Rehearsal for Murder

Watch Rehearsal for Murder

"Where the curtain comes up on Terror"
  • NR
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 6.9  (787)

Rehearsal for Murder is a 1982 mystery-thriller film that tells the story of a playwright named Alex Dennison (played by Robert Preston), who is haunted by the suicide of his fiancee, Monica Welles (played by Lynn Redgrave), who was also an actress in one of his plays. One year after Monica's death, Alex invites the cast and crew of the play to a rehearsal that takes place on the same stage where Monica was found dead. When Alex's staged scene leads to a real murder, he sets out to uncover the truth about Monica's death and clear his name.

The cast of the play features an eclectic group of characters, including psychiatrist Lloyd Andrews (played by Patrick Macnee), who is treating one of the actresses for a mental breakdown; director Leo Gibbs (played by Lawrence Pressman), who is having an affair with one of the actresses; and lead actress Karen Daniels (played by Madolyn Smith Osborne), who is struggling with jealousy and insecurity.

As the rehearsal progresses, Alex begins to suspect that one of the actors may be the killer, and he sets out to prove their guilt by reenacting Monica's suicide. Along the way, he uncovers a web of lies, betrayals, and hidden motives that implicates nearly everyone in the cast.

The tension and suspense in Rehearsal for Murder are heightened by the claustrophobic setting of the theater and the use of flashbacks to Monica's suicide. As Alex unravels the truth, he must confront his own biases and assumptions about those around him, including his dead fiancee. The film is a classic example of the mystery genre, with plenty of red herrings and plot twists to keep viewers guessing until the final reveal.

Robert Preston delivers a strong performance as Alex, a man desperate to clear his name and discover the truth about his fiancee's death. His chemistry with Lynn Redgrave, seen mostly in flashback, is palpable, and their love story adds an emotional depth to the film. Lynn Redgrave brings a haunting innocence to Monica, a woman struggling with her own demons and past traumas.

Patrick Macnee, as psychiatrist Lloyd Andrews, provides a much-needed sense of stability and logic amidst the chaos of the cast's interpersonal drama. Madolyn Smith Osborne, as lead actress Karen Daniels, is a standout in her scenes with Robert Preston, delivering a nuanced performance that keeps viewers guessing about her true motives.

The direction by David Greene is tight and effective, with sharp editing and camerawork that emphasizes the tension and suspense of the story. The script, written by Richard Levinson and William Link, is smart and engaging, with plenty of clever dialogue and pacing that keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace.

Overall, Rehearsal for Murder is a well-crafted mystery-thriller that delivers on its promises of suspense, intrigue, and emotional resonance. The strong performances from the cast and the creative direction make it a must-see for fans of the genre.

Rehearsal for Murder is a 1982 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

Rehearsal for Murder
Where to Watch Rehearsal for Murder
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (787)