MovieChat Forums > Deceived (1991) Discussion > Plot holes/inconsistenci es/unanswered q...

Plot holes/inconsistenci es/unanswered questions


Just saw this one again for the third or fourth time. Guess I'm still looking to make sure I haven't missed the answers to questions I have about problems with the film that prevent it from being and outstanding thriller. And these are:

1) When Adrianne calls home to check on her daughter while she (Adrianne) is at the museum function, why doesn't she use her husband's office phone, instead of asking Harvey if she can use his? Of course, then she probably wouldn't have been the one to find Thomas' body, but it's not like her husband planned it that way.

2) It becomes obvious, I think, fairly soon that "Jack" is the one who planned to meet Adrianne at the restaurant as Adam Lucas. But why? When he comes to Adrienne's office, he mentions that he had been there a year before. He has obviously been scoping her out in the meantime, but why wait a year to come up the suberfuge of the "blind date" (or a business meeting--it was never stated in the movie why Adrianne was meeting Lucas) as an excuse for recognizing her when he came to office?

3) Although "Jack" seems to have planned this whole scenario fairly carefully, he makes some rather careless (or maybe arrogant?) mistakes, such as watching his little girl in her room at night, kissing Adrianne while she's half-asleep, staying in the loft until Adrianne comes home and finds Lillian, showing up at his girl's school and taking her (wouldn't the school have notified Adrianne if her dauther disappeared or left with an unauthorized person?), leaving cards with Daniel's name on them where they could be found, showing himself when Lillian returned to the apartment.

4) Why did "Jack" set this whole thing up? Anyone who commissions a fake Egyptian necklace and pays for it with $10,000 in travel's checks can't be hurting for money; so one wouldn't think he was after the $2,000,000+ authentic necklace for the money personally. And if he really was being blackmailed by someone named Daniel who knew him before and killed him off, why steal his identity and use it to start over? Why not just revert to his old identity as Frank Sullivan? And how were the police able to ID "Jack" from the car accident? If everything was burned, how would they have been able to ID the car, anything he had left inside, etc., that would have pointed to him?

5) I saw no indication of how much time had passed between "Jack's" supposed death and Adrianne's finding out he was alive and had assumed another identity, including marrying and impregnating someone. However, one would have to assume that several months to a year had passed for him to have met someone, married her, and being expecting a baby shortly. A little bit better time frame would have been helpful.

6) Are we supposed to assume that Lillian is dead? (poor editing?)

Sorry, but as riveting as parts of this film was (including the score), there are just too many holes to make it a top-notch mystery.



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7) How many bodies did the police find in the exploded car?

I know, lots of holes in this film..but didn't they say Lilian was gonna make it?

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yes points 1-6 above are plotholes IMO. Add this:

8) How did Jack escape from the car before it crashed and exploded?

9) How did the police identify the dead hitch-hiker as Jack? He sure doesn't have the same teeth or DNA, which is usually used for ID purposes. Plus the hitch-hiker was obviously NOT FOUND in the driver's seat, so they wouldn't take him for the driver, right?

10) Did Jack intentionally kill a hitch-hiker just to fake his death??

11) And the biggest plot hole in my opinion: Why did he actually fake his death? The explanation he gives Adrianne is ridiculous and belied by his subsequent actions (kidnapping of her daughter). And other explanations just don't add up given the prior facts.

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I think this is one of those movies that requires the viewer to assume A LOT!

I do think the character Frank Sullivan had this needing, loving side that was Jack. And then he had the rotten, emotionally-deprived, evil side that was Daniel Sherman. I think he assumed the Daniel Sherman identity to give an actual name and life to his evil, killing, and stealing side. He was Dr. Jeckyl - Mr. Hyde.


Here is my understanding of the film:

I think meeting Adrianne at the restaurant was an accident. He truly loved her and Mary more than he expected to. He and Adrianne built the ideal life. At the museum gala, he was thanking a wealthy woman who was a repeat client, and had donated a very valuable urn. Jack had achieved the level of respect and talent, and to be the kind of man he had always wanted. But the museum discovers the forged necklace. Jack knows his fake identity is going to be blown. He can't handle the idea of everyone knowing the truth about his background, he is so ashamed of who he is. A fake death is ideal as it would make him look like just some good, respectable guy who was the victim of a tragic accident, and it would free him from the legal situation of the fraud crimes he had committed. He decides he has to carry on life as Daniel Sherman, a life I believe he built as a safety net if ever things had to end with Adrianne. Either that, or he built it out of pure selfishness. They refer to him travelling for work (he mentions auctions), so it makes sense for him not to be home for days at a time without question. He was able to build this other life as an escape route. With faking his death, he needed a body for the crashed car otherwise cops would look for the missing driver. His method of killing was to suffocate with a bag over the head. After picking up the hitchhiker, he probably pulled the car over for some reason. He then suffocates the hitchhiker unconscious (the guy doesn't die, they show him as he coughs and becomes conscious after the crash). After Jack suffocates the guy, he puts his personal belongings on the body and puts the body in the driver's seat. Jack drives the car from the passenger side, throwing himself out before it goes over the edge of the cliff. This was long before forensics, and if the body burns up too much in the fire than dental records are no good. When Jack sees Adrianne at his mother's apartment, he tells her how surprised he is that she figured so much out about him. He knows she is smart, and that she will find out the entire truth. He is fearful that she might expose him for the fraud he is altogether, both the stealing and the identity theft. He knows she is a threat, so he tries to plays nice-nice and he plays on her love. That is why he makes up the Daniel Sherman story, he makes himself out to be a victim of blackmail so that Adrianne will have pity, trust him and go along with him on things. He continues this desperate act when he calls her while she is at the loft trying to help him find the necklace. By playing on her love, he maintains control. But when Adrianne tells Jack to give her time over the phone, he knows his plan to keep control is slipping. He then decides to kidnap the daughter to use as a bargaining chip in case Adrianne won't give him the necklace. He even later tells Adrianne he will kill her if he has to. It's all about maintaining image to him, as he told Adrianne he wanted Mary to remember him "from the photos in that stupid album". It all makes sense, but what I wonder is what she told Mary about her daddy dying a second time. ?

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"This was long before forensics, and if the body burns up too much in the fire than dental records are no good. "

Totally wrong.
Teeth are virtually impervious to temperature and fire and were the primary means of ID in plane crashes, etc before DNA.

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Another one that always bothered me:

How could Adrianne have had a premonition of Jack dying in the car accident when it wasn't really Jack?



Rest in peace, Heath Ledger. You will be missed

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It was a false premonition. Frankly I didn't understand the whole point about picking up a hijacker.

When someone is trying desperately to escape his identity - why would he pick up hitchchikers to identify what he looks like, what kind of car he has, where he was going? HUH?

And why was the hitchhiker in the driver's seat?

And why did the car speed up - was he trying to deliberately kill himself?

NONE OF THIS MOVIE MAKES SENSE TO ME!

Who takes his friend's name when his friend dies? That's crazy.

Who contributes all his Social Security payments for 16 years to a dead man's account? Those contributions were worth more than the necklace he wanted to steal!

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Just watched it for the first time last night, as has been said it just has too many holes and the script's just not good enough.

I may have missed something here but why did he fake his own death without making sure he had the necklace, surely he wouldn't have presumed it was in his case? And why not hide it in a safe place in the first place instead of just leaving it lying around even if it was in his case?

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Didn't they say that the necklace was worth $4.5 million? 16 years of Social Security payments is nowhere near $4.5 million.

Help stamp out and do away with superfluous redundancy

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Didn't they say that the necklace was worth $4.5 million? 16 years of Social Security payments is nowhere near $4.5 million.
it depends on the rate of his monthly payments. Rich guys pay a lot, it could add up.

But even asking the question like you do is completely beside the point. 16 years of Social Security payments is a lot, no matter how you look at it. Especially if it the payment serves no purpose whatsoever. Quit on the contrary, had it not been for these payments, his wife would never have found out she was Deceived.

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There isn't anyone going to get $4,500,000. out of Social Security. I don't care how much money you make. I have been on Social for 12 years and I have not received what he got in one year. You know NOTHING about how Social Security works. 16 years of Social Security payments is nowhere close to $4,500,000. End of subject.

Help stamp out and do away with superfluous redundancy

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@trpdean: completely agreed

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trpdean is also wrong. According to the Social Security Administration the maximum monthly payment one can receive in 2012, which is more than in the timeline of tne movie, is $2513 a month. Over 16 years that amounts to a little over $482,000. So, if you want to argue with the SSA, go ahead. Or you and trpdean can continue to live in ignorance.

Help stamp out and do away with superfluous redundancy

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Yes, he is missed.

suzycreamcheese RIP Heath Ledger 1979-2008

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As for plot line 5, there did not need to be a passing of time. "Spoiler: Jack is married to the other woman. Jack is Sherman. Jack married the pregnant woman with the identity of Sherman not Jack Sanders. He was married to both of them at the same time. They were going to leave the area. Did you not notice that they were moving? Jack was going to leave town with the new wife and start his life again with the name Sherman"

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He was married to both of them at the same time.
doesn't compute. Don't you think that either one of the two wifes would get suspicious of him not sleeping at home every other day??

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Ehh, after watching this and a lot of movies like it, i've decided that I like movies with a few plot-holes. It really keeps you on your toes by giving you false leads. Manipulative, sure... But great entertainment if you can suspend your disbelief.

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Easily remedied with that classic scene where the hero/heroine is sitting in the back of the ambulance being checked over by a paramedic and the police/FBI/lawman comes over to the hero/heroine and says "we checked out your story, it turns out [insert tie-up-loose-scene-comment here], but what I don't understand is how/why [insert other loose end]. Then the hero/heroine says "Well I spoke to [relevant person] and [another tie-up-loose-scene-comment here]... I just wish I knew how/why [yet another loose end]. And the lawman says "I guess we'll never know" and it fades to black and then either goes to the credits or the next scene and leaves us with only one or two loose ends to think about while we watch the credits.

Lois: Fate is what you call it when you don't know the name of the person screwing you over.

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As to line 6: Harvey tells Adrienne that Lilian is going to be okay. This was right after Lilian was attacked. Lilian does not die.

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Ehh, after watching this and a lot of movies like it, i've decided that I like movies with a few plot-holes. It really keeps you on your toes by giving you false leads. Manipulative, sure... But great entertainment if you can suspend your disbelief.
you don't get the diff between a plot hole and a red herring (false lead).

Red herring: planted on purpose (diverting attention) and explained later on
plot hole: planted unwittingly and never explained

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This movie is on TV tonight. I'm going to keep an eye open for these plot holes. It's been years since I've watched it. I remember it never being explained as to who was really after that necklace.

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That whole business with the car is what bugs me the most.
How did he get it to crash without him being there????????????
----------------------
See some stars here
http://vbphoto.biz

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I don't think the car is the biggest plot hole. I think he called, and then picked up, his pre-selected victim. As someone else said, since smothering was his murder method of choice, he probably smothered that victim (at least until they were unconscious), then put his watch, ring, etc. on the body. He could then have driven to the place where he intended the accident to take place (note it was far outside the city, on a country road), positioned the victim in the driver's seat, and jammed the gas pedal. There was no one around to see.

My biggest plot hole was how he decided to meet Goldie at his mother's place. He had no way of knowing that Goldie had spoken to Jack Saunders' cousin, or that the cousin had directed Goldie to Rosalie Sullivan. True, during his nightly predations in the apartment (and that was one mongo apartment, second only to Gwyneth Paltrow's apartment in "A Perfect Murder") searching for the necklace, he might have happened upon the high school records Goldie had dug up....but still, that's a bit of a leap.

I think his marriage to Kathy was bigamous and was going on prior to his "death." His frequent traveling was his excuse to both wives. Also, Rosalie Sullivan mentions that Jack had been dead to her for years, and that it didn't matter that he had died "a month ago." So between his faked death and Goldie showing up at Kathy's house, only 4-6 weeks had elapsed. And Kathy was surely more than 4-6 weeks pregnant. I agree with the commenters who say that killing off his life with Goldie was his way of simplifying things when his theft and fraudulent identity were about to be uncovered.

I think he could sell the necklace on the black market. All sorts of stolen objets d'art get disposed of that way.

I think everyone's favorite scene has to be when Goldie rips the necklace off the bear in the Gingolds' apartment.

Finally, since no one pointed it out, I will: Goldie was a pretty inconsiderate house guest. First she leaves her cup and saucer on the living room floor (!) at Rosalie's place, instead of thoughtfully bringing it into the kitchen, so Rosalie has to go clean that up. Then she leaves Kathy's front door open in the middle of winter when she enters the house, prior, of course, to wrecking all her pictures.

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OUCH!

I posted the above over 5 yrs ago and recall nothing about this feature, I usually
have a great memory for details in films

on location with SUPERMAN I,& OTHER STARS
http://www.vbphoto.biz/

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here is a comment the director made, maybe it helps clearing up one point or another:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101694/board/nest/29272604

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I think the worst one is the necklace itself. It's a unique and readily identifiable antique.

He can't sell it. It has no value to him at all.

"You drank too much!" "That's a thing?"

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