Mortal Thoughts

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Mortal Thoughts
Mortal thoughtsposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlan Rudolph
Produced byTaylor Hackford
Stuart Benjamin
Written byWilliam Reilly
Claude Kerven
Music byMark Isham
CinematographyElliot Davis
Edited byTom Walls
New Vision Pictures
Polar Entertainment Corporation
Rufglen Films
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 19, 1991 (1991-04-19)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million
Box office$19,018,321

Mortal Thoughts is a 1991 American 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.


Cynthia Kellogg is interrogated by two investigators at the police station. The deposition given by Cynthia is supported by detailed flashbacks. 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, 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 a 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. Meanwhile, she didn't think Joyce was capable of killing him, so she didn't take her threats seriously. The police release Cynthia, 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. He attempted to rape her when she helped him into the van. She grabbed a box cutter and sliced his throat to get away from him. Cynthia and Joyce initially head for the hospital, but Joyce's belief that Jimmy would kill both of them if he recovers convinces Joyce to let him bleed to death. Cynthia and Joyce dump Jimmy's body in a ditch 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.

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "CinemaScore".

External links[edit]