Sleeping with the Devil (film)

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Sleeping with the Devil
Directed by William A. Graham
Produced by Jeffrey Morton
Written by Ellen Weston
Starring Shannen Doherty
Tim Matheson
Distributed by CBS
Release dates
  • April 22, 1997 (1997-04-22)
Running time
96 min.
Country United States
Language English

Sleeping with the Devil is a 1997 American television film directed by William A. Graham. The film is based upon the novel of the same name by Suzanne Finstad.


Rebecca Dubrovich (Doherty) is a nurse, who years ago was brutally raped. Ever since, she has been skeptic about dating men and instead focusses on her work and her training for the Santa Barbara triathlon. Her life and look on love changes when she meets and falls in love with billionaire Dick Strang (Matheson), the owner of a large fitness chain. She opens up to him about her past, and admits that she was a rebellious girl for a while who got caught up in drugs. Dick helps her leave behind the past, while getting involved in a romantic relationship with her. Not long after their first meeting, he already asks her to give up med school and move to Houston for him. Rebecca finishes up her semester and heads out to Houston, where she is talked into becoming the image of Dick's fitness company.

One night, a lady knocks on her door who reveals herself to be Dick's wife Dina. Rebecca immediately leaves Dick, despite his claims that he is only still technically married to Dina for tax purposes. After Dina files for divorces, Rebecca agrees to reconcile with Dick, though soon estranges from him when he becomes obsessed with winning the divorce case. Rebecca advises Dick to give Dina the money that she is suing him for, but Dick intends on winning the case. Dick's sister Liz warns Rebecca that her brother is a liar and a sadist and that she is better off without him, but Rebecca feels that she should stay right beside him during trial. Dick becomes more and more stressed and frustrated during trial - even trying to convince his best friend to lie on trial that he had an affair with Dina - and when he loses the case, he takes it out on Rebecca. Rebecca, who has just recently announced that she is pregnant of his child, leaves Dick after he hits her and demands for her to have an abortion. Liz sets her up in a new house with the furniture that Dick gave her sometime ago, though Dick soon sues Rebecca for grand theft. His attorney offers to drop the charges if Rebecca signs a contract that states that Dick is not the father of her child, but she refuses to do so. Rebecca tells her parents that she would rather go to jail than have her child born into a lie.

Meanwhile, Dick has a private detective locate her new apartment, reclaims his furniture and continues to stalk Rebecca. Furthermore, her father receives a phone call from a man named Tom who offers him $20,000 dollars to get Rebecca out of town, warning him that something terrible could happen if he does not listen. The next day, Rebecca leaves for work when she is shot several times by a hitman. She survives the ordeal, but turns out to be paralyzed and is told that she will never walk again. Dick tracks her down and hires a female contract killer, who poses as a nurse and unsuccessfully tries to give Rebecca a lethal injection. Rebecca presses charges, but Dick is unaffected by the system and out on the streets in no time. Feeling defeated, she instead focuses on her recovery. She starts working as a nurse for Dr. Jerrold Petrofsky (Bowe), a surgeon who specializes in the recovery of paralyzed people. Together, they work on new ideas of helping paralyzed people to walk again, and fall in love with each other during the process. Meanwhile, Dick is put on trial, and in the end, Rebecca wins and is granted over $28 million. She uses the money for her recovery and is finally able to walk again, and even walk the marathon she had long trained for in the past.


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