Urban Cinefile
"My guessing completely wrongly about the acceptance of Showgirls, for example, proves pretty well that my taste and my sensibilities are quite different from an American's - "  -Paul Verhoeven
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday December 3, 2019 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



When Washington detective Harlan Regis (Snipes) is called in to investigate the murder of a woman in the White House, he discovers a whole new world - some of it believing itself above the law, like the Secret Service. With the initially reluctant help of SS agent Nina Chance (Lane), Regis finds the case is slippery and complex, and while he is being told to wrap it up, he keeps seeing new leads - to somewhere further out of the corner of his eye. When he gets close enough, he understands why the heat was on him; the murder was a set up in a vile political end-game.

"This is a highly entertaining thriller with a top notch cast and an intriguing script. Proving yet again that politics, bedroom secrets and powerful people make good copy, the pieces of the puzzle are effectively put into place in a well paced and directed film that engages from start to finish. While it used to be clear cut as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, things get a little jumbled when the secret service is added to the equation. As the differentiation becomes less clear, itís a frightening thought how easily a cover up could be executed. Wesley Snipes is totally in command as Regis, the detective with brains as well as brawn; Diane Lane as Chance is smart and gutsy, while still retaining her feminine allure. Snipes and Lane complement each other beautifully with dynamics and the sort of commitment each has for his/her profession. Alan Alda brings class to any script, and adds extra clout, as he heads a strong supporting cast. There are enough interesting characters and red herrings to keep you guessing, and the ballsy music soundtrack will help get the adrenalins pumping. Watch out for the scene in the video store, where our two heroes try to view a video tape which happens to be a vital piece of evidence: itís a blast. Murder at 1600 delivers spills, thrills, chases, and big bangs as well as bundles of intrigue; all as Big Brother watches."
Louise Keller

"The question in a film like this is not whether you believe it to be possible for a massive cover up of murder in the senior ranks of the White House: if it were, the films dealing with such issues would probably fail. The question is whether the filmmakers can engage our suspended belief for long enough to be taken for a spin. For discerning audiences, this may be a problem with many of Hollywoodís modern thrillers, simply because the focus on character is no longer the golden rule in Hollywood. That is one thing about Murder at 1600 that works: and in my view, any director (and/or producer) that casts Alan Alda as an evil bastard is already on a winner. He must know his onions, because (at Aldaís level) casting against type like that is sheer magic in the context of a script that has a tentative grasp on reality. Wesley Snipes and Diane Lane also shine, and the structure of the film works in maintaining tension."
Andrew L. Urban

"What is really terrific about this film is that itís an unpredictable, edgy thriller, no more, no less. Full of intriguing surprises and a bevy of nicely planted red herrings, Murder at 1600 may be one of several films dealing with nasty goings-on in the US White House, but itís also one of the best. Wesley Snipes is superb here as the cop on the trail of a killer, giving a detailed, yet wry performance, wonderful to watch and completely engaging. Diane Lane is effective as the secret service agent assigned to assist him, while Daniel Benzali and Alan Alda are both superb as political aides. An intelligent, intricate and highly entertaining and droll film, Murder at 1600 is the kind of thriller that somehow rarely gets made anymore. What a pity!"
Paul Fischer

Email this article

MURDER AT 1600 (M)

CAST: Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Daniel Benzali, Dennis Miller, Alan Alda, Ronny Box, Diane Baker, Tate Donovan, Mary Moore

DIRECTOR: Dwight Little

PRODUCER: Arnold Kopelson, Arnon Milchan

SCRIPT: Wayne Beach, David Hodgin


EDITOR: Billy Weber, Leslie Jones

MUSIC: Christopher Young


RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 11, 1997

VIDEO RELEASE: March 6, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Entertainment

RRP: $19.95

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019