Harold Becker

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7.0 Malice (1993)
5.7 Mercury Rising (1998)
5.8 Domestic Disturbances (2001)

Harold Becker (USA, 1928) directed The Ragman's Daughter (1972), The Onion Field (1979), The Black Marble (1980), Taps (1981), Vision Quest (1985), The Big Town (1987), The Boost (1988), Sea of Love (1989).

Malice (1993) is a Hitchcockian thriller. Becker tries to add as many plot twists as possible.

Andy is anxious because he has become a suspect of a series of rapes and murders in the college where he works. The latest victim is saved by Jed, a marvel of a surgeon. Jed is an old friend of Andy's, and Andy invites him to stay temporarily at his place, even if his wife Tracy does not like the guest and does not miss any chance to show her feelings. One day Tracy is taken urgently to the hospital. Jed operates but makes a mistake that costs the woman her child. Tracy finds out that she was pregnant and, furious, sues the hospital and breaks up with her husband.
Andy finds the serial rapist who tries to kill him. Tipped by a police woman, Andy finds out something even more interesting: that he is sterile. Therefore, Tracy was not pregnant of his child. Andy talks to Jed but Jed shows no interest in the news: he still made a mistake and the hospital is still liable.
But Andy finds out that there was no child at all and his thirst for the truth increases. Andy investigates Tracy's past and, through her mother's confessions (the mother that Tracy had always claimed was dead) realizes his wife's calculating persona. Tracy lied to him about nearly everything. Next, he catches her with her lover: it is Jed. Jed did make a mistake, but it was a mistake that the two lovers had planned together, in order to sue the hospital. Andy leaves a sign that he has been there and that he knows. Jed blames Tracy, who improvised the lie about the child in order to double the lawsuit.
Andy blackmails Tracy: now he wants half of the dough. Jed advises Tracy to accept and refuses to make any more mischief. But Tracy has no intention to split the money, and does not hesitate to kill Jed. Next, he plans to kill the child who is the only witness. She calls Andy and asks him to meet her somewhere else. The moment Andy is gone, she walks into the house. She thinks she sees the child and tries to kill him, but it is only a doll. Andy is behind her: it was a trap. Tracy charges him and they crash down the stairs. Even wounded, Tracy tries to kill him, but the police is there. As they take her away, Tracy sees the child whom she wanted to kill: he is blind.

City Hall (1996) is a thriller.

Mercury Rising (1998) is a fast-paced, fantapolitical, action movie that rehashes the theme of The Fugitive. The protagonist has the charisma of the epic loner/loser like in the best noir films (and his attachment to the helpless child is a sign of psychological instability rather than heroic self-sacrifice), but the plot is rather predictable.

Art is an undercover agent that has infiltrated a gang of bank robbers. When the gang is massacred by the FBI agents, Art rebels and is sidelined into a routine police job. Charged with investigating the disappearance of a child, Simon, an autistic boy whose parents have been murdered and who is a genius at solving puzzles. Art basically adopts the child, who is incapable of defending himself.
Simon has cracked the secret code of a government operation. Nicholas, the head of the "Mercury" project, wants to kill the child for fear that he will jeopardize the hundreds of agents who are protected by the secret code.
Soon, Art realizes that someone is trying to kill Simon. Art takes Simon under his protection and has to fight the killer that Nicholas sends at the hospital, dressed like a doctor. Art drives away on an ambulance, chased by the killer, and, when the ambulance crashes, he also has to rescue Simon who is walking along the rail tracks towards an incoming train. Art and Simon take shelter at Tommy's house, a friend of Art. Tommy is scared when he finds out that there is no trace of any ambulance accident: somebody cleaned up overnight. Art begins suspecting that what is happening to Simon, including his parents' mysterious death, is part of a government conspiracy.
Art witnesses the phone call that Simon makes after deciphering the code and gets an appointment with one of the scientists who invented the code. To be free, Art leaves Simon with a stranger met at a cafe`, Stacey. Art meets the scientist who explains what the project is and warns him. But the good guy can't finish: Nicholas' evil killer shoots him in the back while they are crossing the street. Art seizes the tape from a bank's camera that show the murder. Then runs to retrieve Simon from Stacey. The other scientist is also afraid for his own life. He is under strict control and can't communicate with anybody, but his girlfriend suggests using a typewriter and good old fashioned mail. He types a letter but is killed by the killer before he can mail it.
Art tracks down Stacey and begs her to shelter Simon. The cryptographer's girlfriend rescues a fragment of the letter and delivers it to Art. The letter reveals that Nicholas is responsible for the murder of Simon's parents. Art immediately decides to confront Nicholas and shows up uninvited at his villa during his birthday party. Art the populist faces Nicholas the aristocrat in the cellar. Art shows all his hate for Nicholas and what Nicholas represents (fanatic disrespect for ordinary people) by drinking his precious wine and destroying all the bookcases in the cellar, while Nicholas is giving him a lecture about patriotism.
Art finds Stacey's apartment empty: Nicholas found them and ask them to meet him at the last floor of a skyscraper. In the meantime, Tommy shows the letter to his boss. Nicholas is about to take Simon on his helicopter when the FBI, led by Tommy, and Art himself, raid the building. Simon runs, Nicholas is about to shoot him. Art and Nicholas fight on the roof of the skyscraper while Simon is walking along the edge of the roof. Simon hands Art the gun that Art uses to kill Nicholas, while the FBI take care of Nicholas' killer.

His last films were Domestic Disturbance (2001) and Vengeance - A Love Story (2017).

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