When first released as Grace Quigley, this odd little black comedy proved too fey and quirky even for the most devoted fans of Katharine Hepburn. The star plays the title character, an old, worn-out woman with nothing to live for. Accordingly, she hires professional assassin Seymour Flint (Nick Nolte) to kill her, albeit gently. As she ponders the prospect of a peaceful death as opposed to a miserable life, Grace convinces Seymour to murder not only herself, but all other poor souls who have grown tired of life. As it turns out, there are several people who'd be willing to pay for this "courtesy," and soon Grace and Seymour, together with his ditsy girlfriend Muriel (Kit Le Fever), are conducting a land-office business! Entered into competition at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, Grace Quigley made no impression whatsoever. Screenwriter A. Martin Zweibeck withdrew the film, recut it to his satisfaction, and reissued it as The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley. Though this version was a marked improvement over the original, the film was still not quite the Harold and Maude-like "cult favorite" that everyone hoped it would be.
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