(aka 'A Travesty')

Directed by Steven Schachter
USA 1999


  Amusing cable produced fodder with film references bounding consistently through the script. A film critic (William H. Macy), specializing in film noir, accidentally kills his lover during a spat in which she falls and hits her head. In panic, he immediately covers up his involvement and leaves the apartment. A private investigator (James Cromwell) had been tailing the woman for her ex-husband. Realizing what happened, the investigator launches a blackmail scheme. The critic turns the tables after the investigator turns in his report. Meanwhile the police enter the case. Led by a detective (Adam Arkin) with screenwriting ambitions, the chief suspect becomes the critic. But the detective's ambitions shrouds his judgment. He invites the critic to dinner and an affair with the detective's wife (Julia Campbell) is initiated. Meanwhile, the critic's regular girl friend (Felicity Huffman) is suspicious of the whole affair.


Could be a fun night combining comedy and good old fashioned film noir style elements. Certainly above-average entertainment considering the source is TV. Knowledgeable film buffs will reap the most benefit.

Gary W. Tooze

Theatrical Release: September 19th, 1999

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:33:36 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: September 26th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 22





Sold image from Warner, if most likely, cropped from 1999 broadcast standards of 1.33 to its DVD incarnation of 1.78. Composition is tight but this the film doesn't rate getting too anal about it. Image is sharp with true colors and good contrast - its is progressive on a single-layered DVD with no supplements. English subtitles would have been appreciated to join the existing French and Spanish. Ohh well...

Pretty good fun for a spin or two, if the price is reasonable enough.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC


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