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Dead of Winter (1987)

Mary Steenburgen , Roddy McDowall , Arthur Penn  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Price: $7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes, William Russ, Ken Pogue
  • Directors: Arthur Penn
  • Writers: Mark Malone, Marc Shmuger, Anthony Gilbert
  • Producers: John Bloomgarden, Marc Shmuger, Michael MacDonald
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L92R
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,750 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead of Winter" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Academy Award® winner* Mary Steenburgen and Roddy McDowall star in a pulse-pounding thriller in the tradition of the legendary master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. "You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat" (Los Angeles) with this bone-chilling tale of deception, blackmail and murder in which no one is who they seem to be and any mistake could be your last. When actress Katie McGovern (Steenburgen) is summoned to an isolated estate for a screen test, she finds that her mysterious hosts, Mr. Murray (McDowall) and Dr. Joseph Lewis (Jan Rubes), have plans for her'that have nothing to do with acting! And when the deadly money-making scheme erupts in a firestorm of double-crosses and cold-blooded murder, Katie realizes she has only one chance at survival: She must turn the tables on her enemies by giving the performance of her life! *1980: SupportingActress, Melvin and Howard

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead of Winter November 20, 2002
I shouldn't like "Dead of Winter" as much as I do. It has some faults, a few of them glaring. But, however many faults the movie has, it still grips me, and evokes the fear and suspense necessary for it to qualify as a taut thriller. You have a claustrophobic setting, disturbing older men, a woman in distress, and murder. These ingredients come together to make for a very interesting hour and a half. At the very least, I found myself entertained.
The film starts out with the murder of a woman in an abandoned parking lot on a snowy winter's night. Next we are in New York City, where we are exposed to the struggling actor's life of Katie McGovern (Mary Steenburgen). She is just looking for that one good role (with good pay, of course). After she does well at an audition, the man hosting it, Mr. Murray (Roddy McDowall), invites her upstate to an isolated country house, in order to do some test screening. Katie agrees. She tells her boyfriend she will call him once there, and is off. Once Katie arrives at the house, she is introduced to the man in charge, Dr. Joseph Lewis (sinisterly portrayed by Jan Rubes). Uneasy things begin to occur (the phones lines go dead, and the car won't start), and soon Katie's world turns upside down as the two older men begin to unveil their frightening plan upon the unsuspecting actress.
There are things to knock about "Dead of Winter". Many of them involve aspects of what film critic Roger Ebert has termed "The Idiot Plot". This is where characters are in certain situations that go on for far too long because, instead of doing the sensible thing, they act with fairly bad judgement, thus enabling the movie to exist and continue on. A few examples: Why go hours upstate to an isolated house for a screen test?
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a note on the Amazon review July 29, 2007
In his review for Amazon Tom Keogh asks why the director Arthur Penn would have anything to do with this movie. Well in '87 Penn's career wasn't exactly on fire after the back to back flops Target and Four Friends. So the question is why wouldn't he be attracted to it. On the surface it's a very well written, tightly paced and moody story. And it was his last watchable feature film (he followed it with the not so watchable and somewhat ironically titled Penn & Teller Get Killed after which his career was effectively over). Not to mention the fact that it's based on a 40's film noir which always seems to be a favorite genre for many directors to draw on. Keogh also states that Roddy McDowall plays a "crazy millionaire". This part was in fact played by Jan Rubes. McDowall plays Rubes man servant.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MARY MARY QUITE CONTRARY September 21, 2005
Director Arthur Penn is a far cry from his classic BONNIE AND CLYDE in this elegant if somewhat somnambulent thriller. A movie that relies more on the implication of doom rather than the actual depiction of violence, DEAD OF WINTER is a clever little thriller buoyed by the presence of Mary Steenburgen in multiple roles and Roddy McDowall as a sinister henchman to psychiatrist Jan Rubes. William Russ (WiseGuys) rounds out the cast as Mary's handicapped but heroic husband. There aren't a whole lot of surprises in the movie, but it's old-fashioned feel and Penn's assured if overly so, direction makes DEAD OF NIGHT a pleasant diversion from today's gory in your face thrillers.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
In this movie Mary Steenburgen plays an actress named Katie who is offered an audition in a new movie. To audition for this part Katie travels to a lonely mansion accompanied by Roddy McDowell. Things however are not what they seem to be. For you younger people reading this that will be the first thing you learn in Sociology 101 when you get to College. Katie soon finds herself trapped in the role she has to play and the snow is piling up outside which makes escape impossible. This movie is enhanced by the presence of the late Roddy McDowell who I believe never gave a bad performance in his entire acting career. 5 stars for this gem of a Horror movie.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see if you love thrillers! February 29, 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I can't say enough about this movie. From the very first scene all the way to the very end. It pulls you right in from the start and doesn't seem to let go. I think the snow storm really adds to the mood. The house is just the perfect setting. I love Roddy McDowall - he is perfect for his part. Actually everyone in it is. Jan Rubes who plays Dr. Lewis is spectacular! It is a movie that could really happen. The first time I saw it was during a snow storm in 1991 (which really added to the mood) and I taped it from tv, I have watched it at least a dozen times and now own it on V.H.S. and D.V.D. Just when you "think" you know what might happen the unexpected does. I wish they would come out with a sequel to this although I don't know how they could top it. If you have not seen this movie - I am not even going to say rent it, BUY IT! You won't be disappointed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but... June 14, 2009
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I found the acting, directing, atmosphere, and some of the writing excellent. It is loaded with suspense and surprises. The story is fascinating--an actress supposedly being hired by a movie company to play a role, but in reality she really has been hired to be murdered by someone who needs to kill her. The plot is sometimes difficult to follow. And the screenplay has many plot holes which make the story hardly believable. Because of the excellent direction and acting, the plot holes becomes noticable mainly after the movie ends. You then realize how illogically the characters have been acting and how preposterous this contrived story is. Still, it has its fun moments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead of Winter
I loved this movie it was really creepy I saw it before long time ago. The actors are awesome and the plot is good don't want to say much just watch it i don't buy dvds at all. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Karin Tonzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy!
This is a creepy ass movie. I saw it on cable one night and had to have it for my collection. Low budget,way underrated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. SCHWEND
5.0 out of 5 stars brought back memories.
Good flick, I shared it with the family the day i received it and we all gave it a thumbs up.
Published 5 months ago by Robert Blair
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead of Winter
This was a streaming movie I watched it was really good, scary much better than some I have seen and I would watch it again or perhaps buy it if I could, It was really good I... Read more
Published 5 months ago by movie lover
3.0 out of 5 stars Background music is good
When I started watching this film on Amazon Prime, I realized I'd seen it before, but I remembered it as suspenseful so I decided to sit through it again. Read more
Published 5 months ago by lonebeaut
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Thriller
This isn't a bad little movie, though I can see why it probably didn't do well at the multiplexes. And you'll probably figure out the "surprise" reveal near the end half... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Len Stoner
2.0 out of 5 stars Corny B Movie
I thought this looked like an intriguing movie so I gave it a shot - I can appreciate a bad "B" movie, especially when it's expected. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bonnie Berg
3.0 out of 5 stars Tipical who done it.
I was ok - murder mystery. The settings and backdrops where cool but the acting and plot was mediocre. I would recommend it as a one time watch.
Published 6 months ago by Frances E. Fernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery!
I thought this was well made and entertaining. Steenburgen is such a great actress and is always a treat to watch her.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Well Done
A good suspense film with an interesting theme. Not the usual horror fare but actually has a plot. No teeny-boppers getting knocked off one by one but a more mature and almost... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard Brookes
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