Malice is available from

reel.com  &

bigstar.com &

amazon.com

on vhs only

no DVD at this time, but it's coming soon.

Malice

released 1993

Written by Aaron Sorkin & Scott Frank

Directed by Harold Becker

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman, Bebe Neuwirth, Peter Gallagher, Josef Sommer, Anne Bancroft, George C. Scott (heavens! what a cast!), and of course............................................


This dark, atmosphere-laden mystery thriller is told in two distinct acts.  Act I takes place at a private New England women's college where a rapist-murder is on the loose.  Students are leaving.  College Associate Dean Andy Safian has to deal with the cops, security, and recalcitrant students (one of whom is fetchingly played by Gwyneth Paltrow.)  On top of all that, his house needs $40,000 worth of renovations.  Yikes!  This guy has problems.

But life is not all doom-and-gloom for the Dean.  His marriage to his favorite former student (Kidman) is going well.  She is well liked as a volunteer at a local hospital day care center for sick children.  But into this bliss comes Jed, a high school acquaintance (well, okay, that's stretching it a bit--Jed was the star football player; Andy was a geek), a brilliant surgeon from Boston, and a good lookin' sonofagun to boot.   Andy invites Jed to live on the third floor of his ramshackle house, which turns out to be a noisy affair.  

But on one very bad day it all comes crashing down.  Andy becomes a suspect in the rape case.  Tracey requires delicate emergency surgery, performed by none other than housemate Jed.  Tracey blames both for her misfortune, and.........

Act 2 begins as Andy begins to pick up the pieces of his life.  Now, it's up to him to clear his name, to find out the real reason for Tracey's disastrous surgery ,and to discover the utterly mysterious Jed's ulterior motives. Andy comes to the conclusion that he doesn't know his beautiful wife as well as he thought.  He gets a big lesson from Tracey's mother, played with delightful relish by Anne Bancroft (great scene!)   The story takes us down more twists than a New York pretzel to a rather mundane ending.

Our man Bill plays the pivotal role of Andy deftly.  He convincingly portrays the earnest, even- tempered college dean and husband, but then shifts into high gear as betrayed husband and sleuth.  Bill may have had third billing behind Baldwin and Kidman, but this is really Andy's story, and Bill rises to the occasion.  Though the critics blew off "Malice" as predictable, it certainly raised Bill's profile, 'cause the offers started rolling in afterwards.

Rated R for language, violence, Bill's sexy nude love scene with Nicole, Alec's nude love scene with Nicole, and some blood.

comments by Mary Anne Cochrane-McIver and dlrs

Malice Photographs

(thanks Ildi!)

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Andy & Dana the cop confer about those pesky rapes and murders.

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Andy & Jed meet after many years.

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Tracey & Andy talk in the kitchen

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Didn't anyone every tell these two you shouldn't eat in bed?

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That's a good boy!

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Gotta get some curtains!

 

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Andy learns old houses mean lots of work and money.

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The boys talk about life, women, and cutting off body parts.  Just another normal day at the bar.

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Dean Andy gets tough with Gwyneth.  Get an alarm clock!

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The devoted husband watching for Tracey's return.

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Being dean means working late, worrying about all those girls not doing their homework.  Which college did you say this was?   Sign me up!

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The part of the deanship they don't tell you about: finding your students dead in the backyard. 

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Andy contemplates the latest crime.

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Andy is stunned to learn that he's a suspect.

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Andy & Jed confer about Tracey's surgery, and Andy learns some awful news.

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Tossed out, alone, confused, hurt.   Somebody take this guy home with them and love him!

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Andy learns the ugly truth about the mild mannered janitor........

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he's a little strange (I mean, the guy lives in the basement in a campus building) and he likes to keep hair--human hair.

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Andy takes on the strange janitor and wins!   Way to go, except his face takes a bit of a beating.

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Dana & Andy toast his success as a beater-upper of a rapist/murderer.  The guy deserves a double scotch.

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Poor Andy.  But he's about to get his revenge.

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Confronting Jed was interesting.

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The confrontation with Tracey's attorney was even more interesting.

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Andy is about to get an education.

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It's like shooting tuna in a barrel!

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Contemplating his next move......

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.....and then he finds a mysterious syringe .

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"What does everyone want...I want the Red Sox to win the World Series."

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Andy contemplates Tracey's split personality..

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"Make it single malt scotch.   Blended scotch is crap."

Some More Nice "Malice" pix

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Bill as Andy Safian

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Bill as the concerned husband Andy

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Bill & Alec Baldwin as the concerned doctor, lover, whatever........

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Nicole & Bill as the really hacked off landlords.

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Another good "Bill as Andy" photo

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(I won't even go there........ed.)

 

And one more for the road......

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Here's a good review:

MALICE

A Nebbadoon, Inc. review by Joan Ellis.

"Malice" injects murder and mystery into the academic quiet of a Massachusetts college campus. In this case, the quiet is surreal. Professors and students come home to dark, empty houses surrounded by the dark, empty houses of their neighbors. There is no evidence of the rituals of daily living in these desolate streets. Perhaps the director cleared the scene and forgot to put anything back for the film. A UPS truck would do, or a mailman, or some students. The ominous certainly is realized with a brutal attack on a student that leaves us full of the right kind of curiosity. Who did it? Why? Why here? And so the cast is introduced: Andy, the associate dean of the college must deal with the attack; Dr. Jed Hill, newly arrived in town with a reputation for surgical brilliance, must save the student; Tracy, disgruntled wife of Andy, works at a nursery school and wants children of her own.

Bill Pullman is very good as the gentle dean who deals with the everyday fare of his office. As the players and events in the unfolding drama confront him with excruciating dilemmas, he rises to the crises, becoming the real detective on the case. Don't even ask where the police are. They have Pullman to do their job for them and he, with a personal stake in it, warms to the search. Alec Baldwin's arrogance is predictable now, although he's getting pretty good at faking decency when it's absolutely necessary. Ironically, his best scene here is an outburst before an investigative board where he defends himself as being no less than God in his power and capabilities. George C. Scott has a fine moment as a grand old doctor humbled in the witness chair. Nicole Kidman is convincing and consistent.

To say more would reveal the plot, and that would be unfair because the plot is the overwhelming problem here. Writer Aaron Sorkin, who did such a fine job with "A Few Good Men" for Broadway and Hollywood, lays down a compelling false trail which the faithful audience follows, only to be told it was a detour. The good side of his mistake is that so much is happening you may not notice it. The zinger in this movie is a scene between Bill Pullman and Ann Bancroft that is surely the best mother-in-law/son-in-law confrontation on record. Making a genuine connection under the worst circumstances, they are both funny and sorrowful. It's a jewel of a scene, a story itself within the whole as well as a dramatic leap forward in the action. If you can forgive Mr. Sorkin his early detour, you will find plenty of the anticipatory dread so cherished by lovers of murder yarns. And if you like your murder, revenge, rape, avarice, conspiracy and fraud wrapped in one neat little package, then this one's for you.

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