In the company of his wife Kay and Andy Folson, their guide, Richard Damian ventures on horseback into the desert with a view to locating a manganese mine he intends to buy. Unable to bear the rigors of travel, Richard has a violent altercation with Kay. Frightened, his horse rears up and makes him fall into a ravine. Richard, who realizes his leg is broken, asks for help but Kay and Andy decide to abandon him to his fate... Written by
Cold, unhappy Diana Muldaur schemes with young lover James Stacy to leave her overbearing husband stranded in the middle of the Mojave desert with a broken leg. Who of us cannot wonder: Could this happen to me? Could I survive if it did? Arthur Hill is the perfect chap for this rigorous acting workout: he's an Everyman, a survivor, and I sure wanted him to belt that broad when he had the chance. Muldaur made a career out of playing unlikable women, and yet I always admired her skill. Intelligent, glamorous, stylish with scarves in her red hair, I was never unconvinced by a performance she gave. I long for the days when ABC-TV produced classy, intriguing dramas for their prime-time spots. Whether it was Cloris Leachman in "Dying Room Only", Amanda Blake being driven crazy in "Betrayal", or conniving Stella Stevens in "Linda", they were usually worth-watching. Bravo to "Ordeal", another fine telefilm from the 1970s.
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