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Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder (2000)

About the infamous murder of six year old child beauty pageant contestant Jonbenet Ramsey and the hysterical media coverage that made the investigation even more difficult.

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(book), (teleplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Re-examination of key evidence and new information of the 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey, murdered in 1996, sheds new light on who may have been responsible for the crime.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lou Smit
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Alex Hunter
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Larry Mason
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Peter Hofstrom
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Steve Thomas
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Detective Linda Arndt
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Jeff Shapiro
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Rev. Hoverstock
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Kit Andre
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Chief Koby
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Trip Demuth
Murphy Guyer ...
John Eller
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Linda Hoffmann-Pugh (Ramsey Housekeeper)
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Storyline

About the infamous murder of six year old child beauty pageant contestant Jonbenet Ramsey and the hysterical media coverage that made the investigation even more difficult.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

27 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime na Cidade Perfeita  »

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dyanne the child who played Jonbenet, did not participate in the murder scenes or see the basement. She was also aways referred to as by her name and never jonbenet. See more »

Goofs

Two Tabloid reporters meet in the International Airport in Denver, Colorado, near a fountain. Built to completion in 1994, the Jeppesen Terminal Building still had no complete fountain in the center of the hall until years later. In fact, in April of 1997,the year depicted in the scene, an artist had not even been chosen for the fountain project, who chose the multi-level system of fountains seen in the background. See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly, quite good
16 August 2003 | by (Salem, OR) – See all my reviews

At the beginning of this, with the obtrusive music and interminable opening, I groaned "oh no, this is gonna suck." Yet it quickly righted itself and established a good pace, the music backed off, and the director found a good way to reach a dramatic ending despite the case never being solved. Yes, we get an avalanche of characters at the beginning, and yes, that doll was absolutely ridiculous, and the constant "let us pray" scenes were a drag--but none of this seriously detracted from the movie (I'm calling it a movie because on the DVD it's a continuous 3hrs).

Does it answer the question "who killed JonBenet?" No. And more importantly, it doesn't try to do so. It presents the two main theories: parents did it vs. intruder did it, and shows us how and to some extent why each of the characters supports the theory that they do. The infighting between the Boulder Police and the DA's office is brought to life (best part of the movie), Danny Shapiro's role is clarified (very muddled in the book), and we're shown exactly how the case was screwed up almost from the very beginning, by detectives that were in over their heads. Thankfully, the director also edited this down to be a tight 3hrs as opposed to Schiller's sprawling, poorly written 800pgs.

High points:

The autopsy: as fake as the doll was, the girl on the table looked real and gave you an idea of just how badly JonBenet had been tortured before being killed. DA Alex Hunter: we get to watch him go from hip, experienced, Boulder DA to a frazzled, hard-drinking, Boulder politician whose career is going up in smoke because the police department can't bring him an actual case. Steve Thomas/Danny Shapiro: this whole bizarre game between the BPD and the Globe's reporter on the scence is fascinating. Who's playing whom here? The detectives make fun of Shapiro, while Shapiro plays all sides against the middle. Scene editing: the scenes go on just long enough to give you a sense of why they're there, but not so long as to make you twiddle your thumbs in irritation. Lou Smit in the Ramsey House: a great presentation of the key points of the intruder theory. Location: the film was shot on the actual Boulder locations for the most part, giving it a boost of realism.

LowLights: Music is annoying at the beginning: all that soppy piano stuff lends an unwanted covering of daytime soap to the early part of the film. Too many closeups: if Linda Arndt's (character, not actress) face came billowing into the screen one more time, I was going to hit FF. The director finally got out of that "dramatic closeup" mode by the last 2/3, but for a while, it was too much. "Let us pray" While I appreciate that the Ramseys may be deeply religious, 5min scenes in a church listening to a 2nd rate church choir can be yawn-inducing. There are a few too many long "let us rely on our faith" scenes.



All in all, very much worth seeing.



RstJ


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