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Film / Color of Night

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Color of Night is a 1994 erotic mystery thriller film directed by Richard Rush, starring Bruce Willis and Jane March.

New York psychiatrist Dr. Bill Capa (Willis) gives up his practice after unintentionally pushing one of his patients to commit suicide by jumping out of a glass window. In an effort to come to terms with this tragedy, he visits an old colleague in California, Bob Moore (Scott Bakula), who is subsequently murdered. Capa takes over Moore's group of psychologically disturbed patients, which is equally as important as an affair that he develops with a young woman named Rose (March). This relationship becomes central to the plot as the film progresses.

Color of Tropes:

  • Animal Assassin: The villain leaves a rattlesnake in Capa's mailbox, which nearly kills him.
  • Artistic License – Law: Since Richie (actually Rose in disguise)'s therapy was court-ordered due to a drug arrest, in Real Life, even as a juvenile, he would have been subject to a cavity search, which would have blown Dale's plan wide open.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: While most of Bob's group therapy patients have sympathetic sides, no competent psychiatrist would put all of them (with the issues they have) in a group together. The movie even shows why.
    • Though the therapy group wants him to, Capa is still allowed to take it over despite just arriving in town, and not being licensed to practice in California.
  • Award-Bait Song: The Color Of The Night by Lauren Christy.
  • Book Ends: The film begins and ends with a suicide attempt in Capa's presence. The first is successful, causing him to lose part of his color vision (the color red), and the second is interrupted, causing him to regain it.
  • Casting Gag: Who would've guessed that the group therapy member with a speech impediment isn't Brad Dourif?
  • Dining in the Buff: Rose at one point with Capa.
  • Domestic Abuse: Clark says that he beat his wife because of his compulsive obsession with cleanliness, which she wouldn't adhere to as much as he'd like.
  • Driven to Suicide: Not what a psychiatrist wants to happen to his patient.
    • Rose near the end, after killing her horribly abusive brother.
  • Erotic Film
  • How's Your British Accent?: Jane March uses her natural British accent as Rose being "Bonnie".
  • Interrupted Suicide: Happens at the very end of the movie when Capa saves Rose from throwing herself off a bridge.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jane March keeps finding reasons to get naked.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: The convoluted mystery that is central to the film is that Rose is being forced by her psychotic older brother to impersonate their deceased younger brother.
  • Naked Apron: Rose is dressed this way when making dinner for Dr. Bill.
  • Police Are Useless: Lampshaded by Capa when Martinez shows up just after he was almost bitten by a rattlesnake planted in his mailbox.
    Just like a cop! Never there when you need them!
  • Really Gets Around: It turns out that Rose was having sexual relations with most of the people from the group therapy.
  • Recut: The theatrical version ran 119 minutes, which was mandated by the film's producer. After the film flopped at the box office, the director was allowed to release his original cut (running 140 minutes) for video. The director's cut restored the more graphic elements of the sex scenes and much of the film's humor.
  • Shower of Love: Rose and Capa are seen having sex in a shower.
  • The Shrink: Dr. Bill, and his friend Dr. Bob.
  • Split Personality: Rose has issues. Her brother forced her to assume their dead brother Richie's identity as well.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Richie is actually Rose in disguise.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite constant anonymous threats and his home armed to the teeth with security, Bob chooses instead to stay at the office after hours alone. Naturally, this gets him killed.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Buck, though this only extends to making transphobic comments to Richie.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: The sex scene between Capa and Rose starts out as this. Later they move to a bed, and then a shower.