no idea of how his life is about to change.
Hardcore film noir fans will know exactly what happens next, or will they? Remember, it’s 1994: we’re not fighting against Joseph Breen and the Production Code, so all bets are off as far as predicting the ending. Although the movie is almost 25 years old, The Last Seduction is still very effective, essential viewing for film noir fans. I won’t go into any more detail, but if you’re a FilmStruck subscriber you can (until the service stops on November 29, barring a hoped-for miracle) watch it there or wait for the new Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing/Kino Lorber on November 20.
Next time: a collaboration with fellow blogger on a devastating noir featuring a script by Dalton Trumbo.
Photos: DVD Beaver, Behind the Seens