Harry manages The California Dolls, a female wrestling tag team endlessly touring America, and he's also romantically involved with one of them. Their fortunes seem on the slide (... See full summary »
Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.
Exremely good drama (only partly a suspense movie)
I'm surprised that no one has commented on this one (although TV movies that came along before the "docu-drama" craze are often neglected, even the best ones). This was more like a regular drama, disguised as a suspense film. In a superficial way, this movie resembles "Ocean's Eleven" - the characters are war veterans (though in this story, that really has nothing to do with carrying out the robbery), and it has one of the same actors, Peter Lawford. It took me a long while to realize this, but Peter Falk does some of the same things to be dramatic that he does to be funny, and it works either way, like the repetition he uses when trying to talk Vic Morrow into the burglary (one of the same things that makes Columbo such a funny pest, makes this character deadly serious). And Vic Morrow was great also. As was Jo Ann Pflug, in a much smaller part. But as much as I've always liked the actor himself, I think John Randolph's "embittered cop" character was a little overdone (some of his lines, I mean, not his acting). One of the few even slightly comical lines was one of Lawford's. When he hears the amount of money they can expect, he gives a long, "appreciative" look and says, "Man, that's a lotta bread." Many people might think that EVERYONE went around saying things like that in 1971, but actually it would've sounded as "forced" THEN as NOW, coming from countless people. But a Peter Lawford can carry off a line like that, and make it sound perfectly natural! But for the most part, he's as serious as the other two. Anyway, they were all three very good in it.
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