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I kinda miss the '80s actually, when it comes to television! They don't
miniseries anymore like they used to. This is a perfect example of why the
'80s are so huge and bigger than the movies.
This major tv-miniseries based from the bestselling novel by Sidney Sheldon, catapulted Jaclyn Smith as the undisputed QUEEN OF TV MINISERIES. If I'm not mistaken, there was no other actress before her that was dubbed as the Queen. Yes, Richard Chamberlain, was the King of TV-Miniseries but no actress claimed the title of the Queen and you can see why critics and the viewing public bestowed the title to her. A big major event when it was released and ratings blockbuster, that the producers wanted to create a tv-series after it became the toast of tv town. Smith, did star in a sequel three years after and most hollywood stars wants to star in any Sheldon based movies right after!
This movie is full of exciting characters, shot in beautiful locales, wonderful performance by the players and seductively appealing performance by Jaclyn Smith. This is basically like reading Sheldon's books. If you're going to start watching it, make sure you don't do anything or you're not working the following day because you won't be able to stop. It's like an addiction.
I can't think of any actress in TV Hollywood, who can really glued viewers to their television like Smith does to her fans. Smith and Armand Assante should do more movies together.
Jaclyn Smith is at her best in this outstanding miniseries and this one is worth adding in your collection.
Young hayseed lawyer Jennifer Parker (Smith) is drummed out of the New
York District Attorney's office mere weeks after hitting town and is
nearly disbarred after being set-up and making a mistake only a
complete twit would make. She is able to continue to practise only
after her legal reputation is all but destroyed.
Clawing her way back to respectability, then to prominence (Even while still making naive mistakes no lawyer with half a brain would make), she becomes romantically involved with erudite, altruistic but nevertheless married politician Adam Warner (Howard) and mafiosi attorney/thug/all-around creep Michael Moretti (Assante). Warner's wife turns it into a love rectangle pushing Jennifer out of the picture.
Further complications arise in the person of a nightmare client (Glover) who is able to escape with her inadvertent assistance only to kidnap her lovechild sired in her trysts with Senator Warner. Whom can she turn to for help? None other than Moretti - a diabolical man to whom one should avoid owing anything.
Dimestore pulp novel piffle featuring an almost brain-dead protagonist! One-dimensional characters in a derivative setting with laughably clunky dialogue and showy, night-time soap opera style scenes this goofy mini-series still proved very appealing to women (And real lawyers who probably laughed their heads off) who saw it in one of the more popular female-themed TV events of the early 1980s. The energetic main cast of this film generally had long, successful careers on TV and the movies and my sense is that they were the main draw.
The narrative presenting Jennifer Parker - the ambulance chasing poster girl for legal malpractice as a feminist heroine serves as a kind of document of North American feminism at a certain stage of its development. The times and circumstances shaped feminism as much as women did moulding it into what it now is.
My guess would be that back when this was made it was enough for women to be active in male-dominated professions and show occasional moxie but not necessarily be very good at them. Jaclyn Smith's interpretation of an accident-prone jurist makes Jennifer Parker appear so spectacularly and completely inept that this narrative could actually be interpreted as anti-feminist. I am in no way exaggerating as anyone who watches this production will see for themselves.
Smith had purportedly passed up on the Lois Chiles role in the Bond film 'Moonraker' which is evidently why she did not return to series television i.e. a belief that she was ready to do features. While she certainly wasn't on the Hollywood A-list she did carry with her a fan-base from having attained international stardom as Kelly Garrett, a beautiful but tough ex-cop turned private detective on the smash hit TV series Charlie's Angels.
Her performance provides the occasional pleasant surprise when her character is called upon to show an edgy kind of spunk she seldom showed in previous roles and never appeared comfortable with before. But it is a performance loaded with low points - including acting of a calibre one might see on a Mexican soap opera. Jaclyn Smith's best and worst is seen here. The screen comes alive whenever she is not on it.
The production team showed saavy in recruiting solid actors at bargain prices. Armand Assante, Kevin Conway, John Glover and Ken Howard are always undervalued. Assante could have had and perhaps should have had the career Sylvester Stallone did if not more of one. Of course the phenomenon of mini-series was not that far below the level of big-budget features at the time this was made.
The actors in this film were great. Although I can't see why she would want that senator. He is completely dull at least Armand Assante's character is entertaining enough to bring this movie to life. I can't wait to see the sequel.
To Maiahaines and the rest .....
Jaclyn Smith is THE UNDISPUTED QUEEN OF THE MINISERIES and TV MOVIES and just in case you don't know -- the title was bestowed by TV & magazine critics not just her fans. Jane Seymour may have starred in more miniseries but Jaclyn Smith top the Nielsen Ratings Chart by the mile. She's got the most No.1 rated miniseries and TV movies than any other actresses in Hollywood during her time.
As for who's the better actress, well...that's your opinion !
This miniseries adaptation is executive produced by the writer himself Sidney Sheldon and has an approval of Robert Joseph's script from start to finished, as explained in a written article by the master storyteller himself (TV Guide Oct 1983). It was a rating blockbuster during its first telecast and more viewers tuned in during its encore performance.
If you enjoy reading a Sidney Sheldon book then this miniseries is a must see!
Jaclyn Smith was NOT the "Queen of the Miniseries." That title went to
Jane Seymour - a far, far better actress and TV screen presence.
I've never read Sheldon's book, nor do I intend to. Honestly, I can't get through them, even as pulp. But on gray rainy winter afternoons, stuck in bed with a bad cold, these absurd and excessive 80s TV movies work wonderfully. As always, Jaclyn Smith is a bit wooden, her eyes a bit glassy and her doll-like prettiness even off-putting when she's supposed to be tough and, in the words of her JKFesque lovelorn Senator, an 'original.' But the guys (everyone else, other than the crazy jealous wife) mostly make up for that, in credible ways.
Rage of Angels is a great film, and Jaclyn Smith did a great Job, and yes became the Queen of the Mini series. A tear jerker with a bit of an edge of the seat thriller to it. Unlike most films miniseries the ending is not so happy, and the twists and turns in this story are a trademark of Sheldons excellent writing. He keeps you thinking all the way through and keeps you interested because Mr Sheldon does not follow the typical path of many other books/films etc at that time. Sheldon's influence can be detected in the screenplay. Love it!!! If you see any book or Mini series of Sheldon's books watch/read them. He is one of the best writers... Sorry WAS one of the best writers around. I for one am sad no more books will be written by him. In my opinion avoid Doomsday Conspiracy.
This is probably one of the best adaptation of a Sidney Sheldon's
novel. Shown in 1983 as a two-part TV miniseries, Jaclyn Smith stars as
Jennifer Parker, a novice New York lawyer who had to clawed her way to
Book lovers of Sheldon's novels, will enjoy this adaptation. Sheldon serving as executive producer of this film, made this film like reading his book.
Smith's performance is an added plus.A capable performer, Smith is excellent as usual. Armand Assante and Ken Howard provides the love interests. Assante is excellent and Howard portrayed his role of a politician like a real one -- huge,and boring! Excellent music and Smith's never been so beautiful on the small screen. A must for fans...
and this was before Oliver Stone's "Wall Street". Yes, every girl
wanted to be living in NYC struggling to get ahead, and finds her
success defending a prisoner who she gets off through several motions
to the NY Appeals Court on Center Street.
Well, this is not a bad film, although Ken Howard (Senator Warner) seems less desirable than Armanda Assante (mafia don). Jaclyn Smith looks lovely as ever. Armand Assante as Michael Moretti. Ken Howard as a standard Senator Warner. John Glover (always a good character actor) as Scanlon.
If times are very bad, something like this is good escapism. Jaclyn Smith as struggling attorney Jennifer Parker, who eventually makes it to the top of the legal profession. Sidney Sheldon wrote "I Dream of Jeannie" as well, so take it lightly. 6/10.
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