Consenting Adults (1992 film)

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Consenting Adults
Consenting adults poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan J. Pakula
Produced byAlan J. Pakula
David Permut
Written by Matthew Chapman
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Edited by Sam O'Steen
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • October 16, 1992 (1992-10-16)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$18 million
Box office$21,591,800

Consenting Adults is a 1992 American mystery crime-thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula, and stars Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey and Rebecca Miller. The original music score was composed by Michael Small. The film's tagline is: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife." [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] The movie was adapted in Hindi as Ajnabee .



Composer Richard Parker and his wife Priscilla live an ordinary suburban life until they meet their new neighbors Eddy and Kay Otis. The two couples became friends. Kay's talent for blues singing gets Richard's attention, while Eddy is attracted to Priscilla. It becomes clear that Eddy is a scam artist when he fakes a neck injury after an auto accident for the insurance proceeds (the majority of which he offers to the Parkers as a gift). Eddy chastises Richard for not living dangerously, and suggests they swap mates for an evening.

The plot takes a nasty turn when Richard does sleep with Kay (supposedly without her realizing that he is not her husband) and Kay turns up dead the next morning, bludgeoned to death by a baseball bat. Later, it is revealed that Eddy spent the night elsewhere in order to establish an airtight alibi. Richard's semen is found in her body, and his fingerprints are on the bat (from when the two couples played a friendly game of softball earlier the previous day), so he's charged with the crime. Priscilla disowns and divorces Richard due to his infidelity. Eddy soon becomes Priscilla's lover and a substitute father to Richard's daughter, Lori.

A distraught Richard finally finds a ray of hope when he hear's Kay singing in a radio talent show and realizes she's alive. With the help of private investigator David Duttonville, who was hired by the insurance company from which Eddy is attempting to collect a $1.5 million indemnity claim, Richard tracks her down and learns the truth of how he was betrayed. Kay is guilt-ridden over her part in it, but terrified by Eddy's threat to implicate her if she testifies. Eddy, anticipating what Richard intends to do next, murders Kay and slips away. Implicated in a second murder, Richard flees the scene as police sirens approach.

Priscilla discovers a plane ticket Eddy used on the night of the second murder. Realizing Eddy's guilt, she worries over what to do about it. Richard performs a commando-style raid on Eddy's house, but Eddy, anticipating this move as well, reveals to Priscilla his plan to murder her and shoot Richard as a homicidal intruder. Working together, Richard and Priscilla eventually kill Eddy using the original murder weapon, the baseball bat. Richard and Priscilla are later seen moving into a very secluded house with no neighbors visible for miles.


Kevin Kline Richard Parker
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Priscilla Parker
Kevin Spacey Eddy Otis
Rebecca Miller Kay Otis
Forest Whitaker David Duttonville
E. G. Marshall George Gutton
Kimberly McCullough Lori Parker
Billie NealAnnie Duttonville
Benjamin Hendrickson Jimmy Schwartz


The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. It currently holds a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert sharply disagreed on the movie: Siskel found it depressing, mean-spirited and lacking in well-developed characters; Ebert said it was a good thriller with very interesting characters and that "the entire movie is a comedy." [6]

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  1. Maslin, Janet (October 16, 1992). "Reviews/Film; Meeting the Neighbors Is a Very Big Mistake". The New York Times . New York City. Retrieved May 23, 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Consenting Adults(1992)". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  3. Gleiberman, Owen (October 30, 1992). "Consenting Adults (1992)". Entertainment Weekly . New York City: Meredith Corporation . Retrieved February 28, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Film Consenting Adults (1992)". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  5. "Consenting Adults - Movies Filmed in South Carolina - Internet Film ..." Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  6. "Pure Country/Frozen Assets/Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time/Consenting Adults/Reservoir Dogs". At the Movies . Season 7. Episode 6. October 24, 1992. ABC.