Mortal Thoughts

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Mortal Thoughts
Mortal thoughtsposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan Rudolph
Produced by Taylor Hackford
Stuart Benjamin
Written by William Reilly
Claude Kerven
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Elliot Davis
Edited by Tom Walls
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • April 19, 1991 (1991-04-19)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8 million
Box office $19,018,321

Mortal Thoughts is a 1991 dramatic mystery thriller, about a woman who is interrogated by the police regarding the death of her friend's husband. It was directed by Alan Rudolph and stars Demi Moore, Glenne Headly, Bruce Willis, and Harvey Keitel. Willis plays James Urbanski, the violent, drug-addicted husband of Joyce (Headly), who is murdered one evening at a Feast of Saint Rocco festival.


The film revolves mainly around a scene in which Cynthia Kellogg (Demi Moore) is interrogated by two investigators at the police station. The deposition given by Cynthia is supported by detailed flashbacks throughout the film. The interrogation arouses particular suspicion about whether Cynthia's own husband could have informed the police about the incident and anything which his wife could have confided in him.

In flashback we see Cynthia and Joyce are best friends who work together. Joyce's husband Jimmy is abusive, both physically and emotionally, and she expresses a desire to kill him several times. One night, Cynthia accompanies Joyce and Jimmy to the festival. When Jimmy becomes drunk and picks a fight with Joyce, he heads back to their van to go home. Cynthia follows him to make sure he gets to the van and to take the keys from him, to let him sleep it off in the van. Jimmy makes an advance to Cynthia, who spurns him and leaves him at the van. Later Jimmy is found dead in the van, with his throat cut.

After Cynthia's husband Artie is found shot to death, she comes forward to the police to tell her version of events. She also tells the police she thinks Joyce killed Artie to keep him from going to the police about what Cynthia told him, but at the time she didn't think Joyce was capable of killing him, so she didn't take her threats seriously. The police release her and bring Joyce in for interrogation at the same time.

In a final flashback, we see what happened with Jimmy and Cynthia at the festival, where he attempted to rape her when she helped him into the van. She grabs a box cutter and slices his throat to get away from him. She and Joyce initially head for the hospital but the fear that Cynthia will go to jail and Joyce's belief that Jimmy would kill both of them if he recovers convinces Joyce to turn around. They take the van back to the festival and leave him there to bleed out as if the attack involved someone else. Cynthia is then seen heading back to the police station to make a confession.



The film holds a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews[1] and grossed $19,018,321 against its $8 million budget.


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