Widows' Peak
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: -1/2

Outside a small Irish town a very select group of wealthy widows live in a closely knit community called Widows' Peak. Always dressed in black, these ladies dutifully climb the hill to the cemetery where their deceased husbands are buried. Led by Mrs. Doyle Counihan (Joan Plowright), the group tends the graves, being careful not to overdo because, in Mrs. Counihan's words, "we don't want to spoil them [their dead husbands]." Manipulative Mrs. Counihan spies on her neighbors with a powerful telescope strategically placed in her home. Her son Godfrey (Adrian Dunbar) is the only man allowed to live in Widows' Peak. He seems content leading a leisurely life very much under his domineering mother's thumb. Another non-conforming resident is Kathryn O'Hare (Mia Farrow), a middle-aged single woman without a penny to her name. Yet the widows include her in their social activities. Into this unique setting suddenly appears a beautiful young widow of a World War I hero. Mrs. Counihan approves of Edwina Broomes (Natasha Richardson) and welcomes her into the fold. Kathryn takes an instant dislike to the newcomer, supposedly because she is English. The inexplicable animosity between Kathryn and Edwina intensifies, culminating in mysterious accidents and, finally, the disappearance of Kathryn. Edwina is accused of murdering her. WIDOWS' PEAK is a clever, funny and suspenseful film to be enjoyed by all but young children.

WIDOWS' PEAK proves that good entertainment doesn't need bloody gore or explicit sex scenes to hold the audience's attention. There is only one brief fracas in a dance hall with some fist fighting. However, a painful scene that's supposed to be comical takes place in the dentist's office. We get a close-up view of the dentist pulling a stubborn tooth. There's another superfluous scene of Mrs. Counihan getting drunk on her son's boat. An elderly woman drinking whiskey is funny? Unfortunately, three regular profanities and two obscenities mar the dialogue. WIDOWS' PEAK pokes fun at the snobbish, hypocritical widows who insist on minding everyone's business. They show no compassion for anyone who doesn't live up to their standards, but they are above reproach. Eventually, however, they are forced to pay the consequences for some of their actions. While the pluses outweigh the minuses, WIDOWS' PEAK falls a tad short of our wholehearted approval.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 3, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: Twice (s-word)
Profanity: Many (15) times - Regular 3, Exclamatory 12
Violence: Few times - Moderate (fist fight in bar; boat rammed intentionally)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (brief scene of man and woman lying on picnic blanket)
Drug Abuse: Alcohol drinking few times; woman gets drunk
Other: Painful tooth extraction
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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