Deadly conspiracy

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German title Deadly conspiracy
Original title The Rich Man's Wife
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1996
length 91 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Amy Holden Jones
script Amy Holden Jones
production Julie Bergman Sender , Roger Birnbaum , Jennifer Ogden
music John Frizzell , James Newton Howard
camera Haskell Wexler
cut Wendy Greene Bricmont

Fatal Conspiracy ( The Rich Man's Wife ) is an American thriller by Amy Holden Jones from the year 1996 .

Short version of the plot

Josie Potenza is married to the much older film producer Tony, who is considered a workaholic. One day Tony breaks off their short vacation to attend a conference. Josie goes to a bar where she meets Cole Wilson. She confides in him that she wishes her husband were dead.

A short time later, Tony is killed in a robbery by Wilson. He blackmailed Josie into handing her over to the police if she didn't give him $ 30,000. The next day Josie seeks advice from her friend Jake Golden. It is later revealed that Golden has conspired with Wilson. Golden reveals the name Cole in a conversation , although Josie never gave him this. A fight ensues in which Wilson kills Golden. Later Wilson is shot dead by Josie.

Josie is suspected of murder by the police; she is arrested. The film ends with a scene of their interrogation.

Detailed plot

Josie Potenza is married to the much older film producer Tony Potenza. The marriage of these two is other than harmonious. So both have a third relationship, and Tony is very fond of alcohol. To save the marriage, Josie ends her relationship with Jake Golden and persuades Tony to take a short vacation to a country house. Tony, as a workaholist under heavy professional pressure, has to break off this short vacation the following day in order to attend a business appointment.

Josie is left alone. After going to the bar at night, Josie breaks down on the drive back to her country house. “Coincidentally”, Cole Wilson also drives past on this lonely country road, who drives Josie home with his car and the next day also gets her car to drive again. As a thank you for this service, Josie von Cole invited to dinner.

Josie is exposed to the first slight advances from Cole at this dinner. Nevertheless, Cole can elicit extremely personal details about their relationship from her in conversation. So she confides in him that “she wishes her husband were dead” . When Cole says “to do it,” she is not yet aware of the meaning of those words.

Some time later, back home. Tony celebrates his 40th birthday in a small group. The relationship between the two has turned good again. The following day, however, Josie waits in vain for her husband to come home as agreed. Tony is brutally attacked by Cole Wilson in his car and then executed in a park. Immediately after the crime, Cole goes to Josie and lets her know, "that he has carried out the order given by her to kill her husband" . He extortionately pressures Josie to name her as the client, unless she pays him a hush money of $ 30,000. The next day Josie confides in her former boyfriend Jake, not yet knowing that Jake is the real mastermind who not only wanted to win Josie back with Tony's death, but also wanted to access his inheritance.

For the investigating police, Josie herself is suspected of having something to do with the death of her husband. With a testimony from Nora Smith, the divorced wife of Jake Golden, Jake is also targeted by the police. At Tony's funeral, the secretly observing officers also notice Cole Wilson when he is talking to the widow about the transfer of the hush money.

When handing over the money, Josie first pressurizes Cole with a pistol, but due to a carelessness it gets into the hands of Cole, who in turn aims at Josie, but manages to escape unharmed.

Josie goes to Jake again and this time asks him to accompany her to the police. Although Jake as the client and Cole as the hit man have now quarreled among themselves, Jake tries to persuade Josie not to give the police the testimony about the extortion and thus to name Cole. Jake pronounces the name "Cole" in conversation with Josie, which makes Josie extremely puzzled because she never mentioned this name to him.

Josie quickly turns away from Jake, although he offers her to explain his point of view. When Jake reappears in front of Josie's house and asks to be admitted, he is shot by Cole. In the house there is then a fight between Josie and Cole, in the course of which Cole is shot by Josie "in self-defense".

The film begins and ends with scenes from the police interrogation of Josie after her arrest after the shooting of Cole. During this interrogation, Josie tells the story of what happened, which is then shown in the film plot.


James Berardinelli wrote on ReelViews that nothing in the film was even remotely original (“remotely original”). He praised the "nice" camera work.

Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times on September 13, 1996 that the final scene with the dissolution of the intrigue did not match the rest of the film. The portrayal of Halle Berry seems "convincing". The film is not a great film, but it is “competent (made)” and “efficient”.


The film was shot in Los Angeles and Malibu ( California turned). It grossed approximately $ 8.5 million in American cinemas .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Review by James Berardinelli
  2. ^ Review by Roger Ebert
  3. Filming locations for The Rich Man's Wife
  4. ^ Business Data for The Rich Man's Wife

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