6.5/10
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10 user 1 critic

Death Scream (1975)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 26 September 1975
A docudrama based on the actual incident involving Catherine "Kitty" Genovese who, on March 13, 1964, was attacked and viciously stabbed to death several times by a psychopath, while nearby residents watched but did nothing to help.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Detective Nick Rodriguez
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Detective Dave Lambert (as John Ryan)
Phillip Clark ...
Detective Johnny Bellon
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Judy
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Peter Singleton
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Mr. Jacobs
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Betty May
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Carol
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Mrs. Singleton
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Hilda Murray
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Mrs. Jacobs
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Kosinsky
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Alice Whitmore
Dimitra Arliss ...
Mrs. Kosinsky
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Harry Whitmore (as Bill Bryant)
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Storyline

A young woman is murdered in an alley. The crime is heard or seen by the residents of a nearby apartment building, but none of them did anything to help and they refuse to cooperate with the police during the investigation. Written by Anonymous

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murder | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

26 September 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Homicide  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Inspired by a true story. See more »

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Interesting Fictionalization
20 March 2000 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film was one of the typical seventies crisis-of-the-week type dramas. However, I have always suspected it was at least loosely based on the infamous murder of Catherine (Kitty) Genovese, which occurred in March 1964 in Queens, New York. Ms. Genovese was murdered in an almost identical fashion to the victim in this film -- attacked in the courtyard of her apartment building in Kew Gardens, screaming in vain for help while "thirty-eight witnesses" ignored her. Since this movie was filmed a scant decade or so after the actual case, perhaps there hadn't been sufficient time for reflection on the proper way to tell the story for the ages; perhaps Ms. Genovese's family refused to allow any association; or perhaps the filmmakers were just looking for a quick buck.

What they did to "spice up" the story was to add into the plotline the fact that the murder victim, "Jenny," was a lesbian; that her former girlfriend (played by Tina Louise -- imagine "the movie star" chasing Mary Ann all over Gilligan's island with perverse intentions! say it ain't so! LOL) has a history of violent and threatening behavior; and that among the neighbors who heard Jenny's dying screams are an immigrant couple from an unspecified Eastern European country who fear deportation; a sleazy housewife played by Cloris Leachman who is carrying on an affair behind her husband's back; and a married couple with Nancy Walker playing the wife, apparently having gotten lost on the way to the Bounty commercial shoot. Also look for a very young Helen Hunt, playing hotshot detective Raul Julia's daughter.

It was the seventies; what can I say?


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