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Twilight - 1998

Audience Review

Release Date

1998 (India)
06 Mar 1998 (WorldWide)

Twilight - 1998 Story

Twilight movie opens with private detective Harry Ross (Paul Newman) working on a case to return runaway seventeen-year-old Mel Ames (Reese Witherspoon) to her home. During his surveillance, Ross finds Mel and her boyfriend. During a struggle that ensues with Ross seeking to force the reluctant runaway to return to her parents, Ross' gun is discharged, striking Ross in the upper thigh.

The movie then switches to present day, two years later, revealing that Ross is an alcoholic ex-cop, living with Mel Ames' wealthy parents, Jack Ames, (Gene Hackman) and Catherine Ames, (Susan Sarandon). The Ames' are former film industry bigwigs, now in the twilight of their years. It is revealed that Jack is dying of cancer, and Newman provides in-character narration at key points in the film.

When Jack asks Harry to deliver a package, the story develops into a neo-noir thriller with twists and turns leading the viewer through a 20-year-old case involving the disappearance of Catherine's ex-husband. While being detained over a murder at the proposed meeting place of the package drop-off, Newman runs into ex-coworkers, Lt. Verna Hollander, (Stockard Channing), and Raymond Hope (James Garner).

Sub-plots include an affair between Ross and Jack Ames' wife Catherine; a semi-friendly relationship between Ross and a past-his-prime, but wealthy, Raymond Hope; the revelation that Hope is also working for Ames; blackmail by a self-described "Blonde, Mucho Hair, Mucho Tits" prostitute and Mel's previous boyfriend, (now ex-con); some relief humor centers on just exactly what part of Harry's anatomy was shot 2 years ago; and the impending death of Jack Ames.

Alert viewers will notice a movie playing on a television set in the backgound of the film showing an early Gene Hackman work, Downhill Racer (co-starring Dabney Coleman). The scene occurs during a conversation between the characters of Harry Ross and Jack Ames at approximately 1h 24 m into the film.

By the film's conclusion, Ross (Newman) is forced to face the reality that his friends and landlords, (The Ames') have been deceitful and manipulative of him. And while Ross and Hope (Garner) share a mutual respect for one another, Ross' conscience forces him into the realization that Hope has been on-the-take, and a deadly showdown ensues, where Ross must kill his friend.

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