The Great Pretender (1991)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  14 April 1991 (USA)
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A newspaper reporter, who has just won a trial against his newspaper which had fired him, suffers dangerous reprisals at his work.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Earle Brattigan
Kate Hightower
Wilson Leer
Panos Bratso (as Ipale Aharon)
Harris Laskawy ...
Giancarlo Strano
Martin Brinkman
Albert Eastlake
Hasamu Mochadomi
Rose Outland
Davey DeSapio
Freddye Chapman ...
Karen Winter
Owen Milner
Lloyd Alan ...
Len Clairmont
Bari K. Willerford ...


A newspaper reporter, who has just won a trial against his newspaper which had fired him, suffers dangerous reprisals at his work.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

unsold tv series pilot | See All (1) »




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Release Date:

14 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead End Brattigan  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Makes you realise how good Fletch was!
24 October 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Earl Brattigan wins back his job with The Post Ledger but finds himself stuff writing a column reviewing yesterday's rejected stories. However on his first day back he come across the story of an electrician killed by electrocution from his own wind farm. When he looks into it he uncovers a conspiracy to develop the land involving mobsters, Asian businessmen and senators.

This plays like a low-rent version of Fletch, with Greenwood playing the wise cracking reporter - scheming his way into stories. The whole film is narrated by his colleague Wilson, who provides a wry but rather hackneyed voiceover. However this makes you realise how good Fletch was - Chevy Chase was better as the reporter and it was actually funny. This is quite stale; Greenwood doesn't have the charisma of Chevy Chase, nor does the script have the humour of Fletch. This is not to say Fletch was a classic but it is miles better than this.

This is poorly plotted and is without any real sense of fun. Brattigan wants to be a wise cracking journalist getting the big stories by sneaky funny methods, unfortunately he just comes across a irritating, even bland. Bruce Greenwood doesn't have what it takes to carry off this role. The other actors also lack the ability to bring any spark to this - Wilson (Gregg Henry) is an unbelievable frat-boy sidekick, Hoffman is a boring love interest while the others are stereotypes - shifty Asian businessmen, Italian mobsters etc. The only interesting actor is the appearance of James Cromwell as the newspaper's owner - he has since gone on to much better things including Babe, Clear & Present Danger and LA Confidential.

A bland piece of film making that lacks spark, wit or excitement, this type of thing can be funny (watch Fletch) but without any of these qualities this is a waste of time.

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