Mike's Murder

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Mike's Murder
Mike's Murder FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by James Bridges
Produced by James Bridges
Screenplay by James Bridges
Music by John Barry
Joe Jackson
Cinematography Reynaldo Villalobos
Edited by Dede Allen
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
March 9, 1984
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6.3 million[1]
Box office $1,059,966

Mike's Murder is a 1984 American drama mystery thriller film written and directed by James Bridges and starring Debra Winger, Mark Keyloun and Paul Winfield.


In Los Angeles, bank teller Betty Parrish (Debra Winger) has a one-night stand with a young tennis instructor named Mike Chuhutsky (Mark Keyloun), but then has only random contact with him over the course of the next two years.

He is a drug dealer. One day Mike calls to tell her he is being chased for encroaching on another criminal's territory. Later, a friend of his calls to say Mike is dead, brutally murdered.

Betty cannot let go of him without understanding him better and tries to find out more. It leads to her discovering Mike's hidden side, including a disturbed acquaintance of his named Pete (Darrell Larson) and a record producer named Philip (Paul Winfield) who apparently was involved with Mike in a gay relationship. Betty's own life is placed in peril by the story's end.



Warner Brothers reportedly was unhappy about the project because of its premise with the drug-fixated underpinnings of the L.A. entertainment world and refused to release it until Bridges made some cuts and changes.[2]

The film was originally edited so that the events played chronologically backwards and featured a score by singer Joe Jackson. Bridges' original edit was poorly received by test audiences, and Warner Bros. forced him to re-edit it so the story unfolded in a more conventional way. Jackson's score was replaced by a new John Barry score. However, a couple of Jackson's songs remain in the film.

Bridges wrote the film for Winger having worked with her on Urban Cowboy. Her performance in Mike's Murder led the critic Pauline Kael to describe Winger as "a major reason to go on seeing movies in the 1980s".

DVD release[edit]

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution released Mike's Murder on 4 August 2009, as part of the Warner Archive Collection series.


External links[edit]