Black Widow

Friday, March 21 - Saturday, March 22, 2014

35mm print

“Theresa Russell and Debra Winger costar as the wicked widow and the Justice Department drudge who picks up Russell’s paper trail while researching a mafioso’s murder. The mobster, a New York publisher and then a Texas toy tycoon (Dennis Hopper) all die of the same rare disease — and two of them are survived by their newlywed wives. Or is it wife? Winger’s boss pooh-poohs her suspicions, forcing the fledgling agent to pursue the case on her own.

“Winger, that homespun heartthrob with a cat’s purr and a doe’s eyes, makes merry work of this widow’s chase. Her character is sexually repressed workaholic Alex, whose obsession with murderess Catherine — a killer who probably reads Cosmo — finally releases her pent-up womanliness. Winger gets a 10 on the charismometer and gives the film its warmth and innocence. Russell, a wry sensation as Marilyn Monroe in Insignificance, plays this femme fatale for keeps… The relationship between the women, as unpredictable as lava flow, is left deliberately ambiguous. Unnerving and mysterious undercurrents keep us guessing as to the possible outcomes of this glossy game of cat-and-kitten…

“Rafelson draws memorable cameos from a quirky supporting cast that includes B-movie queen Mary Woronov as a dictatorial scuba diver, Diane Ladd as the sister of the Texas toymaker and Nicol Williamson as the Seattle philanthropist who dies happy (if a little prematurely) as Catherine’s third hubby. James Hong is especially hardboiled as an island P.I. named Shin. ‘You been looking for someone for four weeks?’ he sneers at Alex. ‘Once I looked for somebody for 18 years.'” – Washington Post

  • Country USA
  • Rating R
  • Year 1987
  • Running Time 103 minutes
  • Director Bob Rafelson

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.