Memories of Midnight (1991)

It’s been a long time since I’ve spent time with our Muse of the Miniseries, Jane Seymour!  So, let’s return to her, but in one of her, um, less serious roles.  “Memories of Midnight” pairs her with the writings of Sidney Sheldon.  Really, Jane?  Sidney Sheldon?  That’s Jaclyn Smith territory.  Isn’t Jane too good for that?  Ah, hell, a girl has to have some fun along the way.

“Memories of Midnight” is actually a sequel to another Sidney Sheldon novel, but if you didn’t read the novel (or see the movie), don’t worry.  Not only have they reset the story in the 90s (where the first story was decades earlier), this kind of trash doesn’t really make any logical sense anyway, on its own or paired with something else.  Don’t think too hard.  Sidney Sheldon would be scratching to get out of his grave if he knew anyone wasted brain cells actually thinking about his work.  If that sounded harsh, watch an episode of “I Dream of Jeanie” again.

It’s a dark and stormy night.  It always is.  The beating of the tress against the window causes Jane to wake up, calling for “Larry.”  From the doorway, she sees this Larry, and a woman with an accent in a raincoat.  “I told you I would get rid of her,” he says.  “I’m tired of waiting,” she says.  Jane makes a noise and they see her.  The door is locked and Jane cannot get out, not even in slow motion.

“Wake up.  Wake up.  You had a nightmare!” Well, of course she did.  I mean, have you READ Sidney Sheldon?  The lead isn’t getting bumped off in the first scene.

Just who is waking up our Jane?  A nun.  Damn right, a nun.  Sister Constance Towers no less.  As the nun walks out, leaving Jane to go back to sleep, Jane suddenly realizes she remembers her name.  You got it, she’s been suffering amnesia, that beloved malady of pulp fiction and soap operas.  But, back to that later.

We’re in Athens and it’s time meet the villain, that great Greek actor Omar Sharif.  Okay, he’s not Greek.  Okay, he’s not great either.  Okay, there are some who would say “actor” is even stretching it, but Omar is the villain here, that much is fact.  When we first encounter him, he’s welcoming back his mistress, an actress whom he promptly tosses out because he found out she was sleeping with the director.  “Oh, before you go, come here,” he says sweetly, and she thinks he’s reconsidered.  No, he just wants to literally rip the jewelry from her body.  He then barks to his secretary, “take everything that’s on the floor.  Give it to the children’s fund.”  I’m sure starving orphans will love expensive jewelry.  It will go so well with their hand-me-down torn t-shirts.  Sister Constance calls with very important news and he hightails it over to the convent.

Sister Constance introduces Jane to Omar, who is a “good friend of the convent.”  Jane, interrupted from picking flowers on the convent lawn, doesn’t quite understand, but Omar turns on his oily charm and decides it’s time for Jane to rejoin the world.  Sister Constance isn’t going to argue.  Not with her benefactor.  Plus, it means more gruel for her at dinner.

Jane, in the plainest of dresses, but with shoulder pads and a Bible, manages to ask Sister Constance who Omar really is before she leaves, only to be told he’s very rich, very hated by many, but also a good friend to the convent.  As Jane gets in the car, Sister Constance puts her hands up to her mouth in prayer and waves goodbye.  If you’re going to leave a convent with amnesia, this is really the way to do it, with a super dramatic nun to bid you adieu and a car ride along the Greek coast.  Jane insists on a pit stop along the way because she recognizes a statue, but the driver gives away the entire secret to Greek tourism: “There are hundreds of them all over the place.”  She insists she’s seen this particular one in this particular place.

At Omar’s villa, Jane tells him she remembers the road she took, but Omar brushes it off because, get this, he’s been studying amnesia.  He tells her this sudden “remembering” is called “deja vu,” a term apparently invented by Sidney Sheldon.  Who knew?  “You’ve been so kind, I don’t know what to say,” Jane tells Omar, who insists she stay with him.  You don’t know what to say because you are an amnesiac, but one with a fantastic ability to pronounce Greek words.

In a sort of soft-core porn “My Fair Lady,” a woman comes in to outfit Jane, at Omar’s request.  “Good bone structure, excellent figure.  Get undressed, please,” the woman says.  A rack of designer duds follows and Jane likes the sight of them as much as the butch dresser likes the sight of her.

We learn a little more of the story from lawyer Theodore Bikel.  He and his associate argue over the death sentence imposed on Larry and Noelle (Jane’s husband and his mistress from the flashback).  “What we did was the only way to make sure they would pay for their crime,” he says, though apparently everyone knows there is no crime, especially since Jane is alive and sort-of well.

Jane picks out a fetching white business suit (shoulder padded to the hilt), with matching white shoes and purse, telling the driver she wants to go into town.  She looks ready to for a corporate battle, but she just wants to tour the sights.  The climbs to all those ruins in her heels, spunky amnesiac that she is!

Of all places, Jane wanders into a palm reader who recognizes her.  “It’s impossible, Mrs. Douglas, you are…DEAD!” the melodramatic seer yells/whispers to her.  Conveniently, the palm reader is spooked, so Jane can’t ask her any questions before the driver comes to collect her.

Theodore’s law partner goes to Father Joseph Campanella to confess to murder.  He tells of how he sold out his client for a partnership.  “I couldn’t turn down a chance like that,” he says, but it was all for naught since they were not guilty.  “I betrayed a client for a job,” he cries.  “I can’t live with the guilt anymore.”

Omar is busy at an auction when his divine Eurotrash wife (the usual soap opera mixture of Callas and Medea, in sparkly jewels) Taro Meyer shows up with her brother Thaao Penghils, a dashing rival of Omar’s.  The two stand next to each other and bid on a painting that Thaao wins for $1M.  “It’s worth the extra just to take something that beautiful out of your hands,” Thaao says when Omar chimes in that it’s not worth more than $700K.  Taro is hopping mad about Jane’s presence in her house.  “Why does your sister think I sleep with every woman I meet?” Omar asks Thaao.  “Because you do,” he says, along with anyone watching because that is the expected smart-ass response.  An argument ensues with threats, all about the happiness of the sister/wife.  Now, wait a minute.  The woman is well into middle age, it’s not like her brother is saving her virginity from the ogre in the cave across the way.  We’re just padding the scene, aren’t we?

Because you couldn’t in a zillion years have guessed it was coming, I have the terrible task of informing you that Theodore’s law partner gets run over by a car and dies.  Well, a puppet gets run over by a very slow car, but the end result is the same.  The man and his guilty whining are silenced.

When Jane gets home, she tells Omar about the fortune teller and he informs her it’s time to get out of the city.  He’s shipping her off to work in his Amsterdam office.  “I don’t know if I can handle the responsibility,” she tells him, though he has yet to say what the job is, or even what the hell business he’s in!  He assures her his people there will not overburden her.  “Think about the alternative, to stay here and be tortured by memories,” he says, assuring she’ll go.  He hugs his ward, much to his wife’s dismay.

Theodore decides to tape his thoughts to Omar, assuming he’s next to be killed.  On the tape, he says he’s written down the truth and given the documents to the prosecutor’s office “with the instructions that they be opened in the event of my accidental death.”

Father Joseph tells his nephew Boris Bakal that he’s upset over the death of “one of his favorite parishioners.”  He’s so upset he gets roaring drunk.  Father Joseph can’t break the confessional, but he’s just soused enough to spill the beans.

Taro attacks Omar on his way out to a business meeting, assuming he’s going to see his “convent whore” or another woman and her Greek tragedy rantings find her tumbling down a flight of stairs…but not to her death.  Just to the hospital.  You can be sure Thaao is not going to take this well.  In fact, he swears vengeance right there in the hospital.  He lays a huge and heavy good old-fashioned Greek curse on Omar.  “I’ll make him regret every day he’s spent in your life,” he assures his sister.

Off Jane goes to Amsterdam and her job at “The Hellenic Trade Corporation.”  I guess if you can’t think of a half-decent name for your company, you just go for the generic.  What about using your initials?  First cat’s name?  Town you were born in?  An anagram?  Apparently not, not Omar Sharif.  He just wants to be simple and vague.

It’s here Jane meets Ken Howard and Paul Sands, the latter playing a computer nerd to the hilt: sloppy clothes and a “Rain Man” command of facts.  Jane is to be the assistant to Semka Sokolovic-Bertok, who says, “we REALLY need you here!”  Ken tries a little flirting with Jane, but it doesn’t really go anywhere.  She’s a working girl now, though for an assistant, she lives awfully well.

When the lamp on her desk burns out, Paul takes her down to the basement to fix the fuse.  There she sees some pretty ancient machinery and questions the safety of it.  Tuck that detail in your mind for later use.  There’s also an air raid shelter from World War II in the basement.  This odd duo goes out for a drink where Paul dumps a bunch of facts on Jane, but all she wants to do is go dancing.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that.  Don’t we wish!  Jane and Paul dancing to house music in Amsterdam.

Omar gets his hands on the document Theodore left with the prosecutor, who owes his job to Omar and Omar burns the evidence.  Sadly for Theodore, that means he has to die.  Yes, poor Theodore is dispatched to hills that are not alive with the sound of music by a goon who soaks his house in gasoline and then lights a match.

Ken continues to his charm assault on Jane, holding her hand at lunch, buying her flowers and guiding her throw insufferably rainy Amsterdam, but she pushes away a potential kiss.  Omar pays a visit to Amsterdam, where she says she’s “learning quite a lot,” but she’s “quite content” to leave her past in the past.  “You have no idea how please I am to hear that,” Omar tells her, relieved she’s not going to be a thorn in his side.  Omar flashes back to the time he caught Jane’s husband and his mistress in each other’s arms.

Conveniently, Boris works in Thaao’s mailroom.  He bravely goes to Thaao’s office to tell him what he’s learned from his soused priest uncle: that there was no deal with the prosecution and two innocent people went to their deaths in a plan instigated by Omar.  Boris has only to convince his uncle to tell the story.  That could be a problem.

Thaao starts his revenge plan with a needlessly complicated ado.  He tells a drug-runner friend all he knows about Omar.  The drug-runner goes to Omar, demands use of his yacht to move the merchandise and insists that Omar sail with them, assuring that the police would never bother with such an important man.  Thaao has the police on alert, but Oman slips out of the trap by having his helicopter swoop down on the yacht and pick him up moments before the yacht bursts into flames, killing everyone on board (and wasting a whole lot of drugs).  Omar shows up in a very surprised Thaao’s office to thank him for the business contact, inform him the guy is dead and oh, “I will do the same for you some day.”  Nothing like a good Greek vendetta!

Ken invites Jane to go skiing with him in St. Moritz.  Chaste Jane makes him promise “just friends.”  Poor thing spent waaaaaaay too long in the convent.  If Jane ever skied before her memory loss, she’s forgotten how, because she has to learn all over again, leading to innumerable sexual puns despite the chastity promise from both sides.  It’s on this trip that Jane tells Ken about her amnesia and all the details she knows.  It takes him a while, but he remembers where he has heard her name before.

Apparently not a bright lawyer, or not knowing when a secret should be kept secret, Ken calls the Greek prosecutor of all people, to relay the story of what he’s heard from Jane.  The prosecutor calls Omar, thankfully halting a dreary conversation he’s having with his wife about her leaving him (FYI, not a scratch on the dame).  “I will handle the St. Moritz situation in my own way,” Omar says.  He gets confirmation that the hit man he’s sent there has arrived while playing roulette and gives his winnings to the very lucky babe who brought him the note.  Now, an efficient hit man, as we all know from the movies, simply carries a gun with a silencer, holds it in a newspaper and shoots his victim without anyone knowing, leaving some unsuspecting waitress or housekeeper to find the body and shriek.  Not so here.  As per the whole plot so far, the hit man goes for the least easy method: he removes a detour sign from the skiing path Ken takes, sending Ken off a mountain to his death.  But no one else, apparently.  What, did he put the sign back, a killer with a conscience?  Don’t try to make sense of it.

As for Jane, she sits around all day waiting for Ken to return, finding out only late at night about the “accident.”  The poor things has to be the one to identify his body!  So, with sad music accompanying her, she goes to Ken’s room to gaze sadly at his shaving kit and clothes, remembering the wasted moments when she agreed to be “just friends.”  Oh, they could have been so more, a tear tells us.  Whatever Jane forgot in life, she remembers politeness, always!  She pays Ken’s hotel bill.  No one asked her to do that, but she does.  I think she’ll be welcome back there any time, just for that gesture.

For crying out loud, who the hell worked her paying his hotel bill into the script?  There can’t possibly be any point to that!

Thaao gets a most interesting call.  We kind of see the man on the other end, sitting in a wheelchair covered head to toe in a blanket.  What is he, a leper with an international calling card?  Anyway, the caller gives Thaao some dirt on Omar to investigate.  Thaao has no idea what to make of the call, but luckily his sister Taro is there to help fill in some blanks.  Taro asks what he’s going to do with this information (which he still hasn’t fully added up) and he tells her in his best Greek revenge mode that he’s going to keep a promise he made to Omar, “a promise that I was going to have the last laugh.”  Kids, we’re not even halfway through the movie, so no one is having a last laugh yet.

Dreaming, Jane finally remembers more of that fateful evening.  She managed to get the slow motion door unlocked and ran into the storm barefoot, never once slipping on wet stone or wood.  Her husband goes after her, in shoes, but he slips.  She tries to get away in a little row boat and knocks her husband out with an oar, but he soon surfaces on the side of the boat.  The rocking of the boat causes her to fall off and that is the last anyone sees of her.  She immediately calls Omar and tells him the pieces she has remembered.  “It’s all coming back.  I just couldn’t wait to tell you,” she says so innocently.  “I’m so happy for you,” Omar says in pretend sympathy (which sounds like pretend sympathy, but maybe the Amsterdam-Athens connection isn’t very good, because Jane doesn’t hear that in his voice).  He further tells her that her husband and her husband’s mistress were executed for her murder!  She is confused and he tells her, “no one knew you were in the convent, it was horrible.”  Wait a minute.  He knew she was in the convent!  Shouldn’t she connect those two dots?  Unfortunately, this is not the smart Jane Seymour we love, but a nitwit amnesiac that by rights should have been playing by Deborah Raffin or Susan Blakely, you know, a Grade B actress.

“I tried so hard to avoid this moment,” Omar says after hanging up the phone.  I get the sense some more bodies are about to pile up.  There may be a chase or two, some frightened running by Jane in heels and, most likely, a handsome suitor who may or may not be what he seems.  Just a guess.

Omar takes a trip to Vienna for the express purpose of putting out another hit.  We only hear the hit man, again, as it’s all done in a building lobby over a loudspeaker.  For a businessman so smart, Omar really is an idiot.  He takes a briefcase full of money, deposits it in a little hole in a door and tells the voice, “this time the body must be unrecognizable.”  When the voice opens the case, it’s Jane’s picture we see.  Oh no!!!!!!!!

Part Two starts with yet another confrontation among Omar, Taro and Thaao.  It basically serves as a reminder to anyone who has forgotten Part One as to what happened, quickly reviewing most of the events, although it is notable for a backhanded slap Omar gives Thaao.  Otherwise, I think they simply re-used dialogue from previous scenes of this ilk.

“Why do good people have to die?” Jane asks Paul Sands, not exactly the best person to have around in an emotional breakdown.  “I think I’m going mad,” Jane says and Paul hands her the card of a Psychiatrist.  So, she puts on a new power suit, this one in yellow so bright Amsterdam looks colorful, and trots on over to Dr. Stephen Macht.  “By now you’ve noticed he has a minor brain disorder,” the doc starts off with, breaking the ice using Paul Sands’ medical condition.  Not only does that violate doctor-patient confidentiality, but it’s not about Jane, who is the patient!  Apparently Paul has discussed Jane, so they don’t need to go into her history, allowing Jane to get right to the theatrics.  “Why can’t everyone just leave me alone?” she roars in one breath and then cries, “I feel so lost” in the next.  “Why don’t we see if we can find you,” Dr. Stephen suggests.  It’s a shame the miniseries died.  Nobody thinks of dialogue that hokey anymore outside of daytime soaps.

Apparently Jane is super busy at work because the Greek office sends Ari Meyers to be her assistant.  Since we don’t know what The Hellenic Trade Organization does, we don’t know why Jane is so busy.  After a very awkward interview, Jane goes to lunch with Paul, who tells her to “be careful” in a way that suggests there is something brewing, but he can’t say.

Newly chastened Omar asks his wife to play hostess to three men he’s sending to Amsterdam.  She’s so excited to be back in his good graces, of course she says yes!  Then she puts on an outfit that is too much even for the Oscars and entertains the gents.  All goes well until she hears mention of Jane’s name, and then she sours.  Upon leaving, the three men are told by Omar, “I’m sure you will take care of everything that needs to be done,” an ominous line that scares even Taro.

The men arrive, but it’s an odd meeting.  Ari breaks one’s suitcase, then they can’t stand the coffee and then they get a moment with Paul, whom they think is “weird.”  Jane squires them around to see the sights.  What this has to do with business, I have no idea, but no one seems bothered.  It’s almost played like a comedy with three bozos after Jane’s affections.

Her only respite is her time with Dr. Stephen, where she wines, “it’s like I’m some kind of bad luck charm” because everyone around her conveniently ends up dead.  Maybe she needs a private investigator and not a therapist.  Since we of course know where these two are headed, it’s helpful if Dr. Stephen enlightens us on his theories of death.  “People die for all sorts of reasons,” he says, not exactly a brilliant medical-school-taught deduction.  He says that nothing is her fault, but actually, that’s not true.  People are being killed one-by-one because they know her.

Taro confronts Omar with Thaao’s stories about what happened to Jane’s husband, the trial, all of it.  “He says you could not bear that a mistress of yours would take another lover,” she tells her husband.  “What else does he [her brother] accuse me of?  Maybe he thinks I killed Kennedy too,” Omar jokes, an odd joke considering he is playing an Onassis-like character.  She pushes further, actually sympathetic towards Jane because she’s “completely innocent,” which is true.  But Omar shoots back with the underlying reason for all of his dastardly behavior: he grew up poor.  Yup, that’s the reason for it all.  Getting out of poverty was “sheer hard, and yes, sometimes ruthless work!”  Furthermore, he gives to charity, just FYI.  “If they wreck anything, they will be removed,” he says, referring to anyone who gets in the way of his blotting out his past poverty.

During a night on the town with the American hired assassin, Jane decides to take him to the red light district.  I hope she’s not using the company credit card.  They have the wackiest conversation about him having always wanted to act and he quotes “Hamlet.”  No, no, Jane shoots back, ,”that’s Macbeth.”  Again, she remembers her Shakespeare, but not last week?  “Eh, you’ve done one Shakespeare, you’ve done ’em all,” he says.  Let’s say it all together now, “you’ve watched one Sidney Sheldon, you’ve watched ’em all.”  Just as the American is about to ring Jane’s neck, a police officer happens by and that moment is lost.

While Madame Medea (Taro) is on the phone with her brother Thaao, heaving that she can’t live with the guilt of what her husband has done, a box of chocolates is delivered to him.  “Oh, by the way, thank you for the chocolates.”  She didn’t send any.  He hurls the box at the window right before it blows up.  Wow, how many calories did they pack into that box of chocolates to make it so deadly?  He’s fine, as we see in a delicious shirtless scene at the hospital.  Thaao tells his sister he will kill Omar now, but Taro tells him no, “because I am going to kill him in my own way and in my own time!”

Taro calls Jane to warn her, but she is not available, so Paul takes the call, spewing numbers and facts as Taro tries to tell him the men with Jane are assassins.  “Do you understand?” she begs, but he just hangs up by the phone.  Jane isn’t in the office because she has a therapy session where she describes the dream as Dr. Stephen watches her in a way less clinical than sexual.  Even under hypnosis she maintains a high level of over-acting, calming down only when she gets to the part about being rescued by nuns.  As if we haven’t relived the Larry-Noelle stuff enough, now we go over the Ken stuff again.  Line for line, intonation for intonation.  We even get the bill paying stuff again.  Dr. Stephen snaps his fingers and Jane wakes up.

Dr. Stephen doubles as a PI, apparently, because he called Switzerland and found out that someone removed the danger sign that sent Ken to his death.  The hotel bill actually turns out to be important (as we knew it would) because it would have the phone number on it that Ken called before his tragic death.  What phone number?  Yeah, they didn’t show that when Jane was on her crying and smelling tour of Ken’s room, but apparently there was a phone number written down and if he called it, it will be on that bill she paid.  Aha!

When they get the phone number, Jane notes to Dr. Stephen that “you are enjoying this, aren’t you?”  Well, he is, he says, because Psychiatry is all about helping people with problems and this is no different.  Really?  Then why don’t they call themselves Detectives instead of Doctors?  This is one of those times we’re not supposed to think about the dialogue too much.

The Frenchman has his day alone with Jane.  He’s a “museum enthusiast,” but he wants to go to the countryside.  “Do they have windmills in France?” she asks, hoping he’ll enjoy that, and his response is “we don’t need them.”  The Frenchman is simply not a pleasant man, and Jane tries to toss him out of the car, but since he has to win her trust, he agrees to be contrite and look at the damn windmills.  He insists on going up into one, and though Jane says she doesn’t like heights, he says, “it’s all in the imagination” and insists.  This is supposed to end with him pushing her out the window, obviously, but she manages to elude that as well.  She is so un-killable, thankfully.

Taro has been making plans, grand plans.  Great big Greek tragedy grand plans.  She convinces both her brother and her husband that the other wants to make peace and to meet at a designated location, ending each conversation with a dramatic goodbye that neither of them pick up on.  About 35 seconds into their meeting, they realized they have been duped by Taro into getting together.  She’s at home, pretending to be on the phone agreeing to meet him “at the beach house in an hour” so a servant hears.  “If I’m not back by 6:00, I want you to call the police,” she tells the servant.  Boy, she thinks of everything!

Off she drives to the beach house, where she trashes the place on purpose, making sure the card from the private investigator can be found.  She then stabs herself with a knife she made sure had Omar’s prints on it earlier in the day.  Her death is wildly dramatic, and wildly hysterical.  This whole plot line is ludicrous, but the kind of gonzo badness one expects from a piece like this.  Bleeding, she can still arrange the house to make it look like her husband did it all and then she goes down to the water to finally die.  Thaao is sent a letter from her telling him to deny being with Omar that day.

When Omar arrives at the beach house, Thaao is already there and hopping mad, believing that Omar has killed Taro, just as she planned.  The police are convinced there was a thief, at first, but then they find bloody clothes and buttons from Omar’s jacket, all arranged for finding by Taro.  However, anyone who watches any crime show would know that the entry wound was self-inflicted and not delivered by a murderer.  Thaao says he wasn’t with Omar that day and it looks like Taro’s plan went off without a hitch.  Ah, things are ending just as we…

…oh, wait, what about the ACTUAL plot, with the ACTUAL star?  Jane is still entertaining the three hit men, and Paul is busy digging in the computer for dirt on them, but he doesn’t know what to do with it.  The Italian hit man tries to kill Jane while she’s at the copy machine, but luckily Ari is there to knock him out.  She hurries Jane down to the basement where she pulls a gun on her.  Ahhhhhhhhhh, so Ari is the assassin.  Ari ties Jane to the overheating boiler (I told you it would be back) and tells her that the three men were not hit men, just “red herrings.”  She leaves saying, “pity, I really did like you.”

Luckily, Paul has left his computer long enough to fetch help from Dr. Stephen, who races through the streets of Amsterdam trying to reach the office before the boiler hits the dangerous “red zone.”  At the office, somehow Paul figures out Ari is the assassin (something about having no records, not important, just go along with it).  They all race around the building searching for Jane who has managed to free herself and hide in the bomb shelter in the basement (no detail is left unused).

At the airport, where Ari is trying to make a quick getaway, she is taken into a side room where she finds Jane.  “You are dead,” the 12-year old assassin screams.  “That’s the second time someone’s made that mistake,” Jane says calmly.  She, Dr. Stephen and Paul fall into a relieved hug.

Omar has a visitor in jail.  Do you need the three guesses I’m prepared to give you to figure out who it is?

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Oh, you take too long.  It’s Theodore Bikel!  We didn’t see him die, remember.  We just saw his villa engulfed by fire.  Not only has he survived, but with barely a scratch to his face or his beard.  His body is all contorted, but his mind is sharp.  Omar swears he didn’t kill his wife, and Theodore wheezes out a laugh.  “Poetic justice, I suppose.  But, I didn’t come here to gloat,” Theodore tells him.  “I came to save you.”  He can do it, but at a price.  “I want your money.”  “How much of my money?”  “All of it.”

Every good story (okay, this isn’t a good story, but bear with me) of this ilk has to have a trial, in this case Omar’s for murdering his wife.  The trial itself really doesn’t matter.  The whole thing exists so Theodore Bikel can hobble around and whisper, overdoing it to the nth degree.  Theodore dismantles the entire plan, making a laughingstock out of every witness (the servant, the private investigator, the police) all to Omar’s delight.

Excuse me while I interrupt the trial for a side trip to Venice where Jane and Dr. Stephen have become lovers and are enjoying the sights.  She doesn’t even know about Omar’s trial, so blinded by love, but when she sees it in an Italian newspaper, she says, “I’m frightened” because even in jail, he can get to her.  No, Dr. Stephen says, he can protect her, if she marries him.

Back in jail, Omar is worried because the only witness left is Thaao, who will stick to his lie.  Theodore assures him that Thaao will tell the truth, for a price: “your entire fortune.”  Omar wonders, “what do you get out of this?”  That turns out to be the beauty of Theodore’s idea.  Before signing over his assets to Thaao, Omar will transfer them to Theodore so that whatever Thaao gets is absolutely worthless.  Did you get that?  It is needlessly complicated?  Of course it is.  Everything has been needlessly complicated since the beginning.  I mean, why didn’t Omar just have Jane killed in the convent and thus never have to worry about her regaining her memory?  Sure, there is still the bit about the lying at the trial, but that could have also been done easily enough, without priests and elaborate deaths and men not dying in fires.

Omar isn’t completely stupid.  He asks Theodore how he can trust him not to double cross him.  “Well, you will just have to trust me,” Theodore says.

It’s time for Thaao to take the stand.  Before he can even be questioned, Thaao makes a statement to the court telling them the truth, that he’s Omar’s alibi and Omar is set free.  He and Theodore get in a car to leave the throngs of photographers, but Theodore leaves his crutch behind.  Uh oh.

Yeah, uh oh is right.  Theodore starts driving the car recklessly and when Omar tells him to slow down, Theodore tells him, “I’ve decided that we are going to end life together!”  In case anyone wonders where the money went, Theodore has given it to the convent.  Omar demands to know why Theodore is doing this.  “Justice.  For both of us.”  The two old-time hams fight for the wheel, but the car goes over the cliff.

“You don’t ever have to be afraid again,” Dr. Stephen tells his new bride Jane when they hear the news.  “Promise?”  “Promise.”

So ends another Sidney Sheldon movie.  This one is far less exciting than it could have been, mainly because the heroine is so damn boring.  Even Jane Seymour can’t bring her to life.  The writers of the story obviously realized that somewhere along the way and shifted the focus of the story to the more senior members of the cast, but their crazy plot and bad acting should bring on the guffaws, not just the he-hes.

Categories: Romance Miniseries

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