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How Awful About Allan (1970)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Thriller  |  22 September 1970 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 448 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 10 critic

After an eight-month stay in a mental hospital, a tormented man comes home to live with his sister; but a mysterious boarder may be trying to kill him.

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(teleplay), (novel)
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Title: How Awful About Allan (TV Movie 1970)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Katherine
...
Olive
Kent Smith ...
Raymond
Robert H. Harris ...
Dr. Ellins
Molly Dodd ...
Inmate
Billy Bowles ...
Harold Dennis
Trent Dolan ...
Eric
...
Dr. Ames (as William Erwin)
Jeannette Howe ...
Katherine - Child
Kenneth Lawrence ...
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Storyline

After a fire which killed his father and scarred his sister, a guilt-ridden victim of psychosomatic blindness is released from a mental hospital and goes back home to stay with his estranged sister. However, it appears that someone is out for revenge and wants to drive him crazy. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Allan, Wouldn't You Be Better Off Dead? See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violent images and mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Che succede al povero Allan?  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Perkins had special contact lenses made that he could barely see through, so he'd actually be nearly blind while filming his scenes. He popped the lenses in just prior to filming and was led onto the set by a crew member. See more »

Goofs

Apparently set in dead of winter (everyone keeps talking about freezing temperatures and how cold it is), but grass, trees and bushes in exterior scenes are all green. See more »

Quotes

[after rescuing his sister from a house fire]
Allan: I'm blind.
See more »

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User Reviews

Moody, creepy, intense, and effective psychological thriller.
15 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

For some inexplicable reason, this telefeature is but rarely accorded the respect it merits. In point of fact, it is a most accomplished, gripping, and well acted affair, from the days when a "made for TV" movie, could still boast performers, writing, and technical credentials of the first water.

The story is an intense, psychological study of a young man suffering from hysterical blindness following the death of his professor father in a fire. Set in a large, shadowy, Victorian house, this very Gothic story hinges on the sibling rivalry between the young man and his spinster sister, both of whom blame themselves, in different ways, for their father's demise. Eventually, the young man's sanity begins to give way, in the face of a series of inexplicable hauntings, which may, or may not be supernatural. Only the denouement will tell.

With its pronounced subtext of repressed, family guilt, the film has literary antecedents in the work of Shirley Jackson, Walter De La Mare, and Nathanial Hawthorne.

Starring a cast of major (big screen) movie and stage actors, this film has everything that is conspicuously absent in current television: an excellent musical score, evocative photography, muted lighting, accomplished art direction, an interesting premise and script, intelligent dialogue, (gasp!)and a very good sense of pacing.

Add to that, a baseline story that improves on the novel upon which it was based, (yes I read it) and you have a viewing experience very different from the "made for TV's" of today, which are,(I'm told--since I don't watch them) an endless stream of tedious, politically correct, AIDS,Anorexia, and spouse abuse victim propaganda studies--I believe the catch phrase is "victim of the week" stories.)

All in all, "How Awful About Allan" serves as a sad reminder of what was still artistically possible in the world of commercial television, in the not too distant past.


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