Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kind of Watching TV: Guilty Conscience

Oh hi, you know, in my career, I get many things to view. Just yesterday a vagrant threw a soiled bag of DVD's at me, and this was in it, the 1985 classic Guilty Conscience. This movie is about a boring ass, pompous lawyer who had extended conversations with his ID (who's apparently near-sighted) and he spends the movie juggling his wife ( Blythe Danner) and his mistress, Swoosie Kurtz.

I normally hate movies from the '80s but this was an exception, I like murder mysteries! If someone wants to go shopping for me, just buy me a movie where someone's shooting somebody, like Gandhi or Mary Poppins, those action scenes are rad.

Anyway Arthur (Anthony Hopkins) desperately wants to kill his wife (Blythe Danner) and has concocted a brilliant home invasion scenario that looks so good, Crockett and Tubbs would have called it an accident. But there's a catch--and of course all of the implications are talked over with Arthur and his geeky alter ego. How do you tell them apart? You can't really, they both are played by Anthony Hopkins and they are both annoying.  Anyway, my copy of Guilty Conscience is no cinematic/video masterpiece, it looks like it was taped on a worn VHS tape. Instead of talking about the intricacies of the film--but there's a few things that have to be seen, here's a review of the actors performances.

Anthony Hopkins- He did ok. This was filmed for CBS Television so this would qualify as part of Anthony Hopkins's lean years, you know when he guested on 227 as landlord and busy buddy Mr. Fitzworthy and was on the run and was captured near a Hands-Across-America chain. Hopkins is pretty much himself here, as hammy as Porky Pig and only truly likable to the criminally deranged. I like him a lot.

Grade ***

Blythe Danner- I should recuse myself from grading since I'm so fond of Blythe Danner, she's one of the 7 or 8 human beings I actually like. She looked great in this. Danner must have come up on Hard Times during this particular juncture because this is no lost classic. Still Danner gave her portrayal a cerebral and sensual
energy, she just has "it" so expressive, interesting, etc. Oddly enough, during one of the more important scenes, someone instructed Danner to put on big, ol' glasses that were as big as windshields. Glasses, to hide those eyes? A. crime. (sp.)

Grade ******

Swoosie Kurtz- This is what some might call, the First Swoosie Kurtz before she was "re-imagined" a few years later. Kurtz was very cute here, earthy, a little tough and with her original hair color, nose and whatnot. As for fans of her work in Sisters and Mike and Molly, they might not recognize her. Kurtz did good work with Danner and Hopkins and Kurtz's character was so fun, I wish she could have pimp slapped Blythe Danner, strangled Anthony Hopkins and walked away with the credits rolling. I'm a romantic!

 Grade ****

Movie Grade: Guilty Conscience putters around from company to company who specialize in budget fare. I've seen 2 hour versions, a 5 hour version and another version where James Brown from the TAMI show is spliced in. The version I have looks awful but the work is sound.

Grade ***
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