The Naked Face (1984)

The Naked Face (1984)
5.5
  • 1108
  • R
  • Genre: Action
  • Release year: 1984 ()
  • Running time: 105 min
  • Original Title: The Naked Face
  • Voted: 1108

Chicago psychiatrist Judd Stevens is suspected of murdering one of his patients when the man turns up stabbed to death in the middle of the city. After repeated attempts to convince two cops of his innocence, Dr. Stevens is forced to go after the real villains himself, and he finds himself up against one of the city's most notorious Mafia kingpins.

#PersonCharacters
1Roger MooreDr. Judd Stevens
2Rod SteigerLt. McGreavy
3Elliott GouldDet. Angeli
4Art CarneyMorgens
  • Worth a quick look, but soon forgotten by 5

    Roger Moore is in uncharacteristic surroundings here, in a very adult thriller. He plays a Chicago psychiatrist who tops the polic's suspect list when a number of people start getting bumped off in the city. You see, all those that are dead are patients at his clinic. As suspicion mounts, Moore does the only thing he can and takes the investigation into his own hands, hoping to clear his name by catching the real killer(s) himself.

    Also involved in the film are Rod Steiger and Elliot Gould, both giving enjoyable performances as cops investigating the crimes. The story takes its inspiration from a Sidney Sheldon bestseller, and unfolds fairly intriguingly with various red herrings and killings tossed into the mix at regular intervals. However, the film isn't perfect by a long stretch of the imagination. For a start, the peculiar assassination at the end is supposed to be a twist of some sort, but it makes little sense. Also, the solution to the murders isn't that great (in fact, it's been six years since I saw the film and I can't remember exactly how it all gets resolved). Nonetheless, the film is probably worth a look, especially if you've never seen Moore in one of his more unstereotypical roles.

  • A view to an acting career? by 8

    Moore knew he was living on borrowed time so far as Bond was concerned. Way too old, too slow moving and paunchy to be carrying a Walther PPK for much longer. His Bond contract allowed him to make two other films during this period - post OCTOPUSSY and pre A VIEW TO A KILL (that was to be his last JB outing)

    Wisely perhaps, he chose this role as mild-mannered but wholly professional Chicago psychiatrist Dr Judd Stevens, whose life hits a major rut after one of his patients is stabbed to death - wearing HIS coat. Having no idea what is going on for pretty much the entire movie Moore conveys Judd's plight rather well I thought. As unlike anything Moore has ever done, he must deal with finding himself simply in the wrong place for seemingly no reason.

    Several things to like about this flick - IF you care to look. Art Carney's turn as burnt-out but still cluey PI Morgens is a real gem of a performance. When Moore admits he doesn't believe in guns, Carney counters, "Yeah, well I don't believe in Santa Claus, but each Christmas he still comes round." The brief scenes in his ramshackle office are really worth looking at closely.

    Cop Steiger is a tad over the top as is his wont - give him any opportunity to rave - he's in actor's heaven. Ron Paradi as mob boss Cortini puts across one of the nastiest and inherently evil men you would ever wish to not meet and Anne Archer is well....Anne Archer.

    Totally unexpected last 20 seconds really lifts the film I thought.

  • Great thriller by 6

    In this 1985 step away of the bond era Moore finally gets to make a great movie. This is probably his best movie, maybe not in acting, but the script is hard to beat. The naked face origins from a novel by Sidney Sheldon. The story is good and it differs from many other in the genre. It is not easy to predict the ending. That alone makes this film worth seeing. There are also other facts that makes this well worth seeing. Rod Steiger plays more than well, making his character disgusting from time to time. Moore acts well and so does all roles. To this one ads good music and you cannot get anything but a great film. I say not it is excellent, but it comes close enough to be more than recommended.

  • a nice departure for Roger Moore by 7

    Was this a great movie, certainly not. However, it was a good movie and a whole lot better than the Roger Moore Bond pictures had become by that time. Moore plays a therapist whose life is about to be snuffed out--the problem is, he has NO idea WHO wants him dead. Exactly who really is behind the attempts and why it is occurring I will not reveal (it would spoil the film) but it keeps you guessing and the performances are good. This is a good attempt by Moore to do something different and I applaud his efforts.

    If you like seeing Moore as someone other than 007, I also suggest you see Ffolkes This is an odd little adventure movie about a group of mercenaries who take over an oil platform. Moore's performance in this one is about as different from Bond as you could possibly find!

  • Violent Murder Mystery by 5

    Moore plays a psychiatrist caught in a web of intrigue and murder, as his patients become victims of a sinister plot. Steiger and Gould play a pair of detectives assigned to the case, but their disdain for Moore affects little progress in solving the case, and he turns to wily amateur sleuth Carney, to solve the mystery before he becomes the next victim. Generally well constructed thriller, with occasional brutal, graphic and somewhat gratuitous violence that might offend. The scene in which Moore's office is ransacked is especially cold and callous in its excess.

    Some neat twists are employed by actor-turned-director Forbes, with solid performances from Moore, Steiger and Gould in particular. Moore's normally nonchalant persona is replaced here with suitable concern, as he's pursued by sadistic villains with little inclination for mercy. The executions are particularly nasty and the tone is never far from dark and threatening. In some ways, "The Naked Face" is similar in vein to both "Still of the Night" and "Colour of Night" in terms of its content, and has a render reminiscent of a Brian De Palma thriller (though it lacks De Palma's signature styling).

    Despite the sophisticated elements, the dialogue is only functional and at one hour and forty-five minutes, the film does overstay its welcome. Worth a look, but nothing spectacular.

#PersonCrew
1David Gurfinkelcinematographer
2Michael J. Lewiscomposer
3Bryan Forbesdirector
4Yoram Globusproducer
5Menahem Golanproducer
6Sidney Sheldonwriter