The Last Seduction

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The Last Seduction
The-Last-Seduction-Poster.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by John Dahl
Produced by Jonathan Shestack
Written by Steve Barancik
Starring Linda Fiorentino
Peter Berg
Bill Pullman
Music by Joseph Vitarelli
Cinematography Jeff Jur
Edited by Eric L. Beason
Distributed by October Films
Release date(s)
  • October 26, 1994 (1994-10-26)
Running time 110 minutes
Language English
Budget $2,500,000
Box office $5,842,603

The Last Seduction is a 1994 neo-noir film directed by John Dahl, and features Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, and Bill Pullman.[1] Fiorentino's performance generated talk of an Oscar nomination, but she was disqualified because the film was shown on HBO before it was released to theatres.

The film was produced by ITC Entertainment and distributed by October Films. The 1999 sequel The Last Seduction II featured none of the original cast and starred Joan Severance as the character Fiorentino originated.[2]

Plot[edit]

The film opens in New York City, where Bridget works as a telemarketing manager and her husband Clay deals drugs to help sustain them both throughout his medical residency. Clay scores $700,000 by selling stolen pharmaceutical cocaine to pay off a loan shark. The transaction is rather tense and involves a mock execution by the buyers. This close call leaves him shaken, and on his return home he slaps Bridget after she insults him. She then steals the cash from him and flees their apartment while he is in the shower.

On her way to Chicago she stops in Beston, a small town near Buffalo. There she meets Mike, a local man back from a whirlwind marriage in Buffalo that he refuses to talk about. She proceeds to use him, by her own admission, for mere sexual gratification during her stay in town. Adept at word games and mirror writing, and with an imminent return to her hometown in mind, Bridget changes her name to Wendy Kroy and gets a job at the insurance company where, coincidentally, Mike works. Their relationship is strained by her manipulative behavior and the fact he is falling for her. When Mike tells her how to find out if a man is cheating on his wife by reading his credit reports, Bridget invents a plan based on selling murders to cheated wives. She suggests they start with Lance Collier, a cheating, wife-beating husband residing in Florida. This proves to be the last straw for Mike and he leaves her alone in his place after an argument, thereby implying a breakup.

Prior and parallel to these events, Clay has gotten his thumb broken by the loan shark for not repaying his loan. He does manage to speak to Bridget on the phone later, and although she insists on arguing the slap as a reason for her theft, it is strongly implied throughout the film that this is just an excuse. It is also implied that Clay is clever enough to anticipate or divine most of Bridget's moves, but has failed to comprehend her sociopathic nature. Fearing for his physical integrity and in dire financial straits, he hires a private detective, Harlan, in order to search for his wife and the money. Harlan locates her area code, travels to Beston and accosts her at gunpoint in her car right after her argument with Mike. She manages to murder him on the drive back to her place, and tricks the police into closing the case without further investigation by using local racial prejudice to her advantage.

She then resumes her manipulation of Mike and pretends to travel to Florida to kill Lance Collier, but instead goes to Buffalo to meet Mike's ex-wife, Trish. She shows Mike the money she stole from Clay to convince him she has taken a cut from the life insurance payout from the new widow as payment for the supposed killing. She tells him she has done it so they can live together, then tries to persuade him that he must also commit a similar murder so they will be even, and to prove that he loves her. She tries to talk Mike into killing a tax lawyer in New York City cheating old ladies out of their homes. At first he rejects the idea, but agrees after receiving a letter from his ex saying she is moving to Beston. The letter was forged by Bridget to change his mind.

Mike goes to New York and breaks into the apartment of the attorney, who turns out to be Clay. After Clay is tied up by Mike, he manages to work out what is happening when Mike mentions Bridget's alias, and convinces him of the truth by showing him a photo of himself and Bridget together. They then hatch a plot to double-cross her, but she turns the tables by killing Clay herself. She tells a stunned Mike to rape her. When he refuses, she tells him she knows the truth about Trish, who is a transsexual. This causes Mike to have rough sex with her while acting out a rape fantasy. Unbeknownst to Mike, Bridget has dialed 9-1-1 and she coaxes him into confessing to Clay's murder as part of the role play. Mike is arrested for rape and murder while she escapes with the cash and calmly destroys the only evidence that could have been used in Mike's defense.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The Last Seduction received positive reviews from critics and it currently holds a 94% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 49 reviews.

Awards[edit]

Year Award/Category Recipient Result
BAFTA Awards
1995 BAFTA Film Award - Best Actress Linda Fiorentino Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
1994 CFCA Award - Best Actress Linda Fiorentino Nominated
Cognac Festival du Film Policier
1994 Critics Award John Dahl Won
Directors Guild of America
1995 DGA Award – Outstanding Achievement in Dramatic Specials John Dahl Nominated
Edgar Allan Poe Awards
1995 Edgar - Best Motion Picture Steve Barancik Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards
1995 Independent Spirit Award - Best Female Lead Linda Fiorentino Won
London Film Critics Circle Awards
1995 ALFS Award – Actress of the Year Linda Fiorentino Won
Mystfest
1994 Best Film John Dahl Nominated
National Board of Review, USA
1994 NBR Award – Best TV Film Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
1994 NYFCC Award - Best Actress Linda Fiorentino Won
Society of Texas Film Critics Awards
1994 STFC Award - Best Actress Linda Fiorentino Won

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]