|Index||4 reviews in total|
Don Ameche plays the quirky manager of the Arizona motel where Jane Seymour is staying, while trying to retrieve her kidnapped daughter. Seems her ex husband, Ray Wise, who took her daughter, has been located by a private eye, who in turn is putting the squeeze on Seymour for money to reveal the husband's hiding place. The plot is unpredictable, involving roadside murders, a frame up, and unexpected twists, however sizable plot holes and confusion abounds. The story is far from dull, but smacks of audience manipulation. Seeing Jane Seymour in a nice assortment of mini dresses is never a bad thing however. "Sunstroke" is recommended viewing if you can overlook it's minor flaws. - MERK
Executive produced by Jane Seymour and director James Keach, Seymour is
Teresa Winters from Georgia who has come to Scottsdale, Arizona searching
for her daughter Jennifer (Kristina Betts). Waiting to hear from her
ex-husband Larry (Ray Wise), Teresa meets Greg Foster (Stephen Meadows) at
their shared motel and they begin an affair. However Greg has another
Seymour uses a southern American accent, which raises her pitch when she yells, making her sound more ferocious in one scene that she normally appears. She is styled with tight clothes and baring flesh, sweating, and trying a sultry eyes half closed look, but sensuality only works when the person doesn't make it so contrived. Seymour is also seen dancing, has sex in a public swimming pool, and gets one camp line `You've reached the line. Don't cross it'.
The teleplay by Duane Poole has some interest when Teresa has ambiguity as to whether she is a local killer and we think Greg is being manipulated by a femme fatale, but as soon as Teresa discovers something in Greg's room, the narrative is reduced to a woman in peril from a `sociopath'.
Keach-lookalike Meadows gives the more interesting performance since his change of character wipes out our memory of the guiless person we had known, Don Ameche is funny as the motel manager, but poor Wise gets the worse lines and fails to rise above them.
"Sunstroke" (1992) I found to be a highly enjoyable mystery-thriller neo-noir, one that's not listed by critic John Grant as a neo-noir but fits it reasonably well as a woman-in-distress story. Stephen Meadows gives a top-notch performance, in a role that requires marked shifts in how we perceive his character. He does this without overacting and convincingly. Don Ameche in his final role plays a voluble and fussy motel owner. His part enriches the story and provides some slightly comic relief. Jane Seymour strongly plays a woman on the defense while seeking to retrieve her daughter from a divorced husband. She also co-produced. The heat of Arizona along with being isolated in a motel until her car is fixed provide an entrapping noir environment. Another noir feature is the frame-up. What really gets Seymour into trouble is so many items pointing to her as a murderer. The mystery is resolved at about the 60-minute mark, but then the story shifts onto a different plane that's eminently watchable. This is a solid TV-movie. James Keach handled the directing and kept it moving and tense. Keach and Seymour were married for 22 years before splitting amicably in 2015.
Not bad for a TV movie. Not quite the performance from Jane Seymour as seen in one of my all time favorites, SOMEWHERE IN TIME. In this she plays a Southern accent gal who is out to get her young daughter back. Why do the English have such good Southern accents? Ala Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND. Well, this ain't no GWTW. Directed by James Keach and written by Duane Poole, this 1992 movie was showed last night, fifteen years later. Miss Seymour still looks good, by the way, but I didn't buy the femme fa-tale bit she played in this movie. In fact I thought she missed the boat completely. However, playing opposite her was a good looking hunk, Stephen Meadows, as a guy we think is on the make for our heroine. Whether in his swimming trunks or his BVDs, this guy is hot. He also has the more interesting part to play and meets the challenge quite well. Won't reveal any more about that. What else has this guy done since then? And why isn't he working more often. It was a surprise to see Don Ameche in this. Playing a tottering old grump of a motel manager, he almost stole the film. This must have been one of his last films. What a legend he was. Steve Railsback, whom I don't know, played the husband and was given probably the worst lines in the movie, but managed to get them across without too much embarrassment. Rounding out the leading roles is Ray Wise as a detective on the search for the killer. With what he had, he did well. But, this picture belongs to Meadows. Let's see more of this guy.
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