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A PERFECT MURDER

About The Production
"This film is not a who done it," says "A Perfect Murder" cast member David Suchet, "it's a how done it

"This film is not a who done it," says "A Perfect Murder" cast member David Suchet, "it's a how done it."

Indeed, the film does not rely upon keeping the audience in the dark about the often­sinister goings­on within...rather, it lets them in on the lethal mischief step by step, as the story weaves a not­so­straight path through the twisted corridors of love, passion, deception, sexual jealousy and murder.

These were the themes that interested Christopher Mankiewicz, an independent producer who was developing several projects at Warner Bros. Says Mankiewicz, "I had always loved 'Dial M For Murder,' but felt that it contained untapped potential. I thought that with its themes of greed, jealousy and intrigue, the bones of the story were remarkably contemporary and we could bring the rest of the elements into the '90s and have a very exciting new movie."

At about the same time, producer Arnold Kopelson had viewed a laser disc of 'Dial M for Murder' and decided, with his producing partner and wife, Anne Kopelson, that he wanted to remake the film. When he learned that Christopher Mankiewicz was already involved in the project, he teamed with Mankiewicz to continue bringing a new version of the movie to fruition.

Explains Kopelson, "There's an old adage about there only being about two dozen stories in the world and they're told and re­told in every culture. A really good story is full of potential, and this is a first­rate story ­ full of glamour, dramatic tension, interesting characters, unexpected plot twists and suspenseful thrills. As soon as I saw it, I knew that we could make a provocative contemporary version of this story that people would want to see."

Mankiewicz continues, "We brought on screenwriter Patrick Kelly to develop a story that would embrace the classic thriller elements of Knott's play and Hitchcock's adaptation, and at the same time contemporize the characters and their environment. We attempted to open up the story to move it away from being what we thought was a contained stage production. And in particular, we changed the role of the lover to make him a more active part of the story. Patrick Smith Kelly gave us a razor's­edge script which updated and re­tailored the material."

Producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson also immediately asked Peter MacgregorScott, with whom they had previously collaborated on Warner Bros.' massive hit, "The Fugitive," to join them as a producer on the film. And all of the filmmakers agreed that Andrew Davis, who had directed the Oscar­nominated "The Fugitive," was a first­rate choice to direct this sophisticated thriller.

Kopelson emphasizes, "Andy Davis is an intelligent and disciplined director, and this story is just right for him, with its mix of plot and character. We were very excited to be re­teaming on this project after our experience on 'The Fugitive."'

"It's a puzzle piece," says Davis, "a triangle about three people who seemingly love and hate each other at the same time. I was really attracted to the story and the script. The possibility of exploring this incredible tension and puzzling twists and turns really lured me into directing this film."

"Hitchcock, of course, filmed Knott's play with great style," says Macgregor-Scott. "What we've tried to do is to resurrect it in a completely new and fresh form. And Andy Davis was

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