Judith Singer is a housewife, out of the journalism business for many years. When a dentist she has been seeing (who has a strong bedside manner even while female patients are still in the chair) is found murdered, she finds that a neighbor is a suspect. She begins to investigate.
This places her in danger from the murderer, from the women who have had affairs with the dentist, and from the police who begin to wonder why she is always at the scenes where clues are discovered. Her husband becomes angry at what is happening, placing strains on her family as she finds herself more and more attracted to the police detective investigating the murder.
Compromising Positions is a 1985 American film released by Paramount and directed by Frank Perry. The screenplay, by Susan Isaacs, was adapted from her 1978 novel. The plot concerns a Long Island housewife and former journalist who becomes involved in a murder investigation. The film stars Susan Sarandon, Raúl Juliá, Judith Ivey, Edward Herrmann, Mary Beth Hurt, Joe Mantegna, Deborah Rush, Anne DeSalvo, and Josh Mostel. Joan Allen has a small role.
About the Story
Judith Singer is a former Newsday reporter who misses her old life, now that her husband Bob spends most of his time at work and her time at home on Long Island has become a bore.
When her dentist, Dr. Bruce Fleckstein, is found murdered, Judith sees the possibility of a story that she might be able to sell to the newspaper’s editor, maybe even get her old job back. Judith might have been the last person to see Fleckstein alive, which makes detective David Suarez consider her both a possible witness and a suspect.
Fleckstein was a lecher and a louse. Decked out in gold jewelry, he cheated on his wife Phyllis and preyed on his female patients. Not only did Fleckstein have affairs in a motel with several of his patients, but he also took compromising Polaroids of many women while they were asleep in his dentist chair.
The murderer could have been sculptor Nancy Miller, or perhaps Judith’s next-door neighbor Peg Tuccio, or any number of possibilities. Suarez is determined to solve the case before amateur detective Judith beats him to it.
Compromising Positions (1985)
Directed by: Frank Perry
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Raul Julia, Edward Herrmann, Judith Ivey, Mary Beth Hurt, Joe Mantegna, Anne De Salvo, Deborah Rush, Joan Allen, Amanda Lyons
Screenplay by: Susan Isaacs
Production Design by: Peter S. Larkin
Cinematography by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Film Editing by: Peter C. Frank
Costume Design by: Joseph G. Aulisi
Set Decoration by: Victor Kempster
Music by: Brad Fiedel
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: August 30, 1985