"You ask me if I have a God complex," Baldwin sneers at the prosecuting attorney (played by
Sandy Cohen Peter Gallagher, then 38) during a deposition hearing in the film. "Let me tell you something: I am God."
Released 20 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1993, "Malice" is the type of old school thriller that could only exist in 1993, after "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic Instinct" made Hitchockian mysteries sexy and cool again. The film starred Baldwin as a sleazy doctor, Nicole Kidman as the femme fatale, and Bill Pullman as the decent guy thrown into this tempest of foul play. (Ralph Bellamy would have played Pullman's part were it 1943.) Gallagher, Bebe Neuwirth, Gwyneth Paltrow (it was her third movie; she gets murdered) and Hollywood legends George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft all co-starred.
It's the script, though, and Baldwin's God complex speech among other dialogue, that deserves special mention. "Malice" -- which, it should be noted, has a twist ending equivalent to O_O -- is credited to both Scott Frank (Oscar nominated for 1998's "Out of Sight") and ... Aaron Sorkin. "Malice" was Sorkin's second screenplay after "A Few Good Men," and it was clear by then that he already had a soft spot for deposition theater (see also, "The West Wing," "The Social Network," "The Newsroom"). Sorkin just has a type.
Watch Baldwin's "I am God" speech above. Full text of the crackerjack moment can be found below.
I have an M.D. from Harvard, I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery, I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you: When someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry, or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death, or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from post-operative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church, and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle. But if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17th, and he doesn't like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.