Sunday, December 08, 2013

"Double Jeopardy" without Indemnity

The 1999 formula thriller “Double Jeopardy” (by Bruce Beresford, for Paramount) should not be confused with the classic “Double Indemnity”, but presents the good Elizabeth (Ashley Judd), a socialite living well on Whidbey Island (Washington) battling her manipulative husband (Bruce Greenwood). 

One evening, when the couple is on their yacht, Elizabeth wakes up to find her husband gone and blood all over herself.  The Coast Guard finds her, and pretty soon she is prosecuted for second degree murder.  Given the attention in the media to wrongful convictions recently (like the upcoming CNN broadcast, “An Unreal Dream” about Michael Morton) the film seems timely now.  Before going to prison, she encourages a friend Angie (Annabeth Gish) to adopt her son, Matt.  
   
Pretty soon, she finds out, from a phone call, that her husband is alive (she overhears her son say so) and that she was framed.

In prison, she gets pressured by other inmates to adjust to living an unprivileged life like everyone else, as if somehow what happen was just anyway.  But while she is on kitchen police, and urged to apply more elbow grease, an inmate tells he that if she gets out on good behavior, she can kill her husband and not face prosecution again, because of the double jeopardy provision in the US Constitution.
She gets parole, living in a halfway house near Seattle, and deals with a parole officer (Travis Lehman), who himself has taken stumbles in life.  But in time Travis comes to believe her, and is ready to back her up with a final showdown with the husband in New Orleans.  Would there me more romance?

The hubby says he needed to disappear and start over because he was broke.  Any man could have to prove himself that way, right?  He claims he made it look like a murder because the life insurance wouldn't pay on a suicide, so it's pretty obvious she could get framed.   He did it for the money, but not for the woman (or maybe another woman -- that best friend, so able to adopt other people's children, like this was Summerland).
     
That all sounds a little hokey.

  

The film can be rented on YouTube for $3.99.

The Washington State scenes were shot around Vancouver, BC.   

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