With Intent to Kill seems to have taken some inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Spellbound. Young Alex MacArthur is acquitted of murder by reason of temporary insanity, but he serves a stretch in a mental institution. He can't remember the details of the crime, only that he followed his girl friend Catherine Mary Stuart to a lover's lane on top of a dam with another kid, Timothy Patrick Murphy. He chases Murphy away and starts to confront Stuart. The next thing he knows is the girl goes over the dam and he can't remember what transpired. Oh, and he's now on lithium and doing much better though the past gets a little fuzzy at times.
Of course father Karl Malden doesn't think that the punishment was sufficient enough. But wouldn't you know it, who emerges as young MacArthur's champion is Holly Hunter in one of her earliest roles who is the younger daughter of Malden.
If that all doesn't sound too ridiculous, be prepared for what follows in this most trashy made for TV film. Other players like Paul Sorvino and Shirley Knight as MacArthur's parents and William Devane as the editor of the local newspaper where Hunter is doing an internship just mouth the words and look embarrassed.
This cheap ripoff of Spellbound was inflicted on the public by CBS as a made for television release. I'll bet Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck never got anything as shoddy as this offered to them.
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