Night Games (1980 film)
|Directed by||Roger Vadim|
|Music by||John Barry|
|Distributed by||Avco Embassy|
The film stars Cindy Pickett as a woman still traumatised after being raped as a teenager, and is unable to have a satisfactory sex life with her husband, who eventually leaves her. Left alone in a large house, Valerie drifts into sexual fantasies, while facing danger from another potential rapist.
Joanna Cassidy also stars, as Valerie's best friend. The film was released on CED in 1983 and VHS in 1989, with a running time of 104 minutes. A subsequent DVD release has a running time of only 96 minutes.
He was going to make a vampire film starring an ex-girlfriend, Catherine Deneuve, but postponed it to make Night Games. Vadim said he was "looking for a new Vivien Leigh, about 27 years old" to star in the film.
Pickett was a relative unknown when Vadim cast her for Night Games, best known for appearing for three years on Guiding Light. "I went away from the experience transformed", said Pickett. "Vadim has the power to make an actor feel so good about himself, and when that happens you grow. It's part of his magic."
Pickett later recalled:
This film was neither a commercial nor critical success, and Pickett went on to become one of the stars of an American television series set in a hospital, St. Elsewhere, and as the title character's mother in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Pickett later reflected:
Perhaps the film would've done better if they'd used someone different – a Bo Derek for example. Because people did go to see Vadim's latest discovery and obviously I wasn't the sort of person they expected. The film was a disappointment, too. It was supposed to be a psychological thriller, but it wound up as a soft porn film. That wasn't Vadim's fault; he didn't have final cut. Many of my best scenes were cut out altogether. When I saw the finished version I knew it would do nothing for me. Nobody would walk away impressed. In fact, not many would even sit through the picture, which was a pity because my best work came at the end. I was sorry not just for myself but also for Vadim. I wanted it to work for him.
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- Sanello, Frank (21 May 1989). "Pickett grapples with an 'issue' role in 'Steven'". Chicago Tribune. p. I3.