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Murder: By Reason of Insanity (1985)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama  -  1 October 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 75 users  
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A married couple from Poland emigrates to the U.S.,. but things don't turn out as well as they had imaged. The husband's business fails, while his wife's career really takes off. The ... See full summary »



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Title: Murder: By Reason of Insanity (TV Movie 1985)

Murder: By Reason of Insanity (TV Movie 1985) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kenny Burke ...
Paul Drake ...
Justin Gocke ...
David Haney ...
Keri Houlihan ...
Robert Hover ...
Lee Kessler ...


A married couple from Poland emigrates to the U.S.,. but things don't turn out as well as they had imaged. The husband's business fails, while his wife's career really takes off. The husband, unable to cope with the pressures of his failed business, his failing marriage and the adjustments necessary to live in a completely different society, begins to take out his frustrations on his wife. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The man she loves most is the man she fears most.


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

1 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Sweet Victim  »

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Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A well made powerful film with an excellent cast
29 April 2001 | by (Lincolnshire, England) – See all my reviews

In general true-crime films look as though they've been made in a hurry and rely on violent domestic scenes and acting histrionics to keep your attention. This one is different. Candice Bergen gives an excellent performance as the Polish woman, Eva, who has come to America with her Polish husband, a nuclear scientist, in search of a better life. Tragically, her husband,Adam,played by Jurgen Prochnow, is mentally unstable and finds it impossible to cope in a country where you're free to make your own decisions. Life was easier for him in Poland, where he simply had to follow the rules. As a result he turns into a complete control freak at home, even deciding at what time his wife should go to bed. He loves his two small children, but they too must obey all his rules. As his personality becomes more paranoid and aggressive, his wife turns to counsellors and the police for help as she tries to start a life for herself and the children without him. Adam cannot understand what's gone wrong, and decides that his wife is evil. Incacerated in a mental institution and divorced by Eva he realises that his only hope is to trick the psychologist in charge of his case, played by Eli Wallach, into believing that he's now penitent and cured. He succeeds, and as a result is free to wreak a terrible revenge on Eva, a revenge which resulted in a change in the law in America regarding the release of mental patients into the community. Despite the fact that there are very few scenes of real violence, Prochnow's Adam is terrifying and his brooding rage and obsessive, controlling personality linger in the mind long after the film is over. The trouble is, you just know that despite changes in the law people like Adam are always going to be very hard to stop.

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