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Word of Honor (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  Thriller | Drama  -  6 January 1981 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 84 users  
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A reporter refuses to reveal his source in the case of the murder of a young girl. As a result, he and his family are shunned by the residents of the small town in which they live. ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Word of Honor (TV Movie 1981)

Word of Honor (TV Movie 1981) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mike McNeill
...
Maggie McNeill
...
David Lerner
Largo Woodruff ...
Amy
...
Beverly
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Spinner
...
Dist. Atty. Burke (as Jeff DeMunn)
Henderson Forsythe ...
Peterson
...
Gordon Agee
Dan Lounsbery
...
Gary
...
Denise McNeil
John Beem
Carole Morisseau
...
(as Tom Mahard)
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Storyline

A reporter refuses to reveal his source in the case of the murder of a young girl. As a result, he and his family are shunned by the residents of the small town in which they live. Virtually no one comes to his daughter's wedding, and at his office, the police search his desk, and his boss threatens to fire him. Written by Mike Hatchett <hatchetts13@webtv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

reporter | murder

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Word of Honor  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film begins with a concert in Plymouth's Kellogg park. Originally, the local high school band was to perform, but the director felt that they sounded too "professional". He opted to use a less-polished small community band instead. In fact, this same band performed at the location every Thursday evening during summer months. See more »

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User Reviews

 
dated
8 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Karl Malden gives his "Word of Honor" that he won't reveal a source in this 1981 film, also starring Rue McClanahan, John Marley, Ron Silver, Jeffrey DeMunn, Alex Kenin, and John Malkovich. Both Malkovich and Silver were baby-faced kids when this TV movie was made.

Malden is a newspaperman, Mike McNeill, who gets a line on a pillar of the community, Roger Clements (Dan Crane) from a young woman (Alexa Kenin) who claims that the man is a pedophile and kidnapper. As a result, a search warrant is served on a house he has, and the dead body of a missing girl is found as well as photographs of his victims. He has promised his informant, who has a brand new life with a husband and baby, that he will not reveal her name. However, Clements cannot be convicted without her testimony, or the evidence becomes hearsay and is then thrown out. The Malden character refuses to name his source, is put in jail and ostracized by the entire town.

Nowadays we are much more used to newspapermen refusing to name their sources so the situation the McNeills find themselves in may seem overly dramatic now. However, it makes a point that can't be driven home too often -- people only have ethics until they have something to lose. It's the rare person who sticks to his ethics in adversity. The acting is good, especially from Malden, and it's great to see the young Malkovich in a small TV role!

Sadly, the actress who plays the informant, Alexa Kenin, was murdered a few years later by her boyfriend. Alas, that's often the subject of Lifetime TV movies today.


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