19 user 11 critic

Half Moon Street (1986)

A brilliant researcher in London who works as a high-class hooker in her spare time, becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, when her latest client, a nobleman who is negotiating an Arab-Israeli peace treaty, falls for her.


Bob Swaim
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sigourney Weaver ... Lauren Slaughter
Michael Caine ... Lord Bulbeck
Patrick Kavanagh ... General Sir George Newhouse
Faith Kent Faith Kent ... Lady Newhouse
Ram John Holder Ram John Holder ... Lindsay Walker
Keith Buckley ... Hugo Van Arkady
Ann Hanson Ann Hanson ... Mrs. Van Arkady
Patrick Newman Patrick Newman ... Julian Shuttle
Niall O'Brien Niall O'Brien ... Captain Twilley
Nadim Sawalha ... Karim Hatami
Vincent Lindon ... Sonny
Muriel Villiers Muriel Villiers ... Madame Cybele
Michael Elwyn ... Tom Haldane
Ninka Scott Ninka Scott ... Mrs. Haldane
Jasper Jacob Jasper Jacob ... Rex Lanham
Learn more

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Dr. Lauren Slaughter, a brilliant research fellow at the Arab-Anglo Institute in London is utterly frustrated by her career. To supplement her income, she starts moonlighting at the Jasmine Escort Service, where she has more control over men and money than she does at the office. On one of her dates, Lauren meets the politician Lord Sam Bulbeck who is trying to mediate a peace accord between the Arabs and Israelis. Bulbeck falls in love with his escort, and unwittingly, Lauren becomes a pawn in some very dirty politics. Written by Thorsten Roskowetz <itroskow@mordor.informatik.uni-osnabrueck.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Professor by day. Prostitute by night. See more »


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


One of three filmed productions from 1986 adapted from a story, or novel, by Paul Theroux. The others being The Mosquito Coast (1986) and Christmas Snow (1986). See more »


When the would-be assassin enters the bathroom he attempts to switch on the light using a 4-gang wall-switch. It is illegal (in the UK) to have such switches inside a bathroom. If wall-switches are used, they must be outside. The alternative is to use cord-operated ceiling-switches. See more »


Dr. Lauren Slaughter: What was that with the waiter?
Japanese Businessman: I say you very good looking.
Dr. Lauren Slaughter: I thought I heard a reference to money.
Japanese Businessman: You speak Japanese?
Dr. Lauren Slaughter: I'm not on the menu, Mr. Matsushita. I decide what I do after dinner. And in your case, it's no. Definitely no.
See more »


Referenced in Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' (2003) See more »


East 34th Street
Music by Dick Walter
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

A literary who-dunnit ... but I feel dirty and used
2 July 2008 | by travis_iiiSee all my reviews

There was something about this film that intrigued me deeply. The day after watching it I paid a visit to my local Waterstones to try and solve the mystery once and for all. I wanted to know if Paul Theroux had written all that awful, stilted, clichéd dialogue (I actually laughed involuntarily at a couple of exchanges) or was it some sort of set up? Was the screenplay for Half Moon Street a literary mugging of the acclaimed authors' work (he has his enemies you know), or was the original story (Dr Slaughter) just as unbelievable, unsubtle and irritating as the film?

I was puzzled by something else too. I knew the dialogue was bad but why did Sigourney Weaver's part seem so much more wooden than Michael Caine's? Were her lines being tampered with while she was having her hair done? Was Sir Michael somehow involved in the whole intrigue, or is he such a fine screen actor that he is able to rise above bad writing and deliver a reasonably believable performance in the most adverse of circumstances? I felt a pang of sympathy for Sigourney. She certainly had had a tough job on her hands not only having to spout forth such hackneyed drivel but also having to give depth to a thoroughly unappealing and one-dimensional character. I started to formulate a theory that perhaps Jackie Collins was somehow involved in rewriting the part of this supposed independent and intelligent women, so ham-fisted was it; but who had hired her? Who had it in for Sigourney so badly? As I neared the counter to pay for my copy of Dr Slaughter I began to realise that I was falling prey to the kind of half-baked conspiracy theories that often pass for the plots of films like Half Moon Street. What's more, it started to dawn on me that perhaps I had been lured into watching it by the prospect of seeing the beautiful Sigourney in various (often gratuitous) states of undress; these included a shower scene and a scene where she pulls on a tight white cotton singlet; were the producers cynically cashing in on the whole Alien/Ripley thing?. I was starting to feel exploited and vaguely sullied (pretty much like Sigourney Weaver must have felt). The DVD had been free, but upon discovering that the book was not, I made my excuses and left.

I can't advise anyone whether or not to watch this film; I suppose it really depends on how valuable your time is. It's not an erotic film though, if that's what you're expecting - psychological depth is conspicuous by its absence. If you're a Sigourney fan then I think you'll be so disappointed by her wooden performance that her charisma and sheer physical allure won't compensate. The film is dated (if nothing else was amiss with Half Moon Street then the soundtrack would kill it single-handedly), the plot is confused and boring, and the characters lack depth.

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Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diplomás örömlány See more »


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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


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Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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