Crimes of Passion (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Crimes of Passion (1984)



Critic Consensus: Ken Russell and his cast are definitely committed to Crimes of Passion, but whether this sexually charged thriller is worthy of the audience's convictions is altogether more uncertain.

Movie Info

Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) is a cold, workaholic sportswear designer, divorced and dedicated only to her job. Once strapped into that role, Joanna looks for an "out" and finds it by donning a wig and hitting the pavement as a $50/trick hooker named China Blue. Explicit scenes show her at work on her night job, including a long S and M segment with a policeman. While making money as China Blue, Joanna runs into a menacing, fanatic preacher (Anthony Perkins) who is out to save her from this life of sin, but in the meantime, he is also busy watching nude girly shows. As China Blue and the sexually ambivalent Reverend heat up their relationship, he becomes difficult to read: is this psycho reverend a killer? While China Blue is plying her trade, Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) has finally realized after 12 years of marriage that his wife Amy (Annie Potts) is frigid and just as he has this remarkably delayed insight, he is assigned by Joanna's boss to find out if she is stealing designs or not. By tracking Joanna, Bobby sees her transformation as China Blue and as might be expected, sex is not far behind.

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Kathleen Turner
as Joanna Crane / China Blue
Anthony Perkins
as Rev. Peter Shayne
John Laughlin
as Bobby Grady
Annie Potts
as Amy Grady
Bruce Davison
as Donny Hopper
Joseph Chapman
as Walt Pierson
Donald J. Westerdale
as Airline Trick
Gordon Hunt
as Group Leader
Thomas Murphy
as Chambers
Ian Petrella
as Jimmy's Friend
Janice Renny
as Stripper
Molly Russell
as Little Girl in Music Video
John Rose
as Arthur
Victoria Russell
as Bride in Music Video
Louise Sorel
as Claudia
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Critic Reviews for Crimes of Passion

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (11)

Ken Russell fancies himself an artiste, and his odious pretentions take all the fun out of it.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

Turner's performance is intriguing - now we know that she can play not only a sexpot (Body Heat) but a sexpot hiding in a career woman's suit-and-tie and posing as a fleshpot. This is pretty interesting.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Turner acts if she's auditioning for some loopy Mae West impersonation contest. Eyes wide and nostrils flaring, she looks like a doe caught in the glare of a hunter's headlights. Perkins is her perfect body double.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

It remains steamy, sordid, grim and utterly fascinating, but it is not a movie to be taken lightly.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Turner's choice of parts and the depth of her submersion into them indicates that she means business and is willing to do what she thinks it will take to fill the bill for whatever role.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

"Crimes of Passion" was obviously trimmed to avoid an X rating. Too bad the entire movie wasn't left on the cutting room floor.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Crimes of Passion

This seemed like it would be a good movie at first, it's got an interesting plot, good actors, and it starts out good, but it disappoints in the end. Overall, it's just okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Ken Russell's masterpiece has cult movie written all over it. A lurid, extreme sex-and-violence fantasy porno-movie, it is also a brilliant satire on the American way of sex. Kathleen Turner really goes the limit as an actress in her role as China Blue. She looks great and gives more to the film than it really deserves. This is getting more hotter than Turner's latest film, 1981's Body Heat. Much of the dialogue is clever, witty, and bitingly effective. The performances are top notch - particularly Anthony Perkins as the maniacal priest whom is captivated by the street-smart, fashion-designer-cum-hooker Turner. The sexual scenes are bold, but not sexually explicit.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


Crimes of Passion is Ken Russell's 1984 erotic thriller about a fashion designer (Kathleen Turner) who moonlights as hooker China Blue by night. Along the way she is followed and lusted for by a man (John Loughlin) keeping tabs on her and a crazy street preacher (Anthony Perkins) hellbent on "saving" her. Ken Russell's films are all over the top sights for the eyes and the redlight district that China Blue frequents is a great set piece. Kathleen Turner is great as the super erotic China Blue, playing whatever game her john wants to play. The main problem with the film is John Loughlin's character. I don't know if it's the writing or his acting but the entire plot point dealing with him is so mind numbingly dull and stupid he ruins the picture. An ugly performance from Loughlin. It's Anthony Perkins that salvages the film. His over the top portrayal of the porno obsessed street preacher is a testament to his acting ability. Psycho may have been his greatest role but Crimes of Passion has to be second. He plays the role with such force and drive that it gets to you. He is that damn good in the role. Anthony Perkins made up for Loughlin's terrible performance. Crime of Passion is another one of those '80's erotic thrillers ala Body Double and Fatal Attraction, though this film is very explicit in its sex scenes. A product of it's time, the acting of two out of the three leads makes this a film worth give a view.

Chris Garman
Chris Garman

Super Reviewer

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