The Naked Face (1984)

The Naked Face (1984) - Roger Moore

Taglines: Somebody wants him dead for a secret he doesn’t have!

Chicago psychiatrist Judd Stevens is suspected of murdering one of his patients when the man turns up stabbed to death in the middle of the city. After repeated attempts to convince two cops of his innocence, Dr. Stevens is forced to go after the real villains himself, and he finds himself up against one of the city’s most notorious Mafia kingpins.

The Naked Face is a 1984 film written and directed by Bryan Forbes, based on the book of the same name by Sidney Sheldon. It stars Roger Moore, Rod Steiger, Elliott Gould, Anne Archer, Art Carney, Deanna Dunagan, David Hedison. Dick Sollenberger and Cynthia Baker Schuyler. It was nominated for “Best Film” at Mystfest, a film festival.

About the Story

A patient of Chicago psychoanalyst Dr. Judd Stevens (Moore) is murdered after a session, stabbed while wearing a raincoat belonging to the doctor. Police detectives McGreavy (Steiger) and Angeli (Gould) investigate. McGreavy bitterly resents the doctor from a previous case in which Stevens’ testimony led to a cop killer being institutionalized rather than sent to prison.

The patient’s personal problems are in question until Stevens’ secretary is also found brutally murdered. Stevens realizes he is the murderer’s target, while the detectives treat him as their prime suspect.

A widower, Stevens expresses concern to his physician brother-in-law about the cops’ behavior. McGreavy in particular is so aggressive in his interrogations, Angeli reports him to a superior and gets McGreavy thrown off the case.

Posing as doormen, two armed gunmen break into Stevens’ apartment. He holds them off until the brother-in-law and two paramedics arrive. Not trusting the cops, Stevens instead made an emergency call to the hospital for help.

Choosing a name out of the Yellow Pages at random, Stevens hires an old, quirky private investigator named Morgens (Art Carney) who lives in a rundown apartment filled with clocks and cats. Morgens saves his life by finding a bomb planted in Stevens’ car. After he reports this latest attempt on his life, Angeli promises to lend Stevens a more sympathetic ear than his partner had. McGreavy, however, has secretly cut a deal with their captain to keep an eye on the case from a distance.

Morgens claims to know the killer’s true identity, but refuses to reveal it over the phone because nobody can be trusted, not even the police. He tells Stevens to meet him after midnight at Navy Pier and mentions the name “Don Cicini.” But when Stevens and Angeli arrive, they find the murdered body of Morgens, holding a cuckoo clock.

The Naked Face Movie Poster (1984)

The Naked Face (1984)

Directed by: Bryan Forbes
Starring: Roger Moore, Rod Steiger, Elliott Gould, Anne Archer, Art Carney, Deanna Dunagan, David Hedison. Dick Sollenberger, Cynthia Baker Schuyler
Screenplay by: Bryan Forbes
Production Design by: William B. Fosser
Cinematography by: David Gurfinkel
Costume Design by: Sandy Davidson, Jay Hurley
Distributed by: The Cannon Films
Release Date: June 13, 1984