The First Deadly Sin (1980)

R | 112 mins | Drama | 24 October 1980

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HISTORY

The summary for this unviewed film was based on the following movie reviews from the 24 Oct 1980 NYT, the 29 Oct 1980 LAT, the 29 Oct-4 Nov 1980 Village Voice, and production notes from AMPAS library files. Cast and crew credits were available courtesy of AMPAS library files, although they may be incomplete, and not entirely reflect what appears onscreen.
       The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Our thanks to the Stratemeyer Syndicate and to The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” and “Special thanks to Mother Cabrini Hospital.”
       A 18 Jul 1973 Var news item announced that screenwriter Steve Shagan was hired by producer Robert Weitman to write the script as a project for Columbia Pictures. Weitman followed up by hiring Don Siegel to direct the picture, and replaced Shagan with screenwriter Stephen Geller, according to briefs in the 16 Jan 1974 and 27 Mar 1974 DV. A 31 May 1977 Var article reported that director Roman Polanski was hired to replace Siegel, and began preparing for production in early 1977. Just a few weeks before the start of principal photography, Polanski was arrested and received a grand jury indictment on charges of statutory rape with a thirteen-year-old girl. When Polanski’s trial date was set for 29 Jun 1977, Columbia fired the director. New items in the 16 Apr 1979 Box and the 28 Aug 1979 DV announced that the film company set up a new deal with Elliot Kastner as producer, and Mann Rubin as screenwriter with hopes of tailoring the story for actor Marlon Brando. Articles in 14 Jan ... More Less

The summary for this unviewed film was based on the following movie reviews from the 24 Oct 1980 NYT, the 29 Oct 1980 LAT, the 29 Oct-4 Nov 1980 Village Voice, and production notes from AMPAS library files. Cast and crew credits were available courtesy of AMPAS library files, although they may be incomplete, and not entirely reflect what appears onscreen.
       The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Our thanks to the Stratemeyer Syndicate and to The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” and “Special thanks to Mother Cabrini Hospital.”
       A 18 Jul 1973 Var news item announced that screenwriter Steve Shagan was hired by producer Robert Weitman to write the script as a project for Columbia Pictures. Weitman followed up by hiring Don Siegel to direct the picture, and replaced Shagan with screenwriter Stephen Geller, according to briefs in the 16 Jan 1974 and 27 Mar 1974 DV. A 31 May 1977 Var article reported that director Roman Polanski was hired to replace Siegel, and began preparing for production in early 1977. Just a few weeks before the start of principal photography, Polanski was arrested and received a grand jury indictment on charges of statutory rape with a thirteen-year-old girl. When Polanski’s trial date was set for 29 Jun 1977, Columbia fired the director. New items in the 16 Apr 1979 Box and the 28 Aug 1979 DV announced that the film company set up a new deal with Elliot Kastner as producer, and Mann Rubin as screenwriter with hopes of tailoring the story for actor Marlon Brando. Articles in 14 Jan 1980 DV and 16 Jan 1980 Var reported that actor-producer Frank Sinatra would star and co-executive-produce the picture with Kastner with Brian G. Hutton hired to direct. It was Sinatra’s first movie role in ten years.
       According to a 30 May 1980 HR news item, principal photography began in late Mar 1980 in New York City, and was competed on that day after a ten-week shoot.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Apr 1979.
---
Daily Variety
16 Jan 1974.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1974.
---
Daily Variety
28 Aug 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 May 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1980
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Oct 1980
Part IV, p. 1.
New York Times
24 Oct 1980
p. 10.
Variety
18 Jul 1973.
---
Variety
31 May 1977.
---
Variety
22 Oct 1980
p. 24.
Village Voice
29 Oct-4 Nov 1980
p. 52.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Elliott Kastner Presents
An Artanis-Cinema VII Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Cam asst
2d cam asst
Still photog
Dolly grip
Photographic equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst to prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Chief carpenter
Carpenter
Chief const grip
Const grip
Prop master
Prop man
Scenic chargeman
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hair des
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Scr supv
Teamster capt
Prod office coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst auditor
Tech consultant
Tech consultant
Unit pub
Studio coord
Personal asst to Mr. Hutton
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (New York, 1973).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
First Deadly Sin
Release Date:
24 October 1980
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 October 1980
Los Angeles opening: 29 October 1980
Production Date:
late March--30 May 1980 in New York City
Copyright Claimant:
First Deadly Sin Company
Copyright Date:
13 November 1980
Copyright Number:
PA88553
Physical Properties:
Sound
Magno Sound
Color
TVC
Prints
Movielab
Duration(in mins):
112
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26143
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As New York City Police Detective Edward Delaney counts the days to his retirement, a psychotic serial killer commits random murders throughout the city with an unusual weapon. At the same time, Edward’s wife, Barbara, contracts a mysterious illness after her kidney operation that leaves her physician stumped. The seriousness of Barbara’s illness could rob Edward of all he has to live for and shows his tender side as he frets over his younger wife. Every time the killer commits another murder, Barbara experiences a relapse and a thunderstorm erupts. Although Captain Broughton, his superior, orders Edward off the case, he is obsessed after a coroner named Dr. Sanford Ferguson reveals the killer used an odd form of pickax. Edward teams up with Christopher Langley, a museum curator specializing in military weapons, who identifies the murder weapon as a mountain climber’s ice ax. At a store specializing in mountain-climbing equipment, the owner supplies a list to Edward and Christopher of individuals that purchased the specific tool, narrowing their search. Monica Gilbert, the wife of one murder victim, helps the men eliminate suspects until they hone in on an individual who lived in all the neighborhoods, where the murders occurred. After Edward bribes a doorman to gain entry to a posh apartment owned by Daniel Blank, a publishing executive, a confrontation occurs in which Edward finds the ice ax and faces the killer. ... +


As New York City Police Detective Edward Delaney counts the days to his retirement, a psychotic serial killer commits random murders throughout the city with an unusual weapon. At the same time, Edward’s wife, Barbara, contracts a mysterious illness after her kidney operation that leaves her physician stumped. The seriousness of Barbara’s illness could rob Edward of all he has to live for and shows his tender side as he frets over his younger wife. Every time the killer commits another murder, Barbara experiences a relapse and a thunderstorm erupts. Although Captain Broughton, his superior, orders Edward off the case, he is obsessed after a coroner named Dr. Sanford Ferguson reveals the killer used an odd form of pickax. Edward teams up with Christopher Langley, a museum curator specializing in military weapons, who identifies the murder weapon as a mountain climber’s ice ax. At a store specializing in mountain-climbing equipment, the owner supplies a list to Edward and Christopher of individuals that purchased the specific tool, narrowing their search. Monica Gilbert, the wife of one murder victim, helps the men eliminate suspects until they hone in on an individual who lived in all the neighborhoods, where the murders occurred. After Edward bribes a doorman to gain entry to a posh apartment owned by Daniel Blank, a publishing executive, a confrontation occurs in which Edward finds the ice ax and faces the killer.
+

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Detective


Subject

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.