Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Sidney Lumet provides another of his film adaptations of Broadway successes -- in this case Ira Levin's 1978 clever Broadway murder mystery that starred John Wood in a triumphant turn as down-on-his-luck playwright Sidney Bruhl. Wood's brittle airiness is replaced in the film version by Michael Caine's smoldering bitterness. Sidney Bruhl is a successful writer of Broadway mystery plays who was at one time considered the Neil Simon of Broadway mystery writers. Unfortunately, Bruhl is now struggling to live up to his own reputation, suffering through a series of four consecutive flops. But then Bruhl comes upon the manuscript of a brilliant suspense drama written by unknown writer Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve). Bruhl, desperate for a hit play, invites Clifford to come to see him, telling him that he is interested in collaborating with him on the play. Actually, Bruhl plans to murder Clifford and pass off Clifford's play as his own. What Bruhl doesn't know, however, is that Clifford has some surprise plot points of his own up his sleeve.
playwright, creative-block, murder, cat-and-mouse, killing, plagiarism
High Production Values