Innocent Lies (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Innocent Lies, a murder mystery of sorts, could be used for an exam in Film Appreciation 101. Here's how it would work. You watch the film until all the major characters are introduced. Then, if you cannot figure out all the secrets of the past and everything that will happen in the future, your degree is denied.

A detective from England visits a French coastal town because to attend the funeral of a close friend, and because he's curious about the  friend's alleged suicide. He ends up turning a suspicious eye on an aristocratic family which is filled with the usual stock characters and situations for all decadent European movie aristocrats in the 1930's: incest, fratricide, Nazi sympathies, anti-semitism, dark family secrets, and insanity.

I don't think they had any relatives locked in the attic, but I may have missed that because I was just so bored. In addition to the gothic premise, Innocent Lies is saddled with all the worst elements of the worst British movies: lifelessness, excessive talkiness, slow pacing, irrelevant dithering with sub-plots, monotonous voices, and sheer tedium. To make matters even worse, the director felt it was necessary to use some footage again and again, despite the fact that it wasn't interesting to begin with. The only redeeming element of the film is the starkly beautiful cinematography by Patrick Blossier.

If your doctor tells you that you have only 88 minutes to live, you should watch this, because it will seem like 20 years.



  • No features except the original theatrical trailer
  • the transfer is not anamorphically enhanced, and is not especially vivid



Stephen Dorff shows his bum in a shower scene.

Gabrielle Anwar shows 80% of her bum in a sex scene, and appears in a wet see-through blouse.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • It was never released theatrically in the USA.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a D. Totally predictable plot filled with stock two-dimensional characters. I could have forgiven all that, but it's also boring. The only redeeming element is the starkly beautiful cinematography by Patrick Blossier.

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