intriguing study of insane mother and the sons who loved her.
This TV mini-series, based on an early eighties murder case, was the better of two such efforts that, if I remember correctly, competed against each other on different networks. The story concerns Frances Schreuder, an unbalanced jet-setter whose insiduous control over her sons prompts her to use her youngest son, Marc, in a plot to kill her father, wealthy owner of a successful auto parts franchise. Of the two efforts, this one is the better portrayal. The other film starred Stefanie Powers as an unattractive, vitriolic Frances; Lee Remick's portrayal made Schreuder less of a frumpish harpy and more of a charming, chilling psychopath; her Frances exudes stylishness as well as madness. There's a sense of something . . . not quite sympathy, but at least interest in what this attractive woman will do, but more importantly, WHY she does it, the reasons for which are never fully explained(although it is alluded to that the instability is inherent from her childhood). Remick makes her character beguiling and creepy at the same time; we can't take our eyes off of her. The sons' roles in their mother's sick plan is explored more thoroughly in this film than in the Stefanie Powers version. One of the better explorations of the workings of the deranged mind to come on TV in the 80s. Fascinating.
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