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A Killer in the Family (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  30 October 1983 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 309 users  
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A father serving time for murder convinces his three teenage sons that his life is being threatened by fellow inmates and that they should break him out of jail. However, when his sons ... See full summary »

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Title: A Killer in the Family (TV Movie 1983)

A Killer in the Family (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gary Tison
...
Donny Tison
...
Ray Tison
...
Ricky Tison
...
Alice Johansen
Lynn Carlin ...
Dorothy Tison
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Randy Greenawalt
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John Lyons
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Dannelda Lyons
...
Teresa
...
Carol
Nolan Adams ...
Gas Station Attendant
Spencer Alston ...
Mark (as Spencer B. Alston)
Tip Boxell ...
Tower Guard
...
Prison Guard
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Storyline

A father serving time for murder convinces his three teenage sons that his life is being threatened by fellow inmates and that they should break him out of jail. However, when his sons succeed in the jailbreak attempt, the father brings along his cell-mate, a former two time killer, and soon the sons find themselves involved in the pair's murderous crime spree. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Killer in der Familie  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Based on a true story. See more »

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User Reviews

 
factual, but somewhat misleading
29 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This comment may contain a few spoilers for people who are not aware of the events on which this movie is based.

Though it has been a number of years since I've seen this movie, I know it is based on a true story, the Tison family's murderous rampage through the Arizona desert, accompanied by the psychopathic Randy Greenwalt, in the summer of 1978.

Reminiscent of his portrayal as the heavy in "Cape Fear", Mitchum is at his "worst", so to speak (that's actually a compliment), as the brutal psychopath, Gary Tison. I was troubled, though, at the movie's apparent attempt to exonerate the Tison boys of any real culpability beyond the prison escape. Some observers who have seen the surviving sons after their capture say they hardly conveyed an image of otherwise decent boys who only wanted to save their father from a prison bully, and then live in peace. They were more like willing accomplices to the six murders committed during the rampage, even if they didn't do the actual killings. The climactic scene where the gang attempts to run a roadblock, during which oldest son Donald Tison is seen trying to kill his father, was utterly implausible. Donald Tison was in fact killed during an attempt to run a roadblock, but the rest, come on!

Watch it to be entertained, and perhaps even informed, but don't take it all at face value. Check other sources if you want facts.


3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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