Jagged Edge

When a murder case is this shocking, which do you trust... your emotions or the evidence?

108 min     6.5     1985     USA


San Francisco heiress Page Forrester is brutally murdered in her remote beach house. Her husband Jack is devastated by the crime but soon finds himself accused of her murder. He hires lawyer Teddy Barnes to defend him, despite the fact she hasn't handled a criminal case for many years. There's a certain chemistry between them and Teddy soon finds herself defending the man she loves.


John Chard wrote:
Sharp film, serrated ending. Teddy Barnes is a conflicted lawyer, still reeling from the dubious methods of a colleague, she takes on the defence of Jack Forrester, who is accused of murdering his wife with a jagged edged knife. Gradually falling for Jack's seductive powers, Teddy falls in love with the man she now has to defend, her problems it seems, are about to become far far worse. Jagged Edge, directed by Richard Marquand, starring Glenn Close (Teddy), Jeff Bridges (Jack), Robert Loggia (Sam Ransom) and Peter Coyote (Thomas Krasny), is bringing nothing new to the table of a much replicated genre. It does however boast brilliant acting, a tremendous screenplay (Joe Eszterhas) and a production value that demands it be viewed with less than cynical eyes. That it is written by Eszterhas is obvious when looking at the structure of the picture, death, sex, troubled romance, greed and that old devil called obsession (Basic Instinct anyone?), yet aided by a competent director and an exemplary cast, Jagged Edge shines brighter than most other films of its ilk. It looks a little frayed (not jagged) around the edges now, but that is purely because of the advent of time and the ream of thrillers using this format that have followed this piece. If one (such as I) can transport oneself back to the 80s and view Jagged Edge on its original terms, then its easy to recognise just what a well put together picture it is. Close and Bridges are superb, whilst Robert Loggia steals the picture from under their noses, his interplay with Close is a particular highlight. In spite of some less than great twists and unsubtle scapegoat placings, Jagged Edge succeeds because you are there at the finale, and because its held you in its grip all along, you (hopefully) have invested yourself with these characters, you simply just have to know, for better or worse! The ending was cause for much discussion back in the day, and viewing it now it still feels like a moment of cheek mixed in with some form of clarity, but rest assured it works well, as does, funnily enough, the whole film. No world beater here, but highly accomplished and worth the time of any thriller obsessed movie fan. 7/10