Compromising Positions

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.

Compromising Positions
Directed byFrank Perry
Produced bySalah M. Hassanein,
Frank Perry
Written bySusan Isaacs (also novel)
Music byBrad Fiedel
CinematographyBarry Sonnenfeld
Edited byPeter Frank
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 30, 1985 (1985-08-30)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$12,531,831

The film stars Susan Sarandon, Raúl Juliá, Judith Ivey, Edward Herrmann, Mary Beth Hurt, Joe Mantegna, Deborah Rush, Anne De Salvo, and Josh Mostel. Joan Allen has a small role.


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.



The film is reviewed, favorably, in Pauline Kael's ninth collection of movie reviews Hooked. She is especially complimentary about Susan Sarandon's performance. "The screenplay provides a batch of actresses with a chance to show some comic verve. Susan Sarandon's smile has never been more incredibly lush, and she does some inspired double takes - just letting her beautiful dark eyes pop." "It's fun to have a movie about a woman whose curiosity is her salvation."


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