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Woman on Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story (TV) More at IMDbPro »Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story (original title)

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Blind Justice

10/10
Author: comquest from United States
4 March 2001

Justice was definitely blind to the plight of Lawrencia Bembenek, who served 10 years in prison for the murder of her husband's ex-wife, in which she obviously had no role.

In this engrossing film, Lawri (aka 'Bambi') is beautifully played by Tatum O'Neal. Although this TV movie lasts for 3 1/2 hours, it is so totally intriguing that I had to wait for commercials to take a break or grab a snack.

You cannot help but feel empathy for this incredibly attractive young woman, who was set-up and/or victimized by everyone including her husband, the incompetent attorney who represented her, the Milwaukee police department, the U.S. justice system and trusted friends. The story exposes how blind our justice system can be, as time-after-time Lawri's attempts to appeal her case are denied despite new evidence that attests to her innocence.

Only Canada seems to get it. Highly recommended!

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking true story anchored by fine O'Neal performance

6/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
13 March 2007

TV-drama based on Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek's memoir about her years in incarceration after being convicted of killing her husband's ex-wife. Bembenek, a small-town rabble rouser, sometime-model and ex-cop, clearly gets the filmmakers' sympathy here, and the piece is most assuredly one-sided; however, the mind-boggling legal injustices done to her are incredible, and the leading role is carried off almost without a hitch by a very forceful Tatum O'Neal. After a strenuous opening, which is framed in flashback for no apparent reason, both the direction and O'Neal's performance improve, and the supporting players are excellent throughout. Not a compact telefilm (it runs 4 hours with commercials), but a consistently interesting one. Tatum is sympathetic, hard-headed, feisty and moving; the look on her face at the end seems to make all the legal hell almost irrelevant.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Another miscarriage

10/10
Author: alicespiral from Blackpool England
22 February 2009

Very compulsive viewing without any foul language . Obviously this was police corruption at its height as Laurie Bembeneck had been a whistle blower and reported sexual and racial discrimination to a lawyer.Result was she was sacked and in order to make a living she was even a part time Playboy Bunnie. Meeting a detective at a night club and one thing leading to another they were married in a matter of weeks not even inviting any parents or whatever. All Laurie knows about his ex wife is what he told her-there were 2 kids she had custody of and in fact he had no rights at all and was being paid so much per month he had very little left after apartment rents etc.This was the first sign of him not being what he seemed as Irretrevable Breakdown wouldn't allow her to have claimed so much. But whatever she ends up being murdered and both of them had a motive. So the police department see the door open for Revenge,she is sent down for life and he's out of it clearing off and remarrying after she doesn't refuse the divorce. The trial of course is a farce as we learn later when another lawyer discovers evidence was suppressed or even fabricated in an attempt to put her at the scene of the crime. During her years in prison she had a Prison Visitor who eventually asked her to marry him.He also talked her into escaping which she did and the two of them went to Canada.After photos were seen on America's Most Wanted somebody reported her as being in their town with a man.Both arrested she got another 5 years on her sentence and given a years solitary. Meanwhile the public are coming out on her side in droves and another lawyer uncovers vital evidence.But the police are unwilling to open the case up again-various Appeals had failed-and she was advised to plead No Contest.Which means she hasn't admitted Guilt but not Innocence either. However it works and she's eventually out after realising that she would never get Parole unless she admits she did it and is sorry. No one has ever been caught for the murder

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Tatum O'Neal great as usual !

10/10
Author: Dale (ldm312@yahoo.com) from Missouri
21 December 2004

If you are a Tatum O'Neal fan this is a must see movie. The story is based on true events and is amazing and very entertaining. The story is about a small town gal accused of the death of her husband's ex-wife. Yeah I know what your thinking, see one like it before... but wait. There is police cover up and and a lot of wrong doing to see that Lawrencia Bembenek (Tatum O'Neal) is charged in the case. The story is full of twists and becomes a huge media event. The acting by everyone is very good. And even though the movie is long, there is nothing bad about watching Tatum and seeing her face for 3 hours! Hope to see lots more of her in the future. If there is only one actor or actress i would like to meet, it would be Tatum O'Neal.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Well done movie, but flawed storyline

Author: sag_redhead from Appleton, WI
20 July 2001

This movie/miniseries is entertaining and Tatum O'Neal and Alex McArthur do a great job in particular with their roles. They really make you sympathize for Bambi and her plight as the only righteous character in a massive plot against her by Milwaukee Police, State of Wisconsin employees, neighbors and friends, and even her own husband. But, let's remember that Lawrencia Bembenek herself wrote the book that this movie is based on. She is less than biased. As a very intelligent woman, Bembenek is able to draw you in and make you believe her story. She had many, many people buying her claims of innocence and conspiracy theory, especially in Wisconsin. As someone who lived through that time in Milwaukee and who's father gave the expert testimony about the wig fibers found on Christine Schulz being a highly probable match to the wig found stuck in the apartment's pipes after it was flushed in an attempt to destroy evidence, this woman is manipulative and I have no doubt she is guilty.

But as the master storyteller she is, Bembenek twisted fact and molded public opinion to sway perception of her innocense. As a movie, this telling of her story does the same. It draws you in and is a fascinating story of justice gone wrong. It has a nice pacing for getting all that information and long time period into 3 1/2 hours. Ms. O'Neal plays the incredulity of Bambi very well. Bruce Greenwood does a nice job with what he was given, although the writing leaves him with little room to doubt that Fred Schulz was a evil and devious man - quite an inaccurate characture. I would have enjoyed this movie more if you were left a little more in doubt as to what actually happened, as no one still knows the complete story. Every person in the real drama had motive and no one was without their significant flaws. That's what made the real story so compelling and intriguing, and that would have made the movie better, if you were left to make your own decisions. Overall, worth the investment of time, but not necessarily of money.

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2 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

run Bambi run!!

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
31 August 2002

This film sort of reminded me of I Want To Live. A phony movie claiming a female criminal is innocent. Why is it that so many people felt sorry for Lori? She was fairly tried and convicted. Her case is a "miscarriage" of justice only in the sense she brutally killed someone and only served a little over 10 years for it. There were witnesses and a mountain of evidence against her that she was really the one who killed Christine Schultz.

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