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Wife, Mother, Murderer (1991)

The life of Audrey Marie Hilley, who, in order to start a new life, took drastic action.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marie Hilley / Robbi / Teri
John Homan
Carol Hilley
Joe Hubbard
Lieutenant Gary Carroll
Jessie Jones ...
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Frank Hilley
Robin Florence ...
Lane Bradbury ...
Aunt Frieda
Dan Biggers ...
Terrence Gibney ...
Fowler (as James Brett Rice)
Libby Whittemore ...


Marie Hilley started out as the perfect wife and mother. Then two decades into her marriage, her husband Frank, is taken severely ill and dies soon after. Within months of his death, their daughter Carol is admitted to hospital with similar symptoms and intensive testings later reveal arsenic poisoning. In the meantime, Marie is arrested for passing bad checks and when Frank's exhumed remains reveal massive amounts of arsenic, she is promptly charged with his murder but manages to escape and remain on the run for three years. She is convicted of Frank's murder in absentia and even remarries but when she tries to fake her own death with her new identity, things quickly fall apart for her and she is arrested again. She escapes again but this time, her luck runs out and she is captured within a week and eventually dies in prison. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

10 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wife, Mother, Murderer: The Marie Hilley Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scene in which the character played by Judith Light is apprehended for her crimes took place in a small shopping plaza near Vinings, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Real-life policemen were stationed at all of the entrances and exits of the shopping plaza to control traffic in accordance with the requirements of the filming. The actual apprehension scene included three movie police cars racing in and screeching to a halt with their occupants, jumping out and running to assist in the arrest. During the first take of that scene, the real policemen, off-camera, laughed with great abandon, which provoked an assistant director to approach them and make inquiry. The real officers pointed out that one of the movie cops, the one played by John Archer Lundgren, had hair too long for precinct regulations. Forthwith, the director halted the filming, called for a make-up person to come on scene with scissors and chair. For the next fifteen minutes, the offending actor was given, on the spot in the middle of the parking lot, a very nice regulation haircut, while approximately fifty cast, crew and on-lookers stood around watching. See more »


When Marie's car is burned the daughter is still in high school. This means that it is before 1978, when she graduated. The new car is a Chrysler LeBaron convertible, but they weren't sold until 1981 and the first year they were all brown. See more »


Dr. Matt Jones: [sees lead inserted into Carol's fingers] Wait. I've read about this.
Joe Hubbard: What is it?
Dr. Matt Jones: [to a drowsy Carol] Honey? Honey, can you hear me?
[Carol nods slowly]
Dr. Matt Jones: Honey, you did this to yourself?
[she shakes her head]
Dr. Matt Jones: Somebody's trying to kill you.
See more »

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User Reviews

"She vanished like a spider through a crack in the floor..."
23 June 2009 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Judith Light has fun playing real-life sociopath Audrey Marie Hilley, an Alabama housewife whose husband died of a mysterious stomach ailment, leaving Marie to freely spend his $31,000 life insurance policy; when that money runs out, Marie's daughter is the next to fall ill (she's got a policy also). TV-movie gives Light the opportunity to strut her stuff, changing wigs and accents with relish, yet the best performance comes from David Ogden Stiers as a blue-collar teddy bear from Florida whom Marie latches onto. The courtroom dramatics in the third act are rather feeble (skipping over the jury's verdict and going straight to the judge's sentence), and the segues to the daughter's plight--as well as the slow-moving police action--just get in the way. Light only does serious acting work in just one scene (a riveting arrest in a mall parking lot), yet she avoids the camp-possibilities of her outré role simply by staying true to the generalities of this colorful lady (and she nimbly fills in the blanks). Production aspects and direction are both above-average for a television feature, which is enjoyable if on the trashy side.

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