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Scarecrow on Seattle: BLACK WIDOW

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter. We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.





Black Widow (1987)
With an intriguing premise and some good performances, it is a shame Black Widow fails at both parts of the erotic thriller genre. In other words, it ain't very sexy or suspenseful. Debra Winger stars as a federal agent investigating a seemingly unconnected accumulation of dead multi-millionaires. She hypothesizes that a single person has intentionally killed those rich guys but her boss thinks her theory is bunk. Winger eventually quits her job so she can pursue her target (played by Theresa Russell) and it all ends up with a predictable plot twist. While not a terrible film, it is a disappointing one considering the folks involved, including director Bob Rafelson, legendary cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, the two leads and a supporting cast featuring Dennis Hopper, James Hong, Diane Ladd, Terry O'Quinn, Nicol Williamson, Mary Woronov, and a cameo by David Mamet. This is also one of those films that incorporates lots of Seattle location footage utilizing the Jet City as not only Seattle but also a bunch of other cities (Houston, Dallas, New York and Washington D.C.). The film's finale takes place in Hawaii and, like any resourceful Hollywood film crew, they actually shot that part in Hawaii. Some of the hometown locations used are the Four Seasons Hotel, the Burke Museum, the Elliott Bay Book Company, the Suzzallo Library, and a lengthy scene between Winger and Russell on a ferry tooling around Puget Sound. Oddly enough neither Winger nor Russell go for a thoughtful stroll through the Pike Place Market.
--Spenser Hoyt



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