Unsatisfying TV-movie from behind the headlines...
True incident becomes 'relevant' ABC TV-movie wherein a suburban doctor and his family are vandalized and terrorized by the teenage punks living just across the street. "Outrage" runs just 74 minutes, yet it takes 73 minutes to make its point: when the chips are down, revenge is the best weapon. When the doctor (adequately played by Robert Culp) tries complaining to the police and the neighborhood committee after his home is pelted with paint, he gets no place. He also runs into a dead-end with the courts after his barn is nearly burnt down. He's helpless after the hooligans kill his dog (no witnesses!). But when his maid is seriously injured, Culp goes after his neighbor's property...and we're told that put an immediate end to the violence in this community. I didn't mind the eye-for-an-eye angle, I just think it took too long to happen. Also, I don't see how wrecking a delinquent's car can bring adequate satisfaction to a man whose dog was intentionally run over, nor do I see how destroying the neighbor's yard can equate a flying brick through a window, nearly taking a human life. Though the scenario is lifted from an actual occurrence, the details of this telefilm don't sit right, with every avenue of the law utterly incompetent (and indifferent) to fighting crime. Of course the ordinary man has to take action into his own hands, but this particular man waits a very long time to do so. The tag at the finale, telling us everything is OK now, is rather insulting; that when violence is responded to with more violence, it brings an automatic resolution. One senses in this bit of wisdom that the intrinsic power-struggle at the heart of the story is merely swept under the carpet.
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