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Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter
Actors: Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes, William Russ, Ken Pogue
Director: Arthur Penn
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 40min

Academy Award® winner* Mary Steenburgen and Roddy McDowall star in a pulse-pounding thriller in the tradition of the legendary master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. "You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat" (Los Ange...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes, William Russ, Ken Pogue
Director: Arthur Penn
Creators: Mark Malone, Jan Weincke, John Bloomgarden, Marc Shmuger, Michael MacDonald, Anthony Gilbert
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/03/2002
Original Release Date: 02/06/1987
Theatrical Release Date: 02/06/1987
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Beware of sweet old men...
R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 12/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's a cold, snowy, blustery Saturday evening here in Wisconsin, and I thought this would be the best movie to put on as I settled in for a cozy nite. I've had the film for a while; the MGM/UA dvd has a dual-disc, with full-screen on one side and widescreen on the other. The Widescreen side doesn't seem to play. Still, it's fun to watch Mary Steenburgen chew up the scenery, in multiple roles. "Dead of Winter" isn't a great film on the levels that film purists demand, but it was well thought out by director Arthur Penn. I won't blab away the plot, but things are pretty creepy throughout, and Mary is a fine heroine. I've always been a huge fan of the late, great Roddy MacDowell. I was always hoping he would get an Oscar nomination before he left us. He was a little over the edge here, but I thought he was great in "Fright Night". There's no doubt he would've won the Supporting Oscar for "Cleopatra" (1963), but Fox submitted his name to the Academy as Best Actor instead, and he got ripped off. Jan Rubes is especially convincing as the old man with alterior motives. William Russ was a handsome romantic interest, though his involvement was minimal, and I don't think his career went anywhere after this. Too bad. This film takes on its own character, and runs with it. Creepy, scary and loads of fun, especially on a blustery winter nite. Chills galore!"
Dead of Winter
Matthew Gladney | Champaign-Urbana, IL USA | 11/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I shouldn't like "Dead of Winter" as much as I do. It has some faults, a few of them glaring. But, however many faults the movie has, it still grips me, and evokes the fear and suspense necessary for it to qualify as a taut thriller. You have a claustrophobic setting, disturbing older men, a woman in distress, and murder. These ingredients come together to make for a very interesting hour and a half. At the very least, I found myself entertained.The film starts out with the murder of a woman in an abandoned parking lot on a snowy winter's night. Next we are in New York City, where we are exposed to the struggling actor's life of Katie McGovern (Mary Steenburgen). She is just looking for that one good role (with good pay, of course). After she does well at an audition, the man hosting it, Mr. Murray (Roddy McDowall), invites her upstate to an isolated country house, in order to do some test screening. Katie agrees. She tells her boyfriend she will call him once there, and is off. Once Katie arrives at the house, she is introduced to the man in charge, Dr. Joseph Lewis (sinisterly portrayed by Jan Rubes). Uneasy things begin to occur (the phones lines go dead, and the car won't start), and soon Katie's world turns upside down as the two older men begin to unveil their frightening plan upon the unsuspecting actress.There are things to knock about "Dead of Winter". Many of them involve aspects of what film critic Roger Ebert has termed "The Idiot Plot". This is where characters are in certain situations that go on for far too long because, instead of doing the sensible thing, they act with fairly bad judgement, thus enabling the movie to exist and continue on. A few examples: Why go hours upstate to an isolated house for a screen test? Why believe that an old *doctor* is in charge of casting a movie? Why, when you see that the two men whose house you are in have thrown your driver's license in the fireplace, do you act casually, as though nothing is wrong? I won't go on, as I don't want to give away too much of the film. Suffice it to say, you will need to suspend some disbelief, and just go with the flow.There are many good elements about "Dead of Winter". The direction by Arthur Penn is steady, and moves along at a good pace. The casting is great. Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, and Jan Rubes are all perfect in their roles. The setting is superb - an old, wood interior, victorian style house in the middle of the countryside. A fierce blizzard snowing-in the hapless actress. All of the elements come together very well.Some night, when the wind is howling outside, the snow drifts are accumulating around your house, and you're feeling just a wee bit isolated, decide on a good night of suspense, and watch this movie. Watch it, in the "Dead of Winter"."
A must see if you love thrillers!
Matthew Gladney | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't say enough about this movie. From the very first scene all the way to the very end. It pulls you right in from the start and doesn't seem to let go. I think the snow storm really adds to the mood. The house is just the perfect setting. I love Roddy McDowall - he is perfect for his part. Actually everyone in it is. Jan Rubes who plays Dr. Lewis is spectacular! It is a movie that could really happen. The first time I saw it was during a snow storm in 1991 (which really added to the mood) and I taped it from tv, I have watched it at least a dozen times and now own it on V.H.S. and D.V.D. Just when you "think" you know what might happen the unexpected does. I wish they would come out with a sequel to this although I don't know how they could top it. If you have not seen this movie - I am not even going to say rent it, BUY IT! You won't be disappointed!"
A Haunting, Resonant Movie In A Claustrophobic Atmosphere!!
John Baranyai | 05/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In this movie Mary Steenburgen plays an actress named Katie who is offered an audition in a new movie. To audition for this part Katie travels to a lonely mansion accompanied by Roddy McDowell. Things however are not what they seem to be. For you younger people reading this that will be the first thing you learn in Sociology 101 when you get to College. Katie soon finds herself trapped in the role she has to play and the snow is piling up outside which makes escape impossible. This movie is enhanced by the presence of the late Roddy McDowell who I believe never gave a bad performance in his entire acting career. 5 stars for this gem of a Horror movie."