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Twilight (1998 film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Benton
Produced by Scott Rudin
Written by Robert Benton
Richard Russo
Starring Paul Newman
Susan Sarandon
Gene Hackman
Reese Witherspoon
Stockard Channing
James Garner
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Piotr Sobocinski
Edited by Carol Littleton
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
March 6, 1998
Running time
94 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $37 million
Box office $15,055,091[1]

Twilight is a 1998 thriller/Neo-noir film directed by Robert Benton. It stars Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon, Stockard Channing, and James Garner. The screenplay was written by Benton and Richard Russo, and the original music score was composed by Elmer Bernstein.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Reception 4
  • DVD 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Aging private detective Harry Ross, an ex-cop, is working on a case to return 17-year-old Mel Ames to her home. He tracks down Mel and her sleazy boyfriend, Jeff Willis, at a Mexican resort. During a struggle with the reluctant runaway, Harry's gun is discharged, striking him in the upper thigh.

Two years go by. Ross is living in southern California in the guest quarters of Mel's wealthy parents, Jack and Catherine Ames. They are former film industry bigwigs, now in the twilight of their years. Jack is dying of cancer, and he and Ross pass time playing cards.

One day, Jack asks a favor of Harry—to deliver a package at an address in Los Angeles. It turns out to be the first development in a series of twists and turns in a 20-year-old case involving the disappearance of Catherine's ex-husband.

When Harry arrives to deliver the package, he encounters a man named Ivar, who has just been shot. Harry is detained by police, including a former colleague, Lt. Verna Hollander. At the police station, he runs into another old pal and colleague, now retired, Raymond Hope.

Verna and Raymond are both sympathetic because they have heard rumors that Harry's penis had been shot off in Mexico. Harry later hears this from Raymond, and explains that he was only shot in the thigh.

Harry has a developing interest in Catherine and ends up in bed with her one night. He acts as go-between for Jack and Catherine, who are being blackmailed by a parole officer and Jeff, now an ex-con.

A dying Jack feels betrayed that Harry has had a fling with his wife. Jack has a heart attack the same night Harry and Catherine sleep together for the first (and only) time; Jack realizes they have been together, because when Catherine comes running to help him, she is wearing Harry's shirt.

Harry, meanwhile, is forced to face the reality that his friends have been deceitful and manipulative of him.

Raymond tries to persuade Harry to get away from it all, but Harry has figured it out that Raymond has been a conspirator in the 20-year-old murder of Catherine's first husband. Raymond shoots at Harry, but Harry kills him with return fire. Following this shooting, Harry reconciles with Catherine and Jack, but leaves their employ and leaves town with Verna.



The working title for Twilight was "The Magic Hour".[2] Parts of the movie were filmed at the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division Station house. Many of the police officers seen in the background are actual police officers.[3]


While the film featured many notable A-list actors, Twilight's budget of $37,000,000 and gross revenue of $15,055,091 indicates that it was a box office bomb.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, as it holds a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 54 reviews. The consensus states: "It suffers from a frustratingly deliberate pace, but with nuanced performances from Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandon and Reese Witherspoon to fall back on, Twilight can't help but be compelling".

Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman gave the film a C+ grade. He wrote it was meant to be "...about the relationship between a semiretired gumshoe (Paul Newman) and two veteran movie stars (Gene Hackman and Susan Sarandon)..." but was actually "...about the trio of aging stars who play them."[4]

Barbara Shulgasser of the San Francisco Examiner called it a "dazzlingly smart script by Benton and co-writer Richard Russo." She went on to write: "Twilight is as close to a perfect film as I've seen in a long while."[5]

Heather Clisby of Movie Magazine International described it as "one of those films where everybody involved seems to have actually cared, thus we have a superb product with memorable characters brought to life by some of the finest actors of our time."[6]


The DVD was released on October 7, 1998 in Widescreen. Features included: English closed captioning, Spanish sub-titles, and the theatrical trailer which included scenes that were not included in the movie.[3][7]


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External links

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