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Bloodline is a thriller film picture released in 1979. Based upon the novel Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon, it was produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Terence Young with music by Ennio Morricone. The film was also released under the title Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline.


Sam Roffe, President of Roffe & Sons Pharmaceuticals dies in a climbing accident leaving his daughter Elizabeth (Audrey Hepburn) a billion dollar empire. Roffe's board members thus see the opportunity to settle old scores, jockey of higher positions and reap lucrative profits. However an investigation into Sam's accident uncovers a murder and a nefarious power struggle within the company. Lead investigator Max Hornung (Gert Fröbe) informs Elizabeth of his list of suspects that include her closest advisers and financially strapped family members. During this time she marries CEO Rhys Williams (Ben Gazzara) but he, too, is identified by Hornung as a suspect. As president, Elizabeth refuses Roffe & Sons to sell on the world market. Her choice prevents the board members from selling their shares of stocks and therefore remain in financial misery. Her death would allow for a unanimous decision to sell the board's stocks and get the money. After several attempts on her life an international chase ensues with Elizabeth unable to trust anyone.


Audrey Hepburn Elizabeth Roffe
Ben Gazzara Rhys Williams
James Mason Sir Alec Nichols
Claudia Mori Donatella
Irene Papas Simonetta Palazzi
Michelle Phillips Vivian Nichols
Maurice Ronet Charles Martin
Romy Schneider Hélène Martin
Omar Sharif Ivo Palazzi
Beatrice Straight Kate Erling
Gert Fröbe Inspector Max Hornung
Marcel Bozzuffi Man in Black
Pinkas Braun Dr. Wal
Ivan Desny Jeweller
Vadim Glowna Dr. Joeppli
Walter Kohut Krauss
Wolfgang Preiss Julius Prager


  • This was Audrey Hepburn's first, and only R-rated film in the United States.
  • According to a 1979 article in Playboy, the film was originally produced with more graphic sexuality and violence, but was edited down to avoid an X-rating.
  • Sheldon originally wrote the character of Elizabeth as a much younger woman in her 30s. When the nearly 50-year-old Hepburn was cast, he revised his novel to make the character older.
  • The Roffes originally also had members living in Germany but they weren't included in the film.
  • Max Hornung is a former tax auditor who became a detective when some businesspeople found out it was his dream and pulled some strings so he'd offered the new job and his superior only allowed him to investigate the Roffes hoping he'd annoy them to the point they'd use their prestige to have him fired from the force but those facts aren't mentioned in the film.

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