This made for TV movie is based on one of my favorite books, by the same name, and out of all the true crime books I have ever read, I still feel at odds as to whether the person being tried was guilty of murder or assisting a murderer or not.
As other people have already said, it is a story of two very different couples who sailed to an island looking for adventure/escape. The younger couple consists of a hard man in his 30s running from the law, and a girl in her late 20s, who is totally dedicated to aiding his escape and usually going along with whatever he wanted. The older couple are in their 40s, upper middle class, attractive, and their yacht, the "Sea Wind" is a marvel, designed for a couple who would want to exist very comfortably for long periods at different ports.
The younger couple were annoying to the older couple, lacking in supplies and begging at times, always needy. They brought along annoying dogs, were always running out of supplies. Although the older man Mac is not fearful of them, the woman really is, and desperate to leave. They have quite a few clashes, despite Jennifer's(the younger woman)attempts to make peace and be friends.
Then one day Buck, the younger man, tells Jennifer that the older couple have "disappeared" - he thinks they got lost fishing and are gone. According to Jennifer, she was not with him the whole day and heard nothing. They sail back to Hawaii on the "Sea Wind assuming they are dead, and are eventually arrested.
The rest of the movie revolves around Jennifer - was she an innocent who believed her boyfriend's Buck's story and heard nothing, or was she a part of the murders, or an assistant? The character Jennifer is very baffling, lying to achieve certain desires and totally truthful in other areas. Even acting at times like she didn't care what her attorney Bugliosi did or didn't do. She is a complex character, sentimental but sensible, wonderful at chess but deluded in judging character.
So did Jennifer help commit these murders or know about them? Read the book/watch the movie. I still can't figure it out.
I wish this were on video, so I could see it again. I thought it was well-cast with Richard Crenna as Bugliosi, James Garner and Deidre Hall play the older couple, and Hart Bochner and Rachel Ward play Buck and Jennifer. The only problem I have is that I didn't think Ward was quite right for the cuddly, spacy, cautious Jennifer. I don't know who I would liked to see cast, but is was not her.
All in all, a 9 out of 10.
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