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70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Two Person Noir
You can just about forget everyone else in this film other than Debra Winger and Theresa Russell. This sexy film is basically a two person film noir shot in bright colors, some of it in Hawaii. It is filled with excitement and seduction. Both the leads are wonderful to watch, their chemistry magnificent in this Bob Rafelson (Man Trouble, Five Easy Pieces) film...
Published on June 26, 2005 by Bobby Underwood

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting concept (although not new), poor delivery
The title and cover of this movie say it all: an intriguing sexy seductress who uses her mates only to the kill them in the end. But, like any crime thriller, the story is in catching the killer without getting tangled in the many webs of seduction and deceit. Given this general plot summary you are immediately drawn into the multiple identities of Russell and the stop at...
Published 13 months ago by m4tch


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70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Two Person Noir, June 26, 2005
By 
Bobby Underwood (Tumut NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
You can just about forget everyone else in this film other than Debra Winger and Theresa Russell. This sexy film is basically a two person film noir shot in bright colors, some of it in Hawaii. It is filled with excitement and seduction. Both the leads are wonderful to watch, their chemistry magnificent in this Bob Rafelson (Man Trouble, Five Easy Pieces) film.

Debra Winger is Alex Barnes, bogged down in a government desk job dealing with statistics. But when she sees a pattern of deaths that lead to Theresa Russell, a dangerously beautiful woman with ice in her veins, she becomes obsessed with catching a killer. Theresa Russell, who has used more names than Jason Bourne, is just as smart as she is sexy, and almost the entire film is one long seduction scene as Russell spins her web around Alex.

It seems a lot of rich men have suddenly died on Russell and Alex knows why. She is what is called a Black Widow, a woman who mates and then kills. No one has found any evidence to prove it, however, and Alex's attempt to catch her at it becomes murky as a seduction begins to take place.

The locations and the stars are beautiful and as Winger and Russell circle each other in this game with deadly stakes you can't take your eyes off them. Winger's Alex is smart and determined, but vulnerable, and Russell gives a flawless and sexy performance as a smart and icy beauty with a heart full of venom.

The electricity between the two characters jumps off the screen. The pool scene where they first meet gives us an indication of what is to come as Alex attempts to get close to Russell, with some unexpected twists. The formost of these is a scene when Alex gives Russell a Black Widow pendant, a spider who mates and kills its lover. Russell's response plays with the fragile but determined Alex as she begins to doubt herself.

You don't want to miss this one. It's gorgeous to look at and has two riveting performances from Winger and Russell. You can't find a better one than this.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She mates and she kills..., April 11, 2005
By 
jon sieruga (Redlands, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
Fiesty Federal Investigator is hot on the trail of a husband-killer, but to catch her she has to think like the killer thinks and play her game...I would love to see a rematch of these two dynamite femme stars, Debra Winger and Theresa Russell. The movie world needs them. Russell, as an actress, generally lacks Winger's inner-fire, but some of her close-ups are more revealing than her dialogue anyway(watch for the scene on the beach after the scuba diving accident). In 1987, this was considered a modest hit which got generally good reviews(Roger Ebert panned it, however). So it's fair to say the movie is highly underrated and should be seen by anyone who loves a good mystery or a great acting match between two top-flight stars. Supporting performances are also very good, and the direction is tricky & tight right up until the final scene(which seems a little rushed). Great cinematography, suspenseful music by Michael Small, incredible Winger & Russell!
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, attractive suspenser, November 27, 2001
This review is from: Black Widow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Okay, the story is preposterous and technologically dated, and some of the dialogue is melodramatic in a retro kind of way. That said, BLACK WIDOW still makes good viewing because it remains true to itself and the premises it has set up, and Debra Winger and Theresa Russell do a smashing job on their characters. It also has an interesting style, managing a noir atmosphere even while filming a considerable portion of the story in the bright sunshine of Hawaii and dressing the leads in the blues and red-oranges of '80s fashions.
Debra Winger plays a bright young unattached woman in a drab, stultifying life as a statistics accountant for the federal government. She does not openly indulge in self pity, but when she identifies a wisp of a possible crime in the statistics she compiles, she sells all her possessions and quits her job to pursue the case on her own. The case surrounds Theresa Russell's character who Winger believes marries older men and somehow precipitates their deaths to reap their inheritances, what is called a black widow. This is all established with swift efficiency, as is the guilt of Russell's character. The suspense lies in if and how Alex will corner her black widow, who is equally intelligent. The two make a sensational pairing, circling around each other, getting closer and closer.
Leonard Maltin's movie guide says the film doesn't deliver the big pay-off. That depends upon what kind of pay-off you are looking for. I happen to think it did deliver.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Stylish Thriller, January 23, 2005
This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
What ever happened to Debra Winger's career? Was it all the gossip about how difficult she was to work with? Or was she simply a victim of the public's changing tastes? Coming to prominence in 1980's *Urban Cowboy*, followed by the smash hits *An Officer and a Gentleman* and *Terms of Endearment*. Even though she was nominated for Oscars several times, it was downhill from there, but Winger was in peak form for what has been regularly described as "a stylish thriller." Paired with Theresa Russell (a most intriguing actress with a score of bad films behind her - think *Whore*), Winger plays a federal agent on the tail of a chameleon-like young woman (Russell) who marries wealthy men and kills them. The plot is gripping and relatively fast-paced and Winger and Russell are excellent counterpoints to each other - Winger is earthy and likable and Russell is sexy and sinister. There is an interesting array of men playing Russell's victims, including Dennis Hopper in a cameo, with a deliciously calculating Diane Ladd playing his sister. The locales and interiors are suitably lush, though the inescapable hallmarks of the 80s regularly remind us that, though the film is almost 20 years old, it was done with enormous style - then and now.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss the Kiss of the Spider, July 11, 2003
This review is from: Black Widow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I caught this movie on HBO in 1988-15 years later, I can still sit through it from beginning to end with out being the least bored. It is one of my favorite great movies that few people seem to know about.
Debra Winger is perfect as feisty Government agent, Alex, who notices a pattern and sets out to find the Black Widow-Theresa Russell, who reminds me a lot of Kathleen Turner in "Body Heat".
I would like to see more of her movies, as her portrayal of the woman Alex hunts down, is complex and compelling.
There are enough twists and turns to always keep your attention, and as other reviewers note, the scenery is spectacular.
The peripheral actors are well cast, and you find yourself caring about every one in the movie...and wondering what makes the Black Widow tick.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really fascinating character study, April 8, 2001
This review is from: Black Widow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"Black Widow" is one of my favorite films, much underrated, in my opinion. Teresa Russell plays a beautiful, chameleon-like and psychopathic woman who keeps recreating herself. Deborah Winger plays a seriously smart but unselfconsciously frumpy federal agent obsessed with murders she believes are being committed by Russell's character.
Both actresses do fine jobs, but Winger has the superior performance. The two women are at once fascinated with and frightened of one another. They have a semi-erotic mutual attraction, which I view as reflective of the strange relationship that good and evil have within each of us.
When "The Talented Mr. Riply" was released, the NY Times reviewed it in light of the American [USA, that is] fascination with reinventing oneself. The same theme applies to "Black Widow" - for each of the female leads.
The plot takes some complicated turns, but the viewer is rewarded by at least good (if not excellent) performances by all actors, and beautiful Hawaiian settings. The resolution moves a bit quickly, and it actually took me several times before I digested it all...but it's easy to get the basic story bottom line.
It's a great film to watch to get in touch with your own inner balancing act between good and evil!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STYLISH SUSPENSE, February 5, 2000
By 
R. Penola (NYC, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Widow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I will never know why Teresa Russell did not become one of the most visible actresses in Hollywood after this movie -- she is wickedly spectacular in this stylish bit of suspense. And Debra Winger plays the good guy with just enough ambivalence to give the movie a real tingling quality. It features a suspense/murder plot that essentially involves a serial killer, and is shot in some spectacular locations. As the women get closer, the heat turns up -- and the wrap-up is satisfying, neat and clever.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb script!, July 13, 2004
This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
A young woman (Theresa Russell) seduces , marries and murders all the men who appear in her life and selected for her to join in this undesirable club . Obviously the case becomes too suspicious and a female investigator (Debra Winger) is assigned to watch her . This plot will turn in a challenge . You will experiment the gradual transformation starting from intrigue to obsession .
A very well made script with high caliber performances . Unforgettable locations and dazzling direction.
Imagine this tour de force: the seductive Theresa Russell (Bad Timing) and the captivating acting of Winger.
A must for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seduce, Ensnare, Devour..., May 16, 2009
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This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
Alex Barnes (Debra Winger) is unsatisfied with her job in the justice department. She longs for intrigue and adventure, not mundane beaurocracy. Well, her wish for release is granted in the form of a female serial-murderer (Theresa Russell!) who preys on unsuspecting billionaires. Ms. Russell is the perfect bait, snare, and death-trap. She is a chameleon, assuming any identity necessary to trick her clueless victims. She is cunning, resourceful, and (most importantly) unhindered by conscience or remorse. Alex is absolutely captivated by this cold, lethal creature, to the point of obsession. She leaves everything else behind in order to track down and stop this merry BLACK WIDOW. Great stuff indeed! Watch for Terry O'Quinn (Stepfather 1 and 2) as Alex's boss, Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet) as a doomed toy magnate, and the immortal Mary Woronov (Death Race 2000, Night Of The Comet) as a scuba-instructor! Highly recommended...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic Thriller, January 2, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Black Widow (DVD)
Debra Winger plays a detective who is on the trail of a psychopathic woman. She quickly meets, "falls in love" and then marries her man, but soon kills him before moving onto the next man repeating the process all over again. When the detective finally locates her in Hawaii, she meets her and the two become friends. As she investigates the woman's web of lies and murder, the woman becomes suspicious of her. When she finally discovers that her friend is a detective, it becomes a deadly rollercoaster ride as she repeatedly tries to kill her. Some of the best scenes were... poisoning the wine scene, the scuba-diving scene, the scalding shower scene, and the end scene.
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Black Widow
Black Widow by Bob Rafelson (DVD - 2004)
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