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Angela Arden, a one-time singing sensation, is fed up with her overpowering, Hollywood-producer husband Sol Sussman. Unable to continue with his abuse, she kills him and makes it appear to be a heart attack. The children -- Edith and Lance -- suspect foul play in their father's death and are determined to prove that Angela played a major role in it. This is a witty, campy tribute to the melodramas of the 1950's and 60's that starred such actresses as Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, and Joan Crawford. The style and glamour of those films is captured marvellously with smart dialogue, glamourous costumes, and spot-on acting. They show a genuine regard for the genre, instead of making a joke of it. Charles Busch wrote the screenplay, which includes many memorable lines, very reminiscent of those old melodramas, and wonderful plot twists. He also stars in the film as Angela Arden and gives one of the best performances I've seen in quite a while, full of dignity and respect for the actresses who played such roles in the past. In fact, the movie is filled with fine performances: Philip Baker Hall as Sol Sussman; Jason Priestly as Tony Parker, a giggolo who will sleep with anyone to get to the truth; Frances Conroy as Bootsie, the maid who is loyal to Sol; Natasha Lyonne as Daddy's Little Girl Edith Sussman; and Stark Sands as Lance Sussman, who hides a shameful secret. A fine movie and a loving tribute to the original movie divas.

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SHO90302 Die Mommy Die DVD (2003/Charles Busch) $14.95