Review: ‘Color of Night’

Color of Night is a knuckleheaded thriller [from a screen story by Billy Ray] that means to get a rise out of audiences but will merely make them see red. It's confounding and sad that director Richard Rush waited 14 years to make another film after his striking The Stunt Man, only to choose a script as dismal as this.

Color of Night is a knuckleheaded thriller [from a screen story by Billy Ray] that means to get a rise out of audiences but will merely make them see red. It’s confounding and sad that director Richard Rush waited 14 years to make another film after his striking The Stunt Man, only to choose a script as dismal as this.

Pokey script centers upon New York shrink Bill Capa (Bruce Willis), who hies to LA after one of his patients takes a swan dive out of his high-rise window. His best friend, fellow head doctor Bob Moore (Scott Bakula), pulls him into a group therapy session populated by nympho Sondra (Lesley Ann Warren), uptight hypochondriac Clark (Brad Dourif), bereaved widower Buck (Lance Henriksen), twisted artist Casey (Kevin J. O’Connor) and a weird, uncommunicative teenager named Richie.

After Dr Bob is gruesomely stabbed to death in his office, irreverent detective Martinez (Ruben Blades) comes onto the case. To spice matters up, a lithe young thing named Rose (Jane March) conveniently rear-ends Capa one day, starting a hot affair that, in its original cut, earned the film an NC-17 rating, but now consists of a lot of twisting and turning in a pool, shower and bed.

Motivation behind the murders is obscure at best, and melodramatic climax, with its pathetic echoes of Vertigo, is a joke.

Color of Night

Production

Hollywood/Cinergi. Director Richard Rush; Producer Buzz Feitshans, David Matalon; Screenplay Matthew Chapman, Billy Ray; Camera Dietrich Lohmann; Editor Jack Hofstra; Music Dominic Frontiere;; Art Director James L. Schoppe

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1994. Running time: 121 MIN.

With

Bruce Willis Jane March Ruben Blades Lesley Ann Warren Scott Bakula Brad Dourif
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