Melanie Darrow (1997)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  20 August 1997 (USA)
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A flamboyant female defense attorney takes on a seemingly airtight case, defending an apparently gold-digging husband against the charge of murdering his older, wealthy wife.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Darrow
Det. Lou Darrow
Christopher Birt ...
Alex Kramer
Wendel Meldrum ...
Arthur Abbot
David Abbott
Bill MacDonald ...
Ralph Small ...
Dr. Lavin
David Orth ...
Laura Press ...
Susan Kendall
Brad Borbridge ...
Security Guard


A flamboyant female defense attorney takes on a seemingly airtight case, defending an apparently gold-digging husband against the charge of murdering his older, wealthy wife. Written by Robin Schindler <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief sensuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kiihkeä ajojahti  »

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User Reviews

4 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This has got to be the most insulting to your intelligence show ever!

Okay, this is definitely an 80s/90s TV movie, like the newer episodes of Matlock or Parry Mason, just so you have a sense of the look of it.

In it, Delta Burke plays Melanie Darrow, a hotshot lawyer (are there any other kind) who is hounded by the media, constantly waving them off saying "Not now, boys" like some belle suthern girl, until she needs them, in which they wordlessly follow her like obedient puppies. Yeah, the media do that. Really.

This movie is just playing in the background while I work and seemed pretty average/normal/mediocre until about half way through. When the following sequence happens:

Melanie's P.I. buddy is staked out outside a jewelery store, waiting for someone to pick up some hot merchandise. The woman picks it up, and he takes pictures of her from ten feet away with a giant camera, leaning out the window to do so... and the woman doesn't see him! She almost looks right at him and doesn't see him, leaning out the window with

Okay, maybe she's just a really dumb girl, but the P.I. is just plain stupid. She hands the jewelry to her boyfriend who drives off, while Stupid P.I. drives off after him. He tails the man too closely (and Melanie is apparently telepathic, because she tells him this over the phone), and he stops in a warehouse. Melanie tells the P.I. to wait there for her, she's coming in. Forget the police, let the lawyer make the bust.

Stupid P.I. goes in anyway.

Melanie arrives on the scene. Stupid P.I. isn't there. She pulls out a pistol from her handbag and investigates the warehouse. This is funny enough. Up to this point it seems the Melanie Darrow can do anything. Before this she talked a jumper off a ledge, used the media to scare the jewelry store owner to get rid of his hot goods, everyone knows her, and she just glides along like some superheroine who merely tolerates us mere mortals. Oh, and in case you're wondering why she has a gun, don't worry, they have a logical explanation for that. Apparently she romanced a judge to get a license to carry. Because nobody can resist the seductive charms of Delta "Airlines" Burke.

So now she finds Stupid P.I. tied up to a support beam with a bomb strapped to him.

What the hell? A bomb?

So then she... no wait, It has to be said again...

What the hell? A bomb? Seriously, what is up with that? The P.I. apparently got bushwhacked by the guy he was tailing... a guy who conveniently carries a bomb in his trunk for just such an emergency. It's a big one, too. Bout the size of your standard computer tower, sitting on his lap.

Stupid P.I. says it's standard Navy Seal issue (okay I'm just snorting coffee out my nose right now), and he tells her how to deactivate it. No, he's not an ex-Navy Seal... he has a friend who is... and who apparently likes to give detailed operational instructions on bomb disposal.

Well unfortunately, Melanie is in fact human after all and screws up. The countdown activates! Only 30 seconds before it blows! She tries to free him for ten seconds, and Stupid P.I. pleads for her to leave without him, it's too late for him and she'd be doing the world's gene pool a favor, anyway.

With 20 seconds left on the clock, Melanie does this... I kid you not:

-Runs out of the warehouse -Starts up her car -rams through the warehouse loading door -Stops in front of Stupid P.I. -Frees Stupid P.I. -The two of them drive out of the warehouse as it explodes.

Looks like her superhero powers are back in full form. Of course, if she couldn't free him before, how could she now?

Oh, but it doesn't stop there. Melanie's brother is a cop, who ends up tracking down the guy who almost blew up Stupid P.I.

And HE gets caught and then handcuffed to a light wood chair. The villain then puts the hot jewelry in his pocket and says "since I'll never be able to sell it, you can take it to hell with you." To which Slightly-Less-Stupid Cop retorts by reading him his Miranda rights. The villain leaves, and then sets the house on fire! Because, you know, a gun with a silencer would be too easy. This guy has flare!

Now, he isn't shown dousing the house with gas, but he must have, because the flames just roll across the floor like the bathtub had overflowed with lighter fluid. Slightly-Less-Stupid Cop struggles with the handcuffs on the chair, then realizes... hey, wait! The chair is made of light wood and weighs maybe three pounds. He finally figures out standing up might work and jumps out the window!

AND she's still got plenty of time to save a depressed teenager from jumping off a roof by getting in a helicopter and rescuing him, help a friend through rehab and withdrawal, find the badguys, knee a henchmen in the balls, and free an innocent man from prison.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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