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This is a nice little lifetime movie about a guy (Peter Coyote) who's
living the perfect suburban middle class life when late one night the
police suddenly bust into his home and arrest him for the murder of
some guy 27 years ago.
In his prison cell Coyote recounts to his wife the fateful events of 27 years ago and how he came into contact with Wayne Kennedy the man who he supposedly killed.
From here the story is told in flashback fashion and the more you learn about Wayne and Coyote and how they came to meet and what happened when they did the more interested you get.
The acting isn't anything to crow about, although the guy who plays Wayne Kennedy is pretty creepy enough. The real strong point of the movie is that mystery of what actually happened on the mountain. The wife spends the movie running around digging up clues to the mystery and each time something new comes up we are treated with another flashback revealing more of the mystery. It's actually pretty well.
So as far as Lifetime TV movie's go this little flick comes highly recommended.
Peter Coyote was the only name that I recognised from the cast list, so I wasn't too keen on watching this film. The only comment on IMDb was positive, so I watched it on late night T.V. I would recommend this movie as a good late night viewing. It's better than a lot of this genre. The plot is excellent, the acting isn't brilliant, but it's not bad. I don't usually like flashbacks but in this film they work. As I've stated, I didn't recognise any of the cast by name, but I recognised Michele Lee, who gave a decent, hard working performance, as the woman wanting to stand by her man, who is lying to her. (Was it Knots Landing?) Anyhow, she's wearing really well. Note: You may enjoy it more, if you miss the first few seconds of the credits. I did and it helped me. When you see the end credits, you'll get what I mean The Wayne Kennedy character, who is really weird, takes this to a 7 rather than a 6.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I usually have a difficult time watching a TV movie, the extra long commercial breaks will break my concentration and I give up and find a good book. This one however made me put up with the adds and stay with it to the end. I realize the movie was based on a true story but it was not brought out why it took so long to find Denny? They had his name and I would presume his social security number. While he did move around a lot it would seem he would be found as soon as his number was entered for a job etc. The actors seemed a bit old for the part and a buried metal object when dug up had no rust. These were only technical glitches and did not take from the file. For a LifeTime Movie it was better than most.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Being a pillar of society in the little town of
Cartwright Oklahoma hardware store owner and all around moonlighting
handyman Danny Traynor, Peter Coyote, got the shock of his life the
evening that his world was turned upside down. It was then when the
local police, acting like a bunch of Nazi Gestapos, burst into his home
and dragged Danny away in front his terrified wife and children.
Hauled into the local police station for a murder that he supposedly committed some 27 years ago, on the night of August 12, 1972, Danny claims that he was totally innocent of the charges against him. In fact Danny swore that he never even set foot in the state of Oregon, where the murder was committed, in his entire life. Danny's wife Barbara, Michele Lee,who totally believed in her husbands innocence soon got the shock of finding out that her loving Danny had lead a double life for the some 20 years that she lived and was married to him. A life that finally caught up with Danny the night that they, the cops, came and took him away in handcuffs.
The made for TV movie "A Murder on Shadow Mountain" goes through a series of long and somewhat confusing flashbacks as it painstakingly reconstructs what happened that fateful night in the deep and dense woods on Shadow Mountain. Danny, played by Josh Keaton as a young man, got caught up with the wrong and bad crowd in the person of serial rapist Wayne Kennedy, Tim Kellecher. Wayned offered to give Danny, who was just discharged from the US Navy, a ride up to Seattle Washington for a very important job interview. It turned that Wayne just wanted Danny along to keep him company as well as participate in him picking up hitch-hiking young women and then, after getting them drunk, forcing himself on them.
It was during the brutal rape and possible murder, Danny never found her body, of young collage student Shelly Gaines, Courtney Peldon, that Danny in his attempt in trying to stop the both drunk and out of control Wayne ended up shooting him dead and leaving his body in the woods where it was found by the state troopers the next day. The gun that Danny used to shoot and kill Wayne, in fact it was one of Wayne's two guns, was found 27 years later and a fingerprint was lifted off it belonging to Danny Traynor. This secret of the Wayne Kennedy shooting, after Wayne pulled a gun on Danny, had Danny keep under wraps all these years but it wasn't the killing of Wayne that was eating Danny up. It was his not being able to save poor and helpless Sherry's life that was.
Barbara doing everything that she can to get her husband Danny Traynor freed is stymied by him at every turn in his constantly changing his story and leaving him open to both perjury, if he's put under oath, as well as murder charges. Danny becomes a total wreck of a man behind bars not even wanting to be freed for shooting Wayne, which it turned out he was fully justified in doing. Danny's biggest obsession is that he promised Shelly that he would protect her from Wayne and the fact that he didn't is the real crime that he feels that he committed and thats, in Danny's mind, worth putting him on death row.
Danny's muddled philosophy, about crime and punishment, is unexpectedly corrected when Barbara unearths the truth not only about Wayne's victim Shelly but also unearths the gun that Wayne pulled out and took a shot a Danny causing him to get shot and killed, in self-defense, in return.
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