Bloodline (1979 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Terence Young
Produced by
Screenplay by Laird Koenig
Based on Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Freddie Young
Edited by Bud Molin
Distributed by Paramount
Release date
29 June 1979
Running time
116 min.
Country United States
West Germany
Language English
Budget $12,000,000
Box office $8,218,695

Bloodline is a thriller film picture released in 1979. Based upon the novel Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon, it was produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Terence Young with music by Ennio Morricone. The film was also released under the title Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline. It was the only R-rated film to star Audrey Hepburn.[1]


Sam Roffe, President of Roffe & Sons Pharmaceuticals, dies in what appears to be a climbing accident, leaving his daughter Elizabeth (Audrey Hepburn) a billion-dollar empire. Roffe's board members see an opportunity to settle old scores, jockey for higher position, and reap lucrative profits. However, an investigation into Sam's death discloses that it was a murder and that a power struggle is going on within the company.

Lead investigator Max Hornung (Gert Fröbe) informs Elizabeth of his list of suspects, which includes her closest advisers and financially strapped family members. During this time, she marries CEO Rhys Williams (Ben Gazzara), but he, too, is identified by Hornung as a suspect. As president, Elizabeth follows her father's wishes and refuses to let shares of Roffe & Sons sell on the world market. Her choice prevents the board members from selling their shares as the company's by-laws prohibit it until all board members agree; on the other hand, her death would allow for a unanimous decision.

After several attempts on her life, an international chase across Europe ensues. Hornung is able to connect these murder attempts to a series of homicides of prostitutes, which have been recorded on snuff films using Roffe film stock with a witness in a black Gucci leather coat (several suspects are linked to this coat).

Elizabeth returns to her father's villa in Sardinia during a scirocco for protection from the unseen murderer, who sets her house on fire after she begins destroying objects and shouting, "Now try to make it look like an accident!" Williams and one of the shareholders, Sir Alec Nichols (James Mason), both show up to save her, but Hornung figures out that Nichols is the killer and shoots him before he can murder Elizabeth in a symbolic snuff film.



The film received negative reviews; Roger Ebert named it "the worst film of 1979".

Extended version[edit]

An extended version of 155 minutes has been shown on network TV. This cut gives more clarity to certain plot points, especially those involving James Mason's character.


  1. ^ "Film: Atidtey Hepburn in 'Bloodline'". The New York Times. 1979-06-29. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-21. 

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