5.4/10
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18 user 11 critic

Half Moon Street (1986)

Dr. Slaughter, a researcher in London who works as a high class hooker in her spare time, becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, when her latest john Lord Bulbeck, who's negotiating an Arab-Israeli peace treaty, falls for her.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lord Bulbeck
...
General Sir George Newhouse
Faith Kent ...
Lady Newhouse
Ram John Holder ...
Lindsay Walker
...
Hugo Van Arkady
Ann Hanson ...
Mrs. Van Arkady
Patrick Newman ...
Julian Shuttle
Niall O'Brien ...
Captain Twilley
...
...
Sonny
Muriel Villiers ...
Madame Cybele
...
Tom Haldane
Ninka Scott ...
Mrs. Haldane
Jasper Jacob ...
Rex Lanham
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Storyline

Dr. Lauren Slaughter, a research fellow at the Arab-Anglo Institute in London is utterly frustrated by her job. To supplement her income, she starts moonlighting at the Jasmine Escort Service, where she has more control over men and money than she does at the office. On one of her 'dates', Lauren meets the politician Lord Bulbeck who is trying to mediate a peace accord between the Arabs and Israelis. Bulbeck falls in love with his escort, and unwittingly, Lauren becomes a pawn in some very dirty politics. Written by Thorsten Roskowetz <itroskow@mordor.informatik.uni-osnabrueck.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dr. Lauren Slaughter, professor, emissary, hooker, target.

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diplomás örömlány  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,131,399 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Theroux's personal website summarizes the film's source 1984 "Half Moon Street" book, of which this film is an adaptation of the first novella called "Doctor Slaughter": "Two brilliant short novels on the theme of a double life. Although they are worlds apart in scene and character, both are full of a kind of eerie menace that lies just beneath the outward events". See more »

Goofs

When the would-be assassin enters the bathroom he attempts to switch on the light using a 4-gang wall-switch. It is illegal (in the UK) to have such switches inside a bathroom. If wall-switches are used, they must be outside. The alternative is to use cord-operated ceiling-switches. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Lauren Slaughter: Am I supposed to say "Your place or mine?"
Karim Hatami: No. These days, you say "Betamax or VHS?"
See more »


Soundtracks

East 34th Street
Music by Dick Walter
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Falls Between Two Stools
13 November 2009 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

Dr Lauren Slaughter is an American academic who comes to London to work for a foreign-affairs think-tank. Her work is prestigious but badly paid, and Lauren decides to supplement her income by moonlighting for an upmarket escort agency, mostly catering for the needs of wealthy foreign businessmen. The set-up is not officially a prostitution ring, but sails fairly close to being one; the idea is that the man pays for the girl's company and it is then up to her whether she goes to bed with him. Lauren proves a success in her new line of work and is able to leave her downmarket flat for a much more exclusive residence in the Half Moon Street of the title. The film explores what happens when she falls in love with one of her clients, Lord Bulbeck, a Government foreign office minister involved in negotiations towards a Middle East peace settlement.

This is not really one of Michael Caine's best films. Most of his best performances have come in films where he has played characters who are, in one sense or another, outsiders or rebels against the system- the down-at-heel spy in "The Ipcress File", the Cockney womaniser in "Alfie", the gangster in "Get Carter", the cynical, disillusioned academic in "Educating Rita" or the drunken minor diplomat in "The Honorary Consul". Admittedly, his first starring role was in "Zulu", where he played the upper-class Lieutenant Bromhead, but I have never thought he was the best thing about that film. Here he plays a high-ranking establishment figure, but never seems completely convincing in the role, even though Bulbeck, a working-class trade union official raised to the peerage, is a co-opted member of the British establishment rather than one born to the purple.

Sigourney Weaver, however, is better as the heroine. She was, along with the likes of Meryl Streep, Kim Basinger, Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer, one of the bright new generation of Hollywood actresses who came to prominence in the late seventies and eighties, and gave some great performances in films like "Alien", "Gorillas in the Mist" and "Working Girl". Here she captures the various, often conflicting, aspects of Lauren's personality,- her intelligence, her outgoing nature and a hint of an underlying mercenary ruthlessness, which nevertheless co-exists with a genuine capacity for love.

For most of its length the film is a psychological romantic drama, like a romantic comedy without the jokes, and as such it works reasonably well. Towards the end, however, it morphs into a political thriller as Lauren discovers that she has become embroiled in a conspiracy by opponents of the Middle East peace process to assassinate Bulbeck, and as a thriller it does not work well at all, failing to generate any real tension. Despite a promising beginning, this sudden switch from one genre to another means that "Half Moon Street" is one of those films that fall between two stools. 6/10


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