SHADOW OF DOUBT -- Jana Calloway, a billionaire’s daughter, is found dead in her home with her throat slit. The only clue to her killer’s identity is a small link from a necklace, apparently ripped from her attacker, still clutched in her dead hand. Unbeknownst to the police is that another fragment of the necklace, the charm, also came off in the struggle but slipped into the pool drain.

Police comb the crime scene and find a matchbook under Jana’s bed with a name and number written inside. Assistant District Attorney, Jack Campioni (Tom Berenger), personally oversees the investigation, as he is a friend of the Calloway family.

Kitt Devereaux (Melanie Griffith) is one of the best defense attorneys in the state. She is also Jack’s ex. When the suspect fingered by the matchbook is found, Kitt is hired to defend him.

shd1.jpg (9070 bytes)shd2.jpg (13371 bytes)Robert Medina is an ex-gang member and drug dealer who just sold his first rap album to a major music studio. The studio pays Kitt and funds Medina’s bail. Kitt had given up sexually oriented trials because an ex-client admitted to her that he did, indeed, committed the rape he was on trial for and then attacked her -- after she had convinced the courts he was innocent. But Kitt accepts this case because she believes Medina is innocent. He had no motive to commit the crime. And Jana’s roommate, Brigitte, said she saw Medina leave the house before the crime was committed. Kitt is aided by her technology-wiz friend, Al (Huey Lewis).

shd18.jpg (12414 bytes)Kitt is invited to a party given by U.S. Senator, Paul Saxon (James Morrison). Paul Saxon is running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Though a stranger to Saxon, Kitt attends. She meets her ex there, as Jack is a close friend of Paul’s. Kitt is soon called in to meet Paul’s mother, a domineering woman with high hopes for her up-and-coming son. Mrs. Saxon asks Kitt to drop the Medina case. The Calloway’s are friends and supporters of her son, and she wishes to spare them the torment of a sensational trial. Kitt refuses and leaves.

Suddenly, Kitt’s ex-client, Laird Atkins, calls. He has just been released from his sentence for attacking her. He wants to get back with her and form a more intimate association. He begins stalking her.

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Kitt begins to suspect the Saxon family has some involvement in Jana’s murder. Not only because of Mrs. Saxon’s request to drop the case, but also because Jack offers her a deal too-good-to-be-true for Medina if he pleads guilty to the murder. Medina refuses to accept the plea, and Kitt begins her own investigation of the crime.

Kitt and Al go to visit Jana’s roommate, Brigitte. Al finds a hidden digital camera connected to a computer in Jana’s bedroom. He copies the last pictures taken on it before pointing out the camera to the police investigator. Brigitte also tells Kitt that Jana had attempted suicide and had been hospitalized afterward.

shd15.jpg (9997 bytes)shd14.jpg (9847 bytes)Kitt’s suspicions of the Saxons begin to be confirmed when one of the pictures from the bedroom camera shows Jana sitting in her underwear on the bed with Paul Saxon. Also, Al discovers that it was a company owned by Paul Saxon’s campaign manager that funded Jana’s hospital stay.

Kitt visits Brigitte a second time to ask her about Paul Saxon. While movers box up and take out Jana’s belongings, Brigitte admits that Paul was over many times. She mentions that Jana had said Paul was going to leave his wife to be with her. Kitt leaves Brigitte, and Medina sneaks out of the bedroom. Medina and Brigitte resume their "activities" as the pool man cleans only a few feet away. The pool man finds the charm in the drain and sets it in a jewelry case. The movers take the jewelry case back to Jana’s father with the rest of her belongings.

shd16.jpg (11500 bytes)shd17.jpg (16137 bytes)Mrs. Saxon pays another visit to Kitt. Kitt shows her the photos from Jana’s room, and Mrs. Saxon threatens to expose Kitt’s affair with Laird Atkins. Kitt leaves disgusted and confused. No one knew about her affair with her ex- client except herself and Laird.

In court, the trial begins badly for Medina. Kitt has found out that Medina and Brigitte have been having an affair. This taints Brigitte’s testimony and makes her useless in Medina’s defense -- and she was the only shd20.jpg (13630 bytes)shd23.jpg (14405 bytes)witness who saw Medina exit the scene of the crime before it happened. Then Jack presents a former girlfriend of Medina’s who testifies he once threatened to "cut" her. At home, Kitt and Al find a box left on Kitt’s doorstep. Inside, they find photos and letters, which seem to prove Jana and Paul were more than just friends. Kitt thinks she may have found a suspect with a motive. She puts Paul on the stand.

shd25.jpg (15590 bytes)shd27.jpg (11249 bytes)Paul claims Jana attempted suicide because she had been kicked out of UCLA. The intimate letters from Jana begging him to tell "her about me" Paul insists referred to a faculty member of the school, not his wife. Of the photo, he testifies that he never had sex with her. He explains that because of her drug problems she rarely left her bedroom or her bedclothes. But he reiterates they were only friends.

shd29.jpg (14246 bytes)shd30.jpg (14541 bytes)"You see, in politics the smallest thing can be construed as scandalous.... I’m sure you, of all people, realize how the press can blow things out of proportion."

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The trial takes a turn for the worse when Medina fails to show up for a court date. Kitt and Al go to Brigitte’s looking for him. They find her murdered, exactly like Jana had been. Medina is still asleep on the couch when the police arrive.

Kitt only has one card left to play. She invites Laird over to confess. She realizes Laird is involved because Mrs. Saxon could have learned of their affair only from him -- personally.

He arrives and spills his guts to get back into her good graces. He admits he killed Brigitte at Mrs. Saxon’s request, to frame Medina for both crimes. He speaks of a "conspiracy." Kitt gets the whole thing on video. Laird, after a run-in with Kitt’s Doberman, is captured by the police.

Kitt, once again sorting through the items from the box left on her doorstep, finds the charm in the jewelry case. She matches the piece of chain still attached to the charm to the fragment of chain found in Jana’s dead hand. Then, she matches the charm to another photo from one of her own photo albums.

At Paul’s Democratic inaugural party, Kitt confronts Jack with a picture she took of him wearing the same necklace and charm, but intact. Jack denies the charges, but Kitt knows they’ll stick. Police surround Jack and escort him out. Jack’s guilt implicates both Paul and his mother who have heretofore inhibited all further investigations beyond Medina. They, too, are escorted out of their own party for questioning.

As Kitt leaves the party, Mr. Calloway admits it was he who left the box of Jana’s personal items at Kitt’s house. He wanted the killer of his daughter found, and he knew the police would be influenced by their D.A. and Senator. Medina is exonerated, and his new album goes to the number one position on the music charts.

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