Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi, Wayne Knight, Hanna Schygulla, Campbell Scott, Jo Anderson, Christine Ebersole, Lois Hall, Richard Easton, Robin Williams
Written by: Scott Frank
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
MPAA Rating: R for language and violence
Running Time: 107
Date: 08/23/1991
IMDB

Dead Again (1991)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Shear Suspense

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For his second feature after his celebrated Henry V, actor/director Kenneth Branagh chose this smart, original screenplay by Scott Frank, who would go on to an impressive career. A stylish, slick homage to film noir detective movies, it's set in two time periods, with the 1940s sequences shown in black-and-white, and the modern-day sequences shown in color. In the past, a woman (Emma Thompson) is murdered and her husband (Branagh) is accused of doing the deed. In the present, private eye Mike Church (Branagh) takes the case of trying to find the identity of a woman with amnesia (Thompson). We get some priceless missing jewels, deadly scissors, hypnotism, and Robin Williams in a great supporting part as a discredited psychiatrist. Andy Garcia co-stars in the 1940s sequences, and Derek Jacobi -- who had been in Henry V -- appears in the present-day sequences. Patrick Doyle's heightened score helps the mood immeasurably.

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