THE SECRETARY (TV)
(director/writer: Andrew Lane; screenwriter: story by Ken Segall, Randy Kornfield and Graham Flashner/Graham Flashner; cinematographer: Steven Bernstein; editor: Julian Semilian; music: Louis Febre; cast: Mel Harris (Ellen Bradford),Sheila Kelley (Deidre Bosnell),Barry Bostwick (Eric Bradford),James Russo (Ted Burke), Ashley Peldon (Cindy Bradford), Rod McCary (George Matthias), Sondra Curry (Mary Quinn), Ray Baker (Lester Howland), Richard Herd (Chuck Bosnell),Mimi Craven (Marcia Hastings) ; Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Pierre David; Republic Pictures; 1995-USA/Germany)
“An average psycho-thriller in the Fatal Attraction mode, but without the sexual trappings.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An average psycho-thriller in the Fatal Attraction mode, but without the sexual trappings. In his directorial debut Andrew Lane (“Distant Cousins”/”Lonely Hearts”/”Mortal Passions”) plays it safe by following the proven formulaic ways for such thrillers. It seems like a copy of The Temp (1993), though a better version. The story, filmed in black and white, is by Ken Segall, Randy Kornfield and Graham Flashner, with Flashner writing the screenplay.
Mentally disturbed efficient legal secretary Deidre Bosnell (Sheila Kelley) murders her boss (Ray Baker) because he works her too hard, is tyrannical and doesn’t appreciate her. Deidre helps get her new stockbroker boss, Ellen Bradford (Mel Harris), hired by her sly maneuverings. Ellen has returned to work after eight years because her hubby (Barry Bostwick) is unemployed. Deidre uses her craftiness to make sure Ellen succeeds in the workplace, as a result she murders those who stand in the way. Ellen begins to catch on her secretary is a psycho and tries to distance herself from her. When Ellen refuses to embezzle money for her, Deidre harms Ellen’s hubby and abducts her daughter (Cindy Bradford).
Flashner’s screenplay does a good job of showing how a pathology can get out of hand if the disturbed person is not helped and how her failed life expectations can drive her insane.
REVIEWED ON 5/25/2015 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/