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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Last Embrace
Directed by Jonathan Demme
MGM Home Entertainment 05/79 DVD/VHS Feature Film

Harry Hannan, a CIA style operative, suffers a breakdown after his wife is murdered in a shootout. As he is leaving the psychiatric clinic, his counselor tells him to take it easy. But Harry sees trouble closing in all around him. He imagines being pushed in front of a train at a suburban depot. He finds a graduate student named Ellie Fabian living in his Manhattan apartment. Who is she? He is trailed by his wife's brother who believes Hannan is responsible for her death. However, the real danger turns out to be a death threat delivered in the mail. A trip to Princeton to decipher the Hebraic text leads Hannan further into confusion. Why is he the target of a Jewish fanatic?

Jonathan Demme (Handle with Care) directs this thriller with agile finesse. The fast and jazzy cinematography of Tak Fujimoto adds a special syncopation to the storyline. Movie buffs will enjoy the Hitchcockian visual referents and action fans will appreciate Roy Schneider's taut performance as Hannan. Janet Margolin's complex portrait of the enigmatic Ellie Fabian ought to give her screen career a quantum leap forward. Last Embrace packs a real wallop of suspense.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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