|Don Johnson and Rebecca De Mornay|
"He chose me to defend him before he murdered his wife."
Rising attorney Jennifer Haines (Rebecca De Mornay) takes on a client who is handsome if immoral, a gigolo named David Greenhill (Don Johnson) who has been accused of pushing his wealthy wife out of a window. Jennifer takes Greenhill's case against her better judgment, regrets it, tries to back out, but is told by a judge (Dana Ivey) that dropping pro bono cases is a no no. Meanwhile her friend and investigator Moe Plimpton (Jack Warner) discovers some disturbing things about her client, who seems to have been obsessed with Jennifer for quite some time. Then Jennifer's boyfriend, Phil (Stephen Lang), is brutally attacked, and worse things are in store for other of Jennifer's associates. Guilty as Sin is an entertaining, if far-fetched, thriller with good performances -- Johnson and De Mornay, make a good team, if that's what it can be called -- although Larry Cohen's screenplay has Jennifer doing things that she seems too smart to do. Norma Dell'Agnese makes her mark as Jennifer's secretary, Emily, as do Christina Grace and Barbara Eve Harris as two of David's "admirers." Stephen Lang [Save Me] is fine as Phil, and gets the bedroom scenes that, oddly, they never give Johnson, who was considered a sex symbol (along with De Mornay) at the time. Don Johnson [The Hot Spot] is quite good and exhibits star appeal, but never quite made it as a major movie star; he's now back on television in Oil. De Mornay's [The Trip to Bountiful] career is also more low-profile these days, with much television work as well. As for director Sidney Lumet [Child's Play], this is a minor work in his canon. A death-by-fire scene is one of the liveliest in the movie.
Verdict: Improbable at times, but well-acted and engaging. ***.