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Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest (1997)

Jessica is attacked on a train when she investigates the case of a missing passenger.


(as Anthony Shaw)


(creator), (creator) | 4 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Loomis
Algric Bartles
Millie Ogden
Jack Ogden
Radley (as Michael A. Krawic)
Nelson Mashita ...
Stuart Proud Eagle Grant ...
Jim Sunrise (as Stuart Grant)
Jarvis Bean
Lisa LaCroix ...
Pearl Sunrise


Jessica Fletcher is on a train headed for El Paso. She shares a table in the dining car with a woman who subsequently vanishes, leaving her purse on the table. Then a message is announced for the woman and Jessica accepts it. This leads to an attack in her compartment and a demand for 'it'. She has no idea what 'it' is and is rescued by a man claiming to be a journalist. The plot thickens. She is warned away by an FBI man, but continues to follow her clues to Agua Verde where the woman apparently lives. The plot twists and turns as she delves deeper in a most devious mystery. Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

2 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arabesque: La peur aux trousses  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


With Les Moonvies axing the twelve year series "Murder, She Wrote", Angela Lansbury and the family's Corymore Production company's payoff settlement was four (two hour) Movie of The Week productions. CBS TV had previously discussed with Angela about performing a musical special which had never developed beyond the discussion stage. With the series cancellation, Jerry Herman had discussed with Angela and her husband, Peter Shaw, his "Mrs. Santa Claus" musical. CBS TV agreed to finance this musical special in addition to the four MOW projects. "Mrs. Santa Claus" went into production, after closing down the series, during the 1996 Summer utilizing the Universal Studios' production offices and technical staff and crews. Mid 1977, CBS TV asked for delivery of the first "Murder, She Wrote" MOW. The "South by Southwest" script was approved by CBS TV. The production and technical staff were reassembled, relying on the availability of former staff members to pull the project together within a four week preparation period. The second MOW MSW was not developed until 2000 because the primary players were never happy with the killing of their MSW series. See more »


Driving through "Aqua Verde" a street sign above can be seen for "Magic Mountain Parkway" See more »


Followed by Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

The best! of the 4 spin-off TV movies from the 'Murder, She Wrote' TV series.
21 December 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt the best! of the 4 spin-off TV movies from the 'Murder, She Wrote' TV series.

Superb styling. A great story that pans out well, with a couple of surprising plot twists at the end. More worthy of Lansbury's dramatic scope than, sadly, the rest of the TV spin-offs, this is one film that is well worth setting the set-top box to record.

With wonderful subtle references to other 'train crime' movies: the film noir 'Double Indemnity'; 'The 39 Steps' (the rural train station at which Jessica Fletcher disembarks is amusingly named 'Hannay' after that film's lead character Richard Hannay); and of course another famous Hitchcock train movie: 'North by Northwest'. Plus there are elements of 'The Lady Vanishes' when one of the lead characters disappears; all the more poignant, of course, as Angela Lansbury herself starred as 'the lady' in the 1978 film version of the 'TLV'!

Indubitably a fun film for die-hard fans of the TV series. And the most watchable of the spin-offs. Maybe this is because it was the first (made in 1997) of the 4 movies. But in any case the other 3 spin-offs in this TV franchise are little more than self-indulgent, rambling & soporific TV 'dross'. This initial TV movie, however, is a more 3-dimensional film.

A well-scripted story in which the plot gives Lansbury the chance to really act. Enjoy. It offers a fun couple of hours' viewing.

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