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Praying Mantis (1982)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | TV Movie 13 December 1984
A middle-aged professor's young bride and his assistant plan to commit a double murder disguised as a "Crime Passionel", but discover too late that one of their intended victims has become a fellow conspirator.


Jack Gold


Philip Mackie, Hubert Monteilhet (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Pryce ... Christian Magny
Cherie Lunghi ... Beatrice Manceau
Carmen Du Sautoy ... Vera Canova
Pinkas Braun ... Professor Paul Canova
Anna Cropper ... Gertrude
Friedrich von Thun ... Insurance Director
Arthur Brauss ... Richter
Sarah Berger Sarah Berger ... Madeleine
Kevin McNally ... Bernard
David Schofield ... Cafe Waiter
Margaret Ward Margaret Ward ... Madame Magny
Richard Warner ... Monsieur Magny
Jonathan Blake Jonathan Blake ... Raymond
John Bryans John Bryans ... Dubreuil
Gordon Kane Gordon Kane ... Sound Technician


A middle-aged professor's young bride and his assistant plan to commit a double murder disguised as a "Crime Passionel", but discover too late that one of their intended victims has become a fellow conspirator.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

13 December 1984 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Rukoilijasirkka See more »

Filming Locations:

Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Part 1 & 2)

Sound Mix:



Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The full running time of the two part series as available on DVD is 2 hours 31 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

Made in the wrong era. Wonderful film-noir.
5 May 2002 | by shadgrinSee all my reviews

This film was made in the wrong era. It should have been made in the '40s. This film seemed to be out of time and place. The wonderful twists in plot and stories and the never ending drive in its pace towards the final conclusion is just wonderful. For being such a low budget film, it was finely crafted and well-made. Since it is against the policy of IMDB, I cannot give away its ending, but it does make a comment that no matter how smart or brilliant one may be, yet one does not have it all figured out. Watching this film for the first time on Masterpiece Theater, many years ago was a religious experience. Most of the items on Masterpiece seemed to be too intellectual for me or beyond my experience, but this film was exceptional. Finally, the film's conclusion is this, 1. One does pay for one's sins in this life (There is no forgiveness). 2. Robert Burns' poem "Mice and Men" rings true here.

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