Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "Black Widow 1987” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 8% off the $9.98 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Black Widow 1987
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
Bob Rafelson directs this dark psychological thriller about the seductive interplay between two intriguing women. Catharine (THERESA RUSSELL) is a sultry beauty who meticulously sets her traps. Alex (DEBRA WINGER) is a federal sleuth who just as meticulously uncovers what no one else suspects-that this femme fatale tricks wealthy men into marrying her, then kills them to inherit their fortunes. Soon Alex's obsession with the mysterious Catharine draws her deeper and deeper into danger.
- Side 1:
- Widescreen Feature
- 2 TV Spots
- Fox Flix: Don't Say A Word, High Crimes, & Joy Ride
- Side 2:
- Full Screen Feature
- 2 TV Spots
- Fox Flix: One Hour Photo, Swimfan, & Unfaithful
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Russell is a black widow who has everyone fooled, and Winger carefully lays a masterful trap to ensnare her.
A great small film which you will enjoy-well worth your time. Ms. Russell is a fine actress, and it's a shame she is no longer working. Ms. Winger did great work here, and she also is out of the film world. Both of them shine here.
The plot is relatively simple. A beautiful young woman, presumably in her early 30's, consciously courts older rich men in order to later dispatch them and inherit their money. Theresa Russell in the best role of her acting career plays the "Black Widow" with much understated deviousness coupled with seductive femininity. Somehow Russell makes it work. It is never over-the-top which would have ruined the whole dynamic. She finds that fine line where, in only certain moments, do we see her take on a darker cunning expression to hint of her ulterior motives. The rest of the time she plays the role of the perfect female spouse to whomever she is either courting or married.
The best feature of her portrayal is when she assumes a new identity for each of her potential victims to trap her men in a relationship that, as one of her victims put it, "seems too good to be true". She researches her intended victims with the veracity of a graduate student preparing a PhD thesis. Another element that is left up to audience speculation is why, other than for the money, she engages in these seduction-murder episodes. Her motivation is never fully explained which, for some reason, works best for the film, leaving the audience to ponder her inner psychology. I feel the only shortcoming of the film is that sometimes the seduction sequences seemed a little rushed where they maybe needed one more scene. Russell does such a good job of transforming her character into someone who would be attracted to her intended victims that I wanted to see just a little more of it. Dennis Hopper and Nicol Williamson each play victims of the "Black Widow" and I would have liked to see their segments extended just a bit longer.
Debra Winger plays a federal data clerk at the Justice Department who, during the course of her inputting myriads of computer information, presumably of a criminal nature, starts to notice an unnerving trend of rich men dying shortly after having married younger women. She begins to ponder whether these men were seduced by the same woman. She asks her boss to allow her to investigate further into the matter and overnight she becomes a field agent. The unstated rhetoric is that a male investigator might be unable to go inside the head of the "black widow" in order to stop her. At one point, Winger says "If you want to catch her, if you have to think like she does." But even Winger admits that no one knows why anyone does anything. She might be able to understand the black widow's schemes but not her motivations. Winger is a perfect compliment to Russell as she projects less sexual allure and more the work-a-day woman. Now the black widow is being pursued.
Overall, a great suspense movie of the "femme fatale" variety that is currently an under-explored area of film storytelling. Since about 1990, we have been in the age of the male dominated screen persona which makes a lot of Hollywood's offerings too cookie-cutter. Filmmakers could learn from "Black Widow". The female point of view is equally worth exploring as its male counterpart. For some reason, female centered stories are often characterized as not being universal. Which seems strange when you consider that 55% of the world's population is female.
It's definitely an 80's movie so the filming isn't always stellar and the storyline is a bit dated (also, for amusement, check out the computers in the FBI office!) Don't expect amazing cinematography or a fabulous soundtrack. But do expect a brilliant and seductive pyschological dance between two fantastic female leads.