Jagged Edge (1985) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's comments in white:

Jagged Edge (1985) is a wonderful courtroom thriller starring Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges.

Bridges is a San Francisco newspaper tycoon, whose wife is the actual owner of the paper. Nonetheless, he is a very prominent personality. Both she and her maid are murdered, mutilated by a hunting knife with a jagged edge, and Bridges in the only suspect. The DA, Peter Coyote, has political aspirations, and has a history of doing whatever is necessary, even if unethical, to get a conviction. Glenn Close knows this better than most, as she worked for him, and discovered that he had withheld evidence to gain a conviction on a case they wore working on together. The evidence proved the man was innocent. While she didn't come forward, she did leave criminal law forever, and took a job with a corporate law firm, the very firm that represented Bridges. Bridges requests that she handle his case. She will only agree to do so if she is convinced of his innocence.

Those who have seen this don't need more to remember the plot, and those who haven't should, so I will avoid writing a spoiler. This film looks at times like a romance, sometimes like a courtroom drama, and other times like a thriller. Close was excellent in the role, and Bridges played his character perfectly as well.

I loved this film the first time I saw it several years ago, and enjoyed it nearly as much the second time through.


We see breasts from Bridges's wife, Maria Mayenzet, during her murder, and breast exposure from Close in three scenes. The first is an ultra-dark sex scene. In the second, she is running down a hallway and removing her blouse, and we see her right breast from the side. The third is a hint of nipple in a shower scene that is only visible in the 4/3 version.

Scoop's comments in yellow:

(NOTE: major spoiler - I give away the surprise ending, so don't read it unless you don't plan to see it, although Tuna even liked it a second time around, when he knew the secret.)

This 1985 script is the flip side of Basic Instinct. Jeff Bridges is a newspaper editor who is accused of killing his wife. He's friendly, charming, seductive, and nobody believes he really did it. Everyone believes that it's just a campaign strategy by the slimy local D.A.

Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct, Jade, Showgirls) did a good job on this script. His improbable plot twists and red herrings are as ludicrous as ever but ...


He does everything possible to make you believe that Bridges didn't do it. Not only is The Jeffster nice and handsome beyond belief, but the evidence is tainted, the same D.A. has planted and withheld evidence in the past, the prosecution witnesses lie, and there is the usual "other suspect" who is a total slimeball.

Yet Bridges did do it. No sell-out, no happy Hollywood ending, just a simple fact staring you in the face in the final scene. And this delicious twist makes up for all the implausible and manipulative plot points. Plus Eszterhas was more careful than usual here, and there weren't any massive gaps in the logic of the script or in the motivations of the characters.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

The film was quite competently directed by Richard Marquand, who died in his 40's, not long after this picture was released. As a reminder, he's the guy Lucas chose to direct Return of the Jedi.

It is also competently acted by an excellent cast (Bridges, Glenn Close, Peter Coyote), especially Robert Loggia is the ultimate foul-mouthed seedy detective who doesn't ever believe anything anybody tells him.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three stars. Ebert 3.5/4, Berardinelli 3/4,

  • Robert Loggia, as an investigator, received a supporting actor Oscar nomination.


The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it grossed $41 million in the USA


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, it is a B-. (Both reviewers) An enjoyable mystery/thriller that reaches beyond genre fans to mass audiences.

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