Final Analysis
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhil Joanou
Screenplay byWesley Strick
Story by
  • Robert H. Berger
  • Wesley Strick
Produced by
CinematographyJordan Cronenweth
Edited byThom Noble
Music byGeorge Fenton
Distributed byWarner Bros.[1]
Release date
  • February 7, 1992 (1992-02-07) (US)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$75 million

Final Analysis is a 1992 American neo-noir erotic thriller film directed by Phil Joanou and written by Wesley Strick from a concept by forensic psychiatrist Robert H. Berger.[2] It stars Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman, Eric Roberts, Keith David, and Paul Guilfoyle. The executive producers were Gere and Maggie Wilde.[1] The film received mixed critical reviews,[3] but was positively compared to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, particularly Vertigo.[4] It is the final film of director of photography Jordan Cronenweth.


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In San Francisco, Freudian psychiatrist Isaac Barr treats Diana Baylor, a woman with obsessive–compulsive disorder suffering from frightening and horrific childhood memories, which include images of her drunken father and his death in a fire for which she wasn't blamed. Isaac becomes concerned about Diana's obsessive-compulsive habit of checking a handgun her sister gave her. Diana suggests Isaac meet her sister, Heather Evans, who knows things about their parents that may shed light on her neuroses. Heather tells him that Diana was sexually assaulted by their father, and denies giving her the gun. She reveals to him that she's unhappily married to a gangster, Jimmy Evans, whom she's afraid to leave under threat of retaliation. Isaac confesses that he finds her irresistible, and the two have sex. Afterwards, Heather divulges that her and Diana’s mother left after their father raped Diana. Subsequently, their father died in a fire, which police suspected Diana might have started. Heather defended her sister, who has since blocked the ordeal out of her memory.

During a public dinner with Jimmy, Heather induces an episode of "pathological intoxication" by drinking wine and is subsequently taken to the hospital. After recovering in the emergency room, she sneaks away with Isaac to an abandoned lighthouse near the Golden Gate Bridge. While climbing the stairs to a balcony, she accidentally drops her purse and lets loose a metal dumbbell handle, which she claims she keeps for protection.

Determined to help Heather leave her husband, Isaac asks his friend, defense attorney Mike O'Brien, to investigate Jimmy's illegal activities. Mike informs Isaac that Jimmy is under federal investigation for a myriad of financial crimes. He warns Isaac to stay away from the gangster’s wife, but the infatuated Isaac follows her and Jimmy to a restaurant. Claiming she feels ill, Heather leaves the restaurant early, and gets a ride home from Isaac. Later that night, she drinks cough medicine, which brings on another episode of pathological intoxication. As Jimmy forces a kiss on her, she grabs one of his metal dumbbells and uses it to knock him in the head. He falls into a filled bathtub and drowns.

Heather is arrested and held on suspicion of Jimmy's death. Isaac hires Mike to represent her, and enlists the help of an expert on pathological intoxication. The expert testifies in court that several of his patients have done harm to themselves or others in the throes of pathological intoxication. Due to the testimony and the absence of a murder weapon, Heather is found not responsible for Jimmy’s murder, due to temporary insanity. However, she is sentenced to confinement at to a psychiatric facility, where she will be released in four to six weeks, pending evaluation. Isaac serves as the head of psychiatry at Overland, and assures Heather she will be released as soon as possible.

During a symposium, Isaac overhears a colleague give a speech on one of Sigmund Freud patients who had persistent dreams of arranging flowers, the same dream Diana had described to him during an earlier session. Isaac realizes that Diana fabricated those stories. He confronts a courthouse guard who recognized Heather before her trial, and he recalls that she used to frequent the courthouse as a spectator, whenever Isaac testified on behalf of the insane. Mike tells Isaac that Jimmy's brother recently died, making Heather the beneficiary of Jimmy's $4 million life insurance policy. Isaac goes to the hospital to confront Heather, who admits to the ruse but threatens him not to cross her. She claims to have hidden the dumbbell she used to murder Jimmy, which is covered in Isaac’s fingerprints after he touched it at the lighthouse. Outside the hospital, police detective Huggins approaches Isaac, whom he suspects of murdering his lover’s husband in exchange for a cut of Jimmy’s life insurance policy. Isaac returns to the psychiatric hospital and tells Heather that he has reported her crime to two assistant district attorneys who want to interview her. She reminds him that double jeopardy prevents her from being tried twice, and agrees to the inquiry.

During the evaluation, Isaac observes as Heather gives a false report of the crime, blaming Isaac for killing her husband. At Heather’s request, Diana joins her, but fails to bring the dumbbell, which Heather planned to hand over as evidence of Isaac’s guilt. Heather screams at her sister, and further loses her temper when she discovers the interrogators are hospital psychiatrists, not prosecutors as Isaac said. She is sedated and dragged away by orderlies. Sometime later, Isaac meets Diana, who has changed her hair to look like Heather’s. She assures him that she dropped the incriminating dumbbell into the bay, but Isaac does not trust her. Isaac enlists Pepe Carrero, a former client, to follow Diana when she visits her sister.

Although Heather wants Diana to deliver the dumbbell to Detective Huggins, Diana is too nervous to go through with it. Heather coerces her to switch clothes in the bathroom, allowing Heather to escape the hospital as “Diana,” while Diana stays behind as an inmate. Pepe follows Heather, and tries to steal the dumbbell from her, but she retaliates by shooting him in the chest. She telephones Huggins and arranges to meet him at a marina. Isaac catches up to Pepe just as he is being taken away in an ambulance. Pepe directs him to the marina, where Isaac intervenes just as Heather passes off the dumbbell to Huggins. Isaac grabs the dumbbell, rendering his old fingerprints inadmissible. Heather takes the two hostages at gunpoint, and forces Huggins to drive away from the marina.

A rainstorm hits, and he crashes into the ocean. Isaac escapes the sinking car and Heather follows him to the abandoned lighthouse, situated nearby. As she chases Isaac onto the balcony, he deduces that Heather was the one who was raped by her father, not Diana, and she must have started the fire that killed him. Heather admonishes him for trying to “shrink” her. A portion of the balcony breaks off, causing Isaac to fall. Just then, Huggins appears. Heather points her gun at him, but Isaac reaches up from the dangling balcony and pulls her over the edge. She falls to her death, and Isaac scrambles back inside. Diana is tried as Heather’s accomplice, but is found not guilty. Sometime later, posing as Heather, she seduces a wealthy man, and pretends to have a condition that forbids her from drinking.



Harold Becker, Joel Schumacher, and John Boorman were variously attached as director.[5]

The original script was set in New York City, but was changed due to an ongoing union strike. San Francisco was chosen due to its "character" and iconic locations. The climax originally took place on the Golden Gate Bridge, but the sequence was re-written due to budget constraints. The climax instead took place at a lighthouse, filmed at Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero. Other filming locations included the San Francisco County Superior Court, the Letterman Army Hospital, and the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Television comedy writer Susan Harris provided uncredited script rewrites.[5]


Box office

The first week's gross was $6,411,441 and the total receipts for the film's run were $28,590,665. In its widest release the film was featured in 1,504 theaters across the United States.[6] The film grossed $47 million overseas[7] for a worldwide gross of $75 million.

Critical response

Film critic Roger Ebert liked the screenplay and thought director Alfred Hitchcock, known for these types of thrillers, would have liked it as well. He wrote, "I'm a sucker for movies that look and feel like this. I like the pounding romantic music, the tempestuous sex scenes, the crafty ways that neurotic meddlers destroy the lives of their victims, and of course the handcrafted climax..." Ebert also thought the movie was needlessly complex.[8]

Vincent Canby, film critic for The New York Times, was pleased with the work of the actors in the film and wrote, "Mr. Gere and Ms. Basinger are attractive as the furious lovers, but Mr. Roberts is the film's electrical force whenever he is on screen. Ms. Thurman does well as a sort of upscale slavey."[9]

The staff at Variety magazine gave the film a positive film review, writing, "Final Analysis is a crackling good psychological melodrama [from a screen story by Robert Berger and Wesley Strick] in which star power and slick surfaces are used to potent advantage. Tantalizing double-crosses mount right up to the eerie final scene."[10]

Many reviews were negative. Critic Kathleen Maher wrote, "Joanou, with his puppy dog devotion to noir thrillers and Hitchcock, is hoping to get it all right by painting by the numbers. He's mixed parts of Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, and Vertigo, but the result doesn't even live up to Dead Again..." Maher also says she's seen Gere's acting like this before, and added: "[B]ut Gere reverts to that shell-shocked acting style he adopts when lost at sea."[11] Rita Kempley, writing in The Washington Post, called the film "an implausible psycho thriller" and said director Joanou "doesn't have any of his own ideas."[12]

The film has an approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes of 54% based on 26 reviews.[13]




  1. ^ a b c d "Final Analysis (1992)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Martin, Douglas (1992-02-08). "ABOUT NEW YORK; This Man Has Long Chats With Mass Murderers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  3. ^ Final Analysis (1992), retrieved 2019-01-01
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Final Analysis Movie Review & Film Summary (1992) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  5. ^ a b "AFI|Catalog". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  6. ^ The Numbers box office data. Accessed: August 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Groves, Don (February 22, 1993). "Hollywood Wows World Wickets". Variety. p. 85.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times, film review, February 7, 1992. Accessed: August 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Canby, Vincent. The New York Times, film review, February 7, 1992. Accessed: August 9, 2013.
  10. ^ Variety. Staff film review, 1992. Accessed: August 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Maher, Kathleen. The Austin Chronicle, February 14, 1992. Accessed: August 9. 2013.
  12. ^ Kempley, Rita. The Washington Post, "Final Analysis, an implausible psycho thriller," February 7, 1992. Accessed: August 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Final Analysis at Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed: August 9, 2013.