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The Death of Richie (1977)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  10 January 1977 (USA)
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A sensitive but confused teenager feels pressure on him from all directions and turns to drugs, which causes problems for him in school and at home.



(teleplay), (book)
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Title: The Death of Richie (TV Movie 1977)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Werner
Carol Werner
Richie Werner
Russell Werner
Shirley O'Hara ...
Mrs. Norlon
John Zaremba ...
Mr. Norlon
Jesse Emmett ...
Harry Gold ...
Cindy Eilbacher ...
Susan Pratt ...
Sean Roche ...
John Friedrich ...


A sensitive but confused teenager feels pressure on him from all directions and turns to drugs, which causes problems for him in school and at home.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

10 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Richie  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Werner: [answering phone at home] Hello?
Principal: Mr. Werner?
George Werner: That's right.
Principal: [sternly] This is Jim Fischer, I'm the principal at the high school. Would you please come over and pick up your son?
George Werner: [concerned] What's the matter, is Richie sick or something?
Principal: So far this morning, he's threatened the study hall supervisor, was very abusive to me, and tried to attack the school nurse!
George Werner: [resignedly] I'll be right over.
[hangs up]
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User Reviews

6 April 2002 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I used to watch Siskel and Ebert a lot. I remember that on one of their shows that Gene Siskel made some very unkind comments about Robby Benson. He said that he was a very untalented actor who made every performance the same. I think Robby Benson gave a great performance in this film as a boy who was destroyed by drugs. I read Thomas Thompsons excellent book Ritchie. I think that it should be required reading for all kids who are tempted by drugs. People still downplay marijuana and say it is such an innocent drug! Bull! Ritchie Diener started on marijuana and then got into pep pills and heroin. It just snowballed and got worse and worse and worse until finally he snapped and attacked his father with a butcher knife and he shot him and killed him. Ben Gazzara also gives a great performance in this film. There is one scene where he breaks down and weeps listening to his son talk about how he is unloved. What is so sad to me is the end of this film where they say that the grand jury did not indict Ritchie's father for shooting him and ruled that the killing was done in self defense. George Diener is a free man today. My God what irony! He is free in the sense he didn't got to jail, but he killed his own son! I thought that poor man will never have a happy day as long as he lives. This is what drugs do and every kid needs to hear Ritchies story to learn a lesson.

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