5.9/10
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10 user 1 critic

Before He Wakes (1998)

A high-school basketball coach uncovers a shocking secret about his new wife that she is willing to kill to protect.

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(book), (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bridget Smith Michaels
...
Joanne Michaels
...
Ron Michaels
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Detective Cochran
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Diane Michaels
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Helen Rawlings
...
Ken Young
Scott Wilkinson ...
Hayden Walker
...
Winston Becker
...
Preston Payvon
Richard Clark ...
Warren Buck
Ruth Hale ...
Ginny Smith
...
Kitty (as Lilliana Cabal)
Melvin Ward ...
Minister (as L. Mevin Ward)
Tayva Patch ...
Tina Walker
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Storyline

An apparently devoted wife and mother "accidentally" shoots her husband dead one night. The police are initially satisfied with her story until they learn that her first husband died in a similar manner. As the investigation gets underway, it slowly becomes clear that this God-fearing, pillar of the community has a double life and that she will stop at nothing, even murder, to protect her secrets. Written by Tim Hardy

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Genres:

Thriller | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

1 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuit sans sommeil  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Final appearance of Hope Lange. See more »

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User Reviews

To get what she wants, there is only one thing left to do.
24 April 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Jaclyn Smith's performance in the true story of Bridget Michaels, who was accused of the murder of her basketball coach husband Ron (Timothy Carhart) in Longmont, Carolina, is all about her hair. Sometimes an actresses' narcissism can add to their characterisation, but here it only highlights Smith's limited skill. She can play anger and petulance and even sarcasm to a degree, and produces tears for the police re-enactement of Ron's accidental shooting, but her southern accent is nasal and she only displays a model's depth in repose. However, in one scene Smith is photographed unflatteringly to look puffy, and she gives an odd movement of her mouth at the conclusion. Although less beautiful than Smith and often overplaying sensitivity, at least Diana Scarwid as Ron's former wife acts simply and her anger is funny.

The teleplay presents Ron as a victim of Bridget's aspirations, though Cathcart's monotonously dull performance throws our empathy back on her, and the community's faith adds a few touches eg. When Bridget's employer discovers her fraud, he goes to his minister, they pray for guidance, and apparently God advises to tell Ron. Bridget is described to Ron as `She's either evil or she's crazy and either way she's gonna ruin you', and a laugh line is `They didn't send Kojak. They sent the voluntary fire department with a first aid kit'. A tape Ron dictates is used as evidence by the prosecutor though we don't know who Ron has made the tape for, and the trial jury are allowed to practice fire the murder weapon (!), to show how easy it would be for a woman to use.

Director Michael Scott inexplicably uses a lot of shots of Carhart's bottom, with cliched slow motion and tilted camera and a photocopier flash for an edit, he does provide suspense for the murder, with the music of composer Philip Giffin, and turns the dialogue down for a scene of exposition.


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