A Killing Affair (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  9 February 1986 (USA)
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The story of a widow (in West Virginia) who takes in a drifter who she believes killed her husband. She begins to fall for him but cannot be sure if she should trust him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Baston Morris
Maggie Gresham
Sheb Sheppard
Pink Gresham
Rhetta Hughes ...
Amy Fields ...
Bessie Gresham
Richard Westrick ...
Warren Gresham
Trevor Jackson ...
Susie Hall ...
Sandi Brannon ...
Bob Hannah ...
Joel Simon ...
First Man at Mill
Edward Potter Haggard ...
Second Man at Mill
Curt Walters ...
Sherrif of Parrish
Mert Hatfield ...
Sheriff of Oakman


The story of a widow (in West Virginia) who takes in a drifter who she believes killed her husband. She begins to fall for him but cannot be sure if she should trust him. Written by Scott Lane <rslane@ix.netcom.com>

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The dogs of hell walk the earth and the Devil strides beside [video cover]


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

9 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allein mit dem Mörder  »

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User Reviews

Three intense days.
11 May 2002 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Based on Robert Houston's potent novel: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday", this film relates of Maggie Grisham (Kathy Baker) who finds herself espaliered to a man who has just killed her husband, and who then takes shelter with her from his pursuers, in her rural West Virginia home which is nestled in a jungle of trees and brush, surrounded by packs of feral dogs. Obviously not terribly pleased with the interloper, Baston Morris, played pungently by Peter Weller, Maggie is inexorably drawn physically to him, partially since her late husband, Pink (Bill Smitrovich) was not faithful to her and was widely recognized before his demise as a man of inferior character who preyed upon the wives of those he supervised at the mill where he was foreman. From flashbacks, we discover that the wife and children of Morris were slain shortly before the death of Pink Grisham, and that the fugitive believes that the foreman was their murderer to avoid becoming entangled with the family as Morris' wife had decided to leave him for his boss and this, therefore, is why Morris had killed him: an act of retribution. The substance of the narrative becomes an attempt to determine if Morris is what he claims to be, a wronged man bent upon revenge, or something either better or worse, and Maggie is increasingly swallowed by her curious dilemma of finding herself possibly in love with her husband's killer who may, in fact, be a madman. There is a baroque quality to this work, with an appropriate thematic score electronically organized by John Barry, and a goodly amount of symbolism borrowed from the novel, as adapted by director David Saperstein, especially relating to the river which borders the Grisham property and which serves also as a cinematic boundary. Although an entry at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles, the film has been sadly neglected since; its almost balladic nature is strengthened by the fine editing of Patrick McMahon, the production design of John Jay Moore, and the costumes of Elizabeth Seley, with the latter pair accurately reprising the scenario's 1943 setting. Weller performs nicely in a role which allows for dramatic development and Baker is convincing as a mother and sudden widow who is unexpectedly exposed to circumstances and emotions of which she has no experience, and the action is most effective when these two are alone together; the remainder of the players are well cast, with only John Glover, as Maggie's brother, lacking his customary steam in his portrayal.

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