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Undue Influence (1996)

Lawyer Paul Madriani becomes embroiled in his most baffling case at a most difficult time. His wife Nikki has died of cancer, and he's caring for his daughter Sarah while negotiating a ... See full summary »

Director:

Bruce Pittman

Writers:

Steve Martini (novel), Philip Rosenberg (teleplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Brian Dennehy ... Paul Madriani
Patricia Richardson ... Laurel Vega
Jean Smart ... Dana Colby
Alan Rosenberg ... Harry Hines
Joe Grifasi ... Clem
Richard Masur ... Jack Vega
Eric Michael Cole ... Danny Vega
Allison Mackie ... Melanie Vega
Doren Fein Doren Fein ... Sarah Madriani
Rosemary Dunsmore ... Carla Morgan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Falconer Abraham Falconer Abraham ... Security Guard
Michael Anderson Jr. ... Funeral Priest
Yank Azman ... Jack's Lawyer
Brenda Bazinet ... Nicole Madriani
Zachary Bennett ... Teenage Gang Leader
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Storyline

Lawyer Paul Madriani becomes embroiled in his most baffling case at a most difficult time. His wife Nikki has died of cancer, and he's caring for his daughter Sarah while negotiating a custody settlement between his sister-in-law Laurel and her ex-husband, Senator Jack Vega, over 17-year-old Danny. When Vega's new wife Melanie is found murdered, suspicion points to Laurel who was filmed by a security camera arguing with her at her home just hours before the shooting. At the crime scene, Paul meets a long-time friend, U.S. Attorney Dana Colby, and grudge-bearing detective Lama, who claims an airtight case against Laurel. Paul tries unsuccessfully to arrange a plea bargain. Investigating, he finds the Vegas' neighbors, George and Kathy Merlow, have disappeared. His questioning of Kathy's postal co-worker is cut short by a package bomb meant for him. Before the blast that kills the co-worker and six patrons, but spares Paul, he learns the Merlows are hiding in Jamaica. A romance develops... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Steve Martini's Undue Influence See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
For the beauty of Jean Smart alone, this is worth it !!
14 September 2003 | by nicholas.rhodesSee all my reviews

A very beautiful lady, Jean Smart, with auburn hair is absolutely magnificent in this film and this alone is one excellent reason not to miss it ! Seriously though, This film is definitely good, as are the vast majority of films involving Brian Dennehy, whom I adore as an actor ! The plot, of the "whodunnit" type is not complicated but there is a lot of side-tracking and red herrings which have nothing to do with the truth. Some of this side-tracking, notably everything concerning the Merlo family is rather confusing and one gets the impression that it's there as padding to make the story much longer than it would have been but without any real relevance to the story itself. In spite of these plot holes and script defects, the film makes for excellent watching.

Denneyhy's daughter is really cute, and the scenes between him and here about her recently departed "Mummy" are very touching indeed, both from Dennehy and the young lady herself who acts the part very very convincingly. I had watery eyes during all these scenes.

I enjoy this sort of "courtroom-drama-made-for-tv" movie which only the USA seem capable of producing. I luckily found it issued on DVD in the UK and certainly didn't regret my purchase. I have seen the film previously on French TV under the title "Abus d'Influence".

Highly recommendable entertainnment then to be watched curled up before the fire on a cold wet and windy winter's afternoon !!


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