Nadine (1987): Robert Benton’s Mild Comedy Starring Kim Basinger and Jeff Bridges

Robert Benton’s follow-up to his 1984 Oscar winner “Places in the Heart,” again centers on a lead woman, played by Kim Basinger, in a mild comedy that never fins its thematic center or suitable rhythm.

Nadine Hightower (Basinger), a beautiful but not every bright femme, is fast-talked into posing for some cheesecake pictures by sleazy photographer Raymond Escobar (Jerry Stiller).

When Nadine learns that Escobar plans to use the pictures for a set of racy playing cards, Nadine decides to steal the photos back. To that extent, she enlists the help of her former husband Vernon (Jeff Bridges), who is already engaged to the winner of a local beauty pageant.

In the midst of the robbery, intruders shoot and kill Escobar; Nadine and Vernon grab an envelope marked “Nadine” and make tracks. But the envelope doesn’t contain any photos; instead, there are plans for a road to be built in town that reveal dirty dealings by politicians. As a result, Nadine and Vernon are on the run from Escobar’s killers and land baron Buford Pope (Rip Torn).

The country and western group Sweethearts of the Rodeo perform some tunes on the soundtrack.


Running time: 83 minutes.

Directed by Robert Benton

August 7, 1987 Wide

DVD: July 5, 2005

Twentieth Century Fox