In Still of the Night, a mystery thriller written and directed by Robert Benton, a psychiatrist falls in love with a woman who is suspected of the murder of one of his patients. Dr. Sam Rice (Roy Scheider) is treating a married museum curator. When the man is killed, Sam is visited by his dead patient's mistress and co-worker Brooke Reynolds (Meryl Streep) who wants him to return a watch -- that was left at her home -- to the patient's wife. Sam is immediately attracted to the cool, aloof Brooke, who has been discussed during numerous therapy sessions. When he hears about the mysterious death of Brook's father, and he himself is stalked by a woman who resembles Brook, he begins to both desire and fear her. Despite its rather leisurely pace, and some dream sequences which distract from the suspense, Still of the Night is an effective thriller despite a contrived surprise ending when the killer is revealed. Scheider is believable as the doctor in love, but Streep is rather strained in a role that demands a sexual allure and eroticism which she seems uncomfortable portraying. Benton's cinematography is moody and frightening, particularly when Scheider is followed through Central Park. Despite its flaws, Still of the Night should please fans of psychological thrillers.
by Linda Rasmussen synopsis