Annal: 1987 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Motion Picture

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1987.

Film:Something Wild

Something Wild

Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme’s sexy 1986 road comedy, a story about the liberation of a stuffed-shirt businessman (Jeff Daniels) by a free-spirited punkette (Melanie Griffith), looks better and better as the years go by. By dressing Griffith in a bowl-cut black wig and giving her character the resonant nickname Lulu, Demme establishes a clear link with G.W. Pabst’s 1928 Louise Brooks melodrama Pandora’s Box—except that in this case the influence of a sexual free spirit is not seen as malign or corrupting. The turning point comes when the girl’s hard-edged manner is…

Film:Defense of the Realm

Defense of the Realm

David Drury

In the politically charged atmosphere of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, newspaper reporters are hungry for the big story that will make them stars and their newspapers famous. Nick Mullen (Gabriel Byrne in his first starring role) is one such reporter for the London Daily Dispatch. A top member of Parliament (Ian Bannen) is the focus of the latest political scandal: he has been photographed with a prostitute who is known to have Russian contacts. Nick barrels into the scandal full-bore, despite warnings from his mentor (a deft Denholm Elliott). Nick receives…

Film:F/X

F/X

Robert Mandel

“F/X” is Hollywood-speak for “special effects,” those often-bloody tricks that fool us into believing a gun has been fired or a head has been blown off. Bryan Brown plays a freelance effects wizard who arrives for each job fully equipped in a customized truck, making it easy for him to roll from one gig into the next. Accepting a hefty chunk of change for one such job, Brown stages the death of a gangster for the Witness Protection Program. At least, that is what he is led to believe. Illusion, it turns out, is everything. Not knowing whom to trust or what to…

Film:The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective

Ron Clements, John Musker, David Michener, Burny Mattinson

The clues are in, the chase is on, and the case of the century is about to break wide open in Disney’s greatest little mystery in history! Let the creators of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid take you on an adventuresome journey through the cobblestone streets of 1897 London, where some suspicious “mousechief” is the suspenseful start to this thrilling musical adventure. Olivia, the brave daughter of a beloved London toymaker, turns to Basil of Baker Street for help with her father’s disappearance. Basil’s jolly assistant, Dr. Dawson, and loyal dog Toby lend a hand…and nose…as they sniff out clues through their charming miniature world. The final chase leads to Professor Ratigan (voiced by Vincent Price), a hard-hearted criminal whom Basil must outwit to save all of Mousedom! Now digitally remastered, fully restored and full of unforgettable characters and spectacular animation—all leading to a climactic climb atop Big Ben—it’s elementary who you’ll want to watch again and again…The Great Mouse Detective!

Film:Manhunter

Manhunter

Michael Mann

Though it will always be remembered as the movie featuring the “other” Hannibal Lecter, Michael Mann’s 1986 thriller Manhunter is nearly as good as The Silence of the Lambs, and in some respects it’s arguably even better. Based on Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon, which introduced the world to the nefarious killer Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter, the film stars William Petersen (giving a suitably brooding performance) as ex-FBI agent Will Graham, who is coaxed out of semiretirement to track down a serial killer who has thwarted the authorities…

Film:The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose

Jean-Jacques Annaud

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Name of the Rose is a flawed attempt to adapt Umberto Eco’s highly convoluted medieval bestseller for the screen, necessarily excising much of the esoterica that made the book so compelling. Still, what’s left is a riveting whodunit set in a grimly and grimily realistic 14th-century Benedictine monastery populated by a parade of grotesque characters, all of whom spend their time lurking in dark places or scuttling, half-unseen, in the omnipresent gloom. A series of mysterious and gruesome deaths are somehow tied up with the…

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