Jagged Edge (1985)

R | 110 mins | Drama | 4 October 1985

Director:

Richard Marquand

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas

Producer:

Martin Ransohoff

Cinematographer:

Matthew F. Leonetti

Production Designer:

Gene Callahan

Production Companies:

Columbia Pictures, Delphi IV Productions
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HISTORY

       Referring to the picture as Hearts of Fire, the 26 Jul 1984 DV reported that Martin Ransohoff would be producing the $10 million Columbia Picture, with locations in San Francisco and Marin County, CA.
       According to the 5 Dec 1984 DV, principal photography was set to begin 12 Jan 1985, with an anticipated Oct 1985 release date. San Francisco lensing was slated to last one week, and then the production would relocate to sound stages at Burbank Studiosdios near Los Angeles. Production notes in AMPAS library files list San Francisco locations at City Hall and the Big Four Restaurant at the Huntington Hotel, and Los Angeles-area locations at a Malibu beach house, and an estate in Thousand Oaks.
       A production shooting schedule in AMPAS library files report a forty-nine day filming schedule, with an anticipated completion date on 20 Mar 1985.
       The Dec 1985 Box announced box-office receipts of $4 million after three days in 1,125 theaters.
       The ending to Jagged Edge was hotly debated by filmmakers, with Columbia wanting a “happy ending,” and producer Martin Ransohoff fighting for a less than happy finale, according to the 7 Feb 1986 HR. However, after a change in management at Columbia, Ransohoff’s ending was agreed upon. A sequel to the film was planned by Ransohoff to begin production in 1986 for a 1987 release, however, the sequel never went into production.
       Robert Loggia received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as “Sam Ransom.”
      End credits include the following acknowledgement: “Special Thanks to the Los Angeles ... More Less

       Referring to the picture as Hearts of Fire, the 26 Jul 1984 DV reported that Martin Ransohoff would be producing the $10 million Columbia Picture, with locations in San Francisco and Marin County, CA.
       According to the 5 Dec 1984 DV, principal photography was set to begin 12 Jan 1985, with an anticipated Oct 1985 release date. San Francisco lensing was slated to last one week, and then the production would relocate to sound stages at Burbank Studiosdios near Los Angeles. Production notes in AMPAS library files list San Francisco locations at City Hall and the Big Four Restaurant at the Huntington Hotel, and Los Angeles-area locations at a Malibu beach house, and an estate in Thousand Oaks.
       A production shooting schedule in AMPAS library files report a forty-nine day filming schedule, with an anticipated completion date on 20 Mar 1985.
       The Dec 1985 Box announced box-office receipts of $4 million after three days in 1,125 theaters.
       The ending to Jagged Edge was hotly debated by filmmakers, with Columbia wanting a “happy ending,” and producer Martin Ransohoff fighting for a less than happy finale, according to the 7 Feb 1986 HR. However, after a change in management at Columbia, Ransohoff’s ending was agreed upon. A sequel to the film was planned by Ransohoff to begin production in 1986 for a 1987 release, however, the sequel never went into production.
       Robert Loggia received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as “Sam Ransom.”
      End credits include the following acknowledgement: “Special Thanks to the Los Angeles Times.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Dec 1985
Section R, p.138.
Daily Variety
26 Jul 1984.
---
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1984
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 1985
p. 3, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 1986
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1985
Section G, p. 1, 13.
New York Times
4 Oct 1985
p. 15.
Variety
11 Sep 1985
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Presents
A Martin Ransohoff
A Richard Marquand Film
From Columbia-Delphi IV Productions
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr/2d unit dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Chief lighting tech
Key grip
Still photog
Ultracam 35 cam, lenses and equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Leadman
Const coord
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Women`s cost
Men`s cost
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Synthesizer
Mus eng
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Sd ed
ADR ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals by
Spec photographic eff
Matte paintings
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Transportation coord
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Legal adv
Asst to Mr. Marquand
Architectural models furnished by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Hearts of Fire
Release Date:
4 October 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 4 October 1985
Production Date:
12 January--20 March 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 October 1985
Copyright Number:
PA273540
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
110
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27757
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a stormy night, a masked intruder stabs Page Forrester to death at her beach house near San Francisco, California. Page’s husband, Jack Forrester, discovers her body and that of her slain maid, Consuela. News quickly spreads of the wealthy woman’s death, and District Attorney Thomas Krasny arrives at the scene of the crime. Krasny learns that a six-inch knife with a jagged blade was used in the murders. Jack Forrester recovers from a head wound in the hospital, after seemingly being knocked unconscious by his wife’s killer. Upon investigation, Krasny discovers that all of the couples’ assets were in Page Forrester’s name, and he begins to suspect Jack of murdering his wife. He questions Jack Forrester in his hospital bed. In time, Jack, a newspaper editor, scatters his wife’s ashes at sea. Krasny continues his investigation, interviewing Mr. Fabrizi, the janitor from Jack’s country club, who reports seeing a six-inch hunting knife with a jagged edge in Jack’s locker. Although Jack denies owning a hunting knife, he is arrested and accused of murder. Jack’s corporate lawyers recommend their partner, Teddy Barnes, who has criminal law experience, to defend him. However, Teddy does not want to return to criminal defense, after having worked as Krasny’s assistant D.A. four years earlier. Teddy reluctantly agrees to meet with Jack Forrester, and he proclaims his innocence to her. Sometime later, Jack takes a leave of absence from the newspaper, which he took over from Page’s father. Teddy has dinner with her former husband, Matthew Barnes, with whom she raised two children, David and Jenny. At the restaurant, ... +


On a stormy night, a masked intruder stabs Page Forrester to death at her beach house near San Francisco, California. Page’s husband, Jack Forrester, discovers her body and that of her slain maid, Consuela. News quickly spreads of the wealthy woman’s death, and District Attorney Thomas Krasny arrives at the scene of the crime. Krasny learns that a six-inch knife with a jagged blade was used in the murders. Jack Forrester recovers from a head wound in the hospital, after seemingly being knocked unconscious by his wife’s killer. Upon investigation, Krasny discovers that all of the couples’ assets were in Page Forrester’s name, and he begins to suspect Jack of murdering his wife. He questions Jack Forrester in his hospital bed. In time, Jack, a newspaper editor, scatters his wife’s ashes at sea. Krasny continues his investigation, interviewing Mr. Fabrizi, the janitor from Jack’s country club, who reports seeing a six-inch hunting knife with a jagged edge in Jack’s locker. Although Jack denies owning a hunting knife, he is arrested and accused of murder. Jack’s corporate lawyers recommend their partner, Teddy Barnes, who has criminal law experience, to defend him. However, Teddy does not want to return to criminal defense, after having worked as Krasny’s assistant D.A. four years earlier. Teddy reluctantly agrees to meet with Jack Forrester, and he proclaims his innocence to her. Sometime later, Jack takes a leave of absence from the newspaper, which he took over from Page’s father. Teddy has dinner with her former husband, Matthew Barnes, with whom she raised two children, David and Jenny. At the restaurant, she sees her former employer, Tom Krasny, who tells her that a man they prosecuted named Henry Stiles hanged himself while in prison. Krasny encourages Teddy to defend Jack Forrester, even though he will be serving as the prosecuting attorney. After Teddy asks her former colleague, investigator Sam Ransom, for his opinion, she agrees to take Jack’s case on condition that he is innocent and never lies to her. With Sam as her lead investigator, they set to work in the four months leading up to the trial. Teddy warns Krasny not to hide evidence from her, as he has been known to do. In time, Jack takes Teddy to the scene of the crime and breaks down in tears as he tells her what he witnessed. After, they walk on the beach and Jack shares how he met his wife. Jack is given a polygraph by Teddy’s team, and although he passes, the technician tells Teddy that he is manipulative. Sam Ransom tells Teddy he thinks Jack Forrester is guilty. Teddy learns about the damaging testimony from Fabrizi, the health club janitor who claims to have seen a knife in Jack’s locker, but Jack denies owning a knife. Jack and Teddy begin spending time together going to dinner, horseback riding, and playing racquetball, and before long, they have sex. The trial begins, and Krasny and Teddy make their opening statements. Teddy successfully pokes holes in the testimonies of all Krasny’s witnesses. Sam Ransom discovers that a tennis pro at the country club named Bobby Slade may be a key witness against Jack. When Teddy disregards his warning, Sam accuses her of being biased because of her personal relationship with Jack. Krasny puts a woman named Arlene Avery on the stand, and she admits to having had an affair with Jack, and presents damning testimony that he wanted to divorce his wife but feared losing his wealth. Later, tennis pro Bobby Slade testifies that he had an affair with Page Forrester and that she knew Jack was using her for her money. Teddy is furious that Jack lied to her about his extramarital affair with Arlene Avery, and wants to drop his case because she no longer believes he is innocent. Sam Ransom tells Teddy they have received several anonymous letters proclaiming Jack’s innocence, all of which were typewritten and have a flaw with the letter “t” being raised above the line. Teddy visits Judge Carrigan and tells him she is considering dropping the case. However, Sam races to her home with news he discovered about Bobby Slade. Instead of resigning, Teddy returns to court and calls Bobby Slade to the stand. When she uses Sam’s information to discredit his testimony, Bobby curses at her in front of the jury, making the prosecution look bad. Next, Teddy discredits Fabrizi’s testimony by calling country club member, Duane Bendix, to the stand. He admits to having had a hunting knife in his locker, located just one row behind Jack’s locker. After their day in court, Jack tries to talk to Teddy, but she refuses to speak with him, still believing he is guilty. In the parking garage, Bobby Slade threatens Teddy, but she escapes. Another anonymous letter arrives, directing Teddy to speak to a woman named Julie Jensen. She travels to see the woman and puts her on the stand where Julie admits that eighteen months earlier a masked man attacked her with a knife in a similar manner to how Page Forrester was assaulted. Julie told assistant D.A., Greg Arnold, about the incident, but was ignored and told that the crimes were unrelated. Julie shares that she knew Bobby Slade, but as she begins to incriminate Slade, Krasney objects. In the judge’s chambers, Krasny blurts out that he hid Julie Jensen’s statements from Teddy and wonders how she found the woman. Judge Carrigan threatens to have him disbarred. Krasny declares Jack Forrester committed the assault on Julie Jensen as a subterfuge for the later murder of his wife, and the judge warns him not to implicate Jack for Julie’s assault during the trial. After deliberation, the jury returns with a verdict of “not guilty” for Jack Forrester. Teddy makes a statement to the press about why she resigned from the D.A.’s office four years before, and admits that she and Krasny prosecuted Henry Stiles and he was convicted and sent to prison. Afterward, evidence was found that exonerated Stiles, but Krasny chose to keep the information secret, and Teddy said nothing. Stiles later committed suicide, for which Teddy feels responsible. Teddy returns home and is congratulated by her children and her former husband. When she sees a news report stating that Bobby Slade was arrested for the murders of Page Forrester and her maid, Teddy rushes to Jack’s home and embraces him. They make love and spend the night together. In the morning, Jack goes to the horse stable, and Teddy discovers a vintage typewriter in his closet. She inserts a piece of paper, types a few words, and is stunned to discover the raised letter “t,” just as in the anonymous notes. Teddy races to leave with the typewriter, but is delayed when her automobile will not start. Jack returns, insisting on helping her, and she worries he will see the typewriter. After Jack gets the car started, Teddy rushes home and scrubs herself frantically in the shower. Later, Jack telephones Teddy and she admits that she found the typewriter, and accuses him of murdering his wife. He denies it, proclaims his love for Teddy, and insists on coming to her home, but she screams and hangs up on him. Hysterical, Teddy telephones Sam. However, when he asks what happened, a sudden calm comes over Teddy, and she tells Sam that everything is fine. Shortly after, a masked man wielding a knife breaks into Teddy’s home. When he enters her bedroom, Teddy sits on her bed, unfazed. She tells Jack to remove his mask, and claims that she could have loved him. When the man pulls her legs violently toward him, Teddy shoots the intruder several times, and he falls dead. Afterward, Teddy hears footsteps running up the staircase, and Sam enters her bedroom. Teddy watches with anticipation, as Sam removes the intruder’s mask and reveals Jack’s face underneath. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Suspense


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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