Still of the Night


1h 31m 1982
Still of the Night

Brief Synopsis

A psychiatrist falls for the chief suspect in a patient's murder.

Film Details

Also Known As
Stab, Tyst som natten
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Mystery
Thriller
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

After Brooke Reynolds' married boyfriend is murdered, she gives his watch to his psychiatrist Dr. Sam Rice and asks that he return it to the man's wife. Sam is fascinated by the beautiful Brooke, who he has heard all about during his late patient's therapy sessions. After learning that Brooke's father died mysteriously, and deciding that she looks like a woman who has been stalking him, Sam comes to believe that she murdered his patient, but refuses to compromise his professional ethics by giving information to the police. And although he desires Brooke, he has nightmares of becoming her next murder victim.

Crew

Nestor Almendros

Dp/Cinematographer

Nestor Almendros

Director Of Photography

Robert Benton

Story By

Robert Benton

Screenplay

Robert Benton

From Story

Edward Beyer

Sound Editor

Grace Blake

Production Coordinator

Mel Bourne

Production Designer

Nat Boxer

Sound

Lou Cerborino

Music Editor

Joe Coffey

Camera Operator

Joseph J Coffey

Other

Yvonne David

Wardrobe

Lee Dichter

Sound

Arlene Donovan

Producer

Jonathan Elias

Music

Harriet Fidlow

Sound Editor

Michael Gibson

Original Music

Anthony Gittelson

Assistant Director

Wolfgang Glattes

Associate Producer

Wolfgang Glattes

Assistant Director

Arne Glimcher

Technical Advisor

Jerry Greenberg

Editor

J. Roy Helland

Makeup Supervisor

J. Roy Helland

Hair

Steven J Jordan

Set Decorator

John Kander

Music

Jeff Kleiser

Other

Frances Kolor

Makeup

Dan Lerner

Camera Operator

Dow Mckeever

Location Coordinator

Ann Miller

Props

Michael Molly

Art Director

John Monaco

Music Coordinator

Muky Munkacsi

Photography

Danny Neroda

Video

David Newman

From Story

David Newman

Screenplay

David Newman

Story By

Thomas E Norton

Technical Advisor

Bill Pankow

Assistant Editor

Bill Pankow

Editor

Wendi Phifer

Consultant

Don Pippin

Music

Thomas Prate

Key Grip

Sanford Rackow

Sound Editor

Larry Rapaport

Assistant

David Ray

Sound Editor

Maurice Schell

Sound Editor

Max Solomon

Wardrobe

Cosmo Sorice

Scenic Artist

James Sorice

Scenic Artist

Renata Stoia

Script Supervisor

Juliet Taylor

Casting

Kenneth Utt

Production Manager

Kenneth Utt

Associate Producer

Marcus Viscidi

Location Coordinator

Henry Wolf

Titles

Albert Wolsky

Costume Designer

Film Details

Also Known As
Stab, Tyst som natten
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Mystery
Thriller
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

Still of the Night


Writer-director Robert Benton went for a Hitchcock feel in Still of the Night (1982), a psychological thriller about a shrink (Roy Scheider) who falls for a possible psychopathic killer (Meryl Streep) after one of his clients is murdered. The plot of Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) immediately comes to mind, but there are many other echoes from the suspense master's work, especially Streep's icy, inscrutable blonde.

Cinematographer Nestor Almendros said he and Benton deliberately took their inspiration not only from Hitchcock but from other thrillers of the 1940s and 50s, especially the films of Fritz Lang. In his book A Man with a Camera (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1986), Almendros said that because the thriller is a quintessentially American genre, the art of cinema itself inspired the look of Still of the Night. Initially he and Benton considered shooting the movie in black and white, but when that seemed too problematic, they decided to film in color but with a predominantly black and white visual scheme. Almendros asked for greater collaboration than usual on set and costume design to get the proper color tones, such as the black, white, and gray fabric of the wardrobe. He also continued the experiments in lighting he began on Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980): courser lighting, shadows projected onto walls, and what he called "troubling chiaroscuro," deep shadow-and-light contrasts to create nervous anticipation about what is not seen or only half seen. That was a particular lesson Almendros learned from Fritz Lang, and to achieve it he had to pull himself away from his tendency to go for naturalistic lighting.

Another inspiration came from the paintings of Edward Hopper. Just before shooting began in New York, the city's Whitney Museum mounted a retrospective of Hopper's work, and Almendros used his work as a model. And because Hopper's inspiration was film, that influence led Almendros and Benton right back to a cinematic model.

Spanish-born Almendros worked for a number of years in European cinema, most notably on a series of films for French directors Francois Truffaut and Eric Rohmer. With Benton, he had to get used to a whole new style of filmmaking, one which involved many takes and a lot of footage, only 10 percent of which might eventually be used. On their first film together, the Oscar-winning Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Almendros found that Benton also liked to re-shoot during and after principal photography, sometimes even completely rewriting the dialogue and situations of entire scenes. The ending of Kramer vs. Kramer, for example, was rewritten and re-shot three months after principal shooting had ended. The success of that film gave Benton more power, and he extended the practice further on Still of the Night, several sequences of which were filmed as many as four times within intervals of several days or weeks. The ability to do this, to make big changes after a sneak preview of the first cut of a movie, was an unheard of luxury for European filmmakers, but Almendros appreciated the opportunity. In fact, in his book, the highly acclaimed cinematographer said the ability to re-shoot "is a right that should be granted every artistic creator."

Another significant fact about Almendros' work on Still of the Night was his use of a video monitor system during shooting. Frustrated by American film union rules that prevented him as director of photography from operating the camera, he used one with a built-in video system that allowed him to see what was being filmed, replay it for the director, actors, and crew, and allow for immediate re-shoots to correct anything that needed it. Almendros said the system was invaluable, not only for himself, Benton, and the continuity people, but for the camera operator as well. It freed the operator and the camera from being surrounded by crew, allowing for greater movement and flexibility. He also said he believed that without a whole crew gathered around watching them, actors were more comfortable and delivered performances of greater subtlety. Almendros' faith in the system has been justified by its technical refinements over the years and its nearly universal use on all productions.

This was Almendros' second film with Streep, after Kramer. He worked with her twice more Ð capturing her Academy Award-winning performance in Sophie's Choice (1982) and on the comedy Heartburn (1986). He worked with Benton three more times Ð Places in the Heart (1984), Nadine (1987), and Billy Bathgate (1991).

Director: Robert Benton
Producer: Arlene Donovan
Screenplay: Robert Benton, David Newman
Cinematography: Nestor Almendros
Editing: Jerry Greenberg, Bill Pankow
Art Direction: Michael Molly
Original Music: John Kander
Cast: Roy Scheider (Dr. Sam Rice), Meryl Streep (Brooke Reynolds), Jessica Tandy (Grace Rice), Sara Botsford (Gail Phillips), Joe Grifasi (Joseph Vitucci), Josef Sommer (George Bynum)
C-91m. Letterboxed.

by Rob Nixon
Still Of The Night

Still of the Night

Writer-director Robert Benton went for a Hitchcock feel in Still of the Night (1982), a psychological thriller about a shrink (Roy Scheider) who falls for a possible psychopathic killer (Meryl Streep) after one of his clients is murdered. The plot of Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) immediately comes to mind, but there are many other echoes from the suspense master's work, especially Streep's icy, inscrutable blonde. Cinematographer Nestor Almendros said he and Benton deliberately took their inspiration not only from Hitchcock but from other thrillers of the 1940s and 50s, especially the films of Fritz Lang. In his book A Man with a Camera (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1986), Almendros said that because the thriller is a quintessentially American genre, the art of cinema itself inspired the look of Still of the Night. Initially he and Benton considered shooting the movie in black and white, but when that seemed too problematic, they decided to film in color but with a predominantly black and white visual scheme. Almendros asked for greater collaboration than usual on set and costume design to get the proper color tones, such as the black, white, and gray fabric of the wardrobe. He also continued the experiments in lighting he began on Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980): courser lighting, shadows projected onto walls, and what he called "troubling chiaroscuro," deep shadow-and-light contrasts to create nervous anticipation about what is not seen or only half seen. That was a particular lesson Almendros learned from Fritz Lang, and to achieve it he had to pull himself away from his tendency to go for naturalistic lighting. Another inspiration came from the paintings of Edward Hopper. Just before shooting began in New York, the city's Whitney Museum mounted a retrospective of Hopper's work, and Almendros used his work as a model. And because Hopper's inspiration was film, that influence led Almendros and Benton right back to a cinematic model. Spanish-born Almendros worked for a number of years in European cinema, most notably on a series of films for French directors Francois Truffaut and Eric Rohmer. With Benton, he had to get used to a whole new style of filmmaking, one which involved many takes and a lot of footage, only 10 percent of which might eventually be used. On their first film together, the Oscar-winning Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Almendros found that Benton also liked to re-shoot during and after principal photography, sometimes even completely rewriting the dialogue and situations of entire scenes. The ending of Kramer vs. Kramer, for example, was rewritten and re-shot three months after principal shooting had ended. The success of that film gave Benton more power, and he extended the practice further on Still of the Night, several sequences of which were filmed as many as four times within intervals of several days or weeks. The ability to do this, to make big changes after a sneak preview of the first cut of a movie, was an unheard of luxury for European filmmakers, but Almendros appreciated the opportunity. In fact, in his book, the highly acclaimed cinematographer said the ability to re-shoot "is a right that should be granted every artistic creator." Another significant fact about Almendros' work on Still of the Night was his use of a video monitor system during shooting. Frustrated by American film union rules that prevented him as director of photography from operating the camera, he used one with a built-in video system that allowed him to see what was being filmed, replay it for the director, actors, and crew, and allow for immediate re-shoots to correct anything that needed it. Almendros said the system was invaluable, not only for himself, Benton, and the continuity people, but for the camera operator as well. It freed the operator and the camera from being surrounded by crew, allowing for greater movement and flexibility. He also said he believed that without a whole crew gathered around watching them, actors were more comfortable and delivered performances of greater subtlety. Almendros' faith in the system has been justified by its technical refinements over the years and its nearly universal use on all productions. This was Almendros' second film with Streep, after Kramer. He worked with her twice more Ð capturing her Academy Award-winning performance in Sophie's Choice (1982) and on the comedy Heartburn (1986). He worked with Benton three more times Ð Places in the Heart (1984), Nadine (1987), and Billy Bathgate (1991). Director: Robert Benton Producer: Arlene Donovan Screenplay: Robert Benton, David Newman Cinematography: Nestor Almendros Editing: Jerry Greenberg, Bill Pankow Art Direction: Michael Molly Original Music: John Kander Cast: Roy Scheider (Dr. Sam Rice), Meryl Streep (Brooke Reynolds), Jessica Tandy (Grace Rice), Sara Botsford (Gail Phillips), Joe Grifasi (Joseph Vitucci), Josef Sommer (George Bynum) C-91m. Letterboxed. by Rob Nixon

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 1982

Released in United States Fall November 19, 1982

Released in United States on Video April 1983

Original video distributor was CBS/Fox

Released in United States November 1982

Released in United States Fall November 19, 1982

Released in United States on Video April 1983