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Elizabeth Montgomery stars as Lizzie Borden, a 19th-century Massachusetts woman, who is put on trial for the brutal slaughter of her father and step-mother in the family mansion. She is accused of hacking up her parents with an ax after carefully removing her clothes to avoid bloodstains. Based on fact and considered shocking at the time for a TV-movie. Written by
This movie is so fascinating on so many different levels. First, we have the brilliant Elizabeth Montgomery. Her treatment of "Lizzie Borden" is so perfect. The sets, the costumes, the acting, everything about this movie adeptly recreates 1892 Fall River, Mass. Even the set of the Borden house was recreated using diagrahms of the original house. While Lizzie never admits to the killings, we get to see how some people thought she got away with it. Interesting mix of fact and speculation. Quite graphic for a TV movie, we see blood splattered, axes swinging and glimpses of a nude Elizabeth Montgomery washing blood off of her body. The acting is top notch by everyone involved. This was an early role for Katherine Helmond (Who's the Boss) playing Lizzie's sister who doesn't know what or who to believe. Fritz Weaver is excellent as the penny pinching skinflint, Andrew Borden (Lizzie's father). Based on the political feelings about women at the time it's easy to see why Lizzie is acquitted of the crime. Still, the ending is quite creepy and the scenes that are speculated are fascinating to watch. Elizabeth should have won an emmy for this, I don't know what those voters were thinking giving the award to Katherine Hepburn that year. They should have had their SAG cards revoked. I hope they release this on DVD. Interestingly, Liz's nude scenes were edited for later broadcasts even though what you saw was tame by today's standards.
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