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What Happened to Bobby Earl? (1997)

Rose Earl is proud as a peacock when Bobby, her eldest, whom she raised, like his kid brother Michael, to become moral men and model citizens, is the first member of the modest family ever ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rose Earl
Drew Ebersole ...
Bobby Earl
...
Tom Stahl
...
Chelsea Coals
...
Jack Dietrick
...
Michael Earl
Sean McCann ...
Mr. Earl
...
Mark
...
Jenny Kozinski
...
Andy
...
Steve Talbert
...
Officer Drummond
...
Nicki Corlis
Damir Andrei ...
Simon
Sean Dick ...
Jake
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Storyline

Rose Earl is proud as a peacock when Bobby, her eldest, whom she raised, like his kid brother Michael, to become moral men and model citizens, is the first member of the modest family ever to get accepted at college. It will take a while till she starts getting aware of it, but after he joins a respectable fraternity Bobby becomes ever more influenced by his roomy, the ambitious Tom Stahl, who promises him the world as they form an unbeatable team, the suave killer type and the puppy-eyed ideal son-in-law, and gradually drags him into the dark side of his glamorous life-style, complete with an adult lover, Chelsea Coals, who drags the boys even further from the righteous path, straight into crime; at last, after things have already gone wrong for them, he gets doubts and wants out, but they are too deep already. Rose's life becomes a never-ending nightmare when Bobby is suddenly missing, and she must gradually discover the grim truth before she gets to solve Bobby's fate... Written by KGF Vissers

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Drama

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Release Date:

28 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder in a College Town  »

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This movie is titled"Murder in a College Town" in TV listings See more »

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User Reviews

Not very good, but fair enough.
20 March 2001 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Okay, this film is not very good. But, I happen to be a great fan of Kate Jackson. I always hope her next film will be an independent art house film directed by someone like Todd Solondz, or a European project. Somehow few people seem to realize what a great actress Kate Jackson is, who would do great in a film like Happiness, or Billy Elliot. At the same time I am surprised that block buster directors do not notice her. Show a little courage, casting directors!

On the other hand, it could be that Jackson always shows up in television films voluntarily. She is doing a good job and has been very productive over the years, so it is not really a loss. And these television films are sometimes not even that bad. Coming from the Netherlands I have seen a lot worse. I am genuinely impressed by her performances in The Stranger Within, Armed and Innocent and Empty Cradle.

As I said earlier, What Happened to Bobby Earl ( a typical t.v. movie title) is not a very good film. The characters are quite flat and the best example of this is the 'bad woman' who tempts Bobby to walk the criminal path. She is the stereotypical femme fatale, dressed in black and red designer clothes and living a meaningless, expensive life.

Teaming up Rose, Jackson's character, with the insurance agent who is after the bad ones is very unrealistic. His character, I don't care whether based on reality, should have been left out altogether and is just one of the numerous weaknesses in this film. Lack of events, bad plot structure, length, needless melodrama, uninteresting filming locations and bad actors in supporting roles are others.

However, I very much am in favor of the social point that is being made in this film. When Bobby is given a revolver for his graduation by his friend, his mother Rose (Jackson) is astonished and shocked and cries out "What the hell kind of a gift is that to give to a college graduate!" and "Criminals have guns. Criminals and the police..."

I don't think we would see Rick Schroder or Charleton Heston in a film that makes a social comment like that.


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