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The Movie Murderer (1970)

An experienced arson investigator takes along his young associate as they try to find an arsonist who is burning down movie sets.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Angus MacGregor
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Alfred Fisher
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Mike Beaudine
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Collier Landis
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Ellen Farrington
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Cliff Thomas
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Lois Warwick
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Jimmy Apache
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Willie Peanuts
David Astor ...
J.M. Cole
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Martin Moss
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...
Hotel clerk
...
Linderman
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Storyline

An experienced arson investigator takes along his young associate as they try to find an arsonist who is burning down movie sets.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

2 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jagd auf den Kinomörder  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Arthur Kennedy and Tom Selleck track an elusive arsonist
4 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Movie Murderer" (1970) is a nicely-paced detective story that features an excellent performance from Warren Oates and equally satisfying turns from leads Arthur Kennedy and Tom Selleck. The supporting cast is very strong too. The story is simple enough. Two insurance investigators are trying to unravel a series of fires of movie distribution companies. The hired and professional arsonist, identified early on, is Warren Oates. The film spends a good deal of time on Oates's character, showing his personal life and him at work setting fires that leave no traces of their origins and leave him unscathed. This character development, plus quite a few dark scenes and adding in the development of such characters as those of Norma Crane and Russell Johnson bring this movie into striking distance of neo-noir territory.

The cast includes Russell Johnson as a philanderer, Robert Webber as a nervous manager trying to get Kennedy to retire, Norma Crane as a near-alcoholic divorcée, Severn Darden as a hippy indie movie director, Nita Talbot as a film distribution company manager, and Jeff Corey as a notorious fugitive. In even smaller roles, Ned Glass, Elisha Cook and Henry Jones appear.

Director Boris Segal's directing shows the experienced hand of having focused on high-quality TV work for a long time. The movie has a lot of life to it, a lot of characters that bring it to life. It's well-written. The movie doesn't come across as a TV movie. The split screen is used at times a la Bullitt (1968), mostly effectively in my view by showing parallel actions.


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