|Index||7 reviews in total|
It's a long way from Hill Street to this, but Veronica Hamel is still good to watch. In this case in an interesting situation wherein everybody would like to see her brother-in-law dead. And this seems to happen without anyone knowing how. Then a fat insurance policy turns up, the company sends in their investigators, but nobody finds out anything except the spectator in the last five seconds. Ho, hum; good TV-style scripting, as may be guessed from the director's experience in producing these kinds of films. Of course Hamel is OK, and Michele Green is quite good, but Marc Singer as her husband has played this rôle so many times he did not have to try very much. The result is an entertaining TV-style film, with only a little violence at the beginning, and lightly humourous touches to keep things rolling. Nothing difficult: just to keep you amused trying to guess who did what to whom and you won't get it right! Worth five out of ten, simply because it does not try to be pretentious and does not leave you with a headache afterwards.
This is a very good movie with lots of twists and turns in the plot.
Veronica Hamel stars as an attorney whose brother-in-law dies while
hunting with Hamel's husband. What no one knows is that the evil
brother-in-law and the wife he has abused planned to fake his death to
get their hands on a $5 million insurance policy. Someone, however,
would rather that his death be real, but a bullet only wounds him.
Insurance investigators William Katt and George Dzunda descend upon the
family to investigate, since there's no body. Dzunda smells a rat; Katt
is sympathetic towards Greene.
Marc Singer is the husband in a familiar role for him. Michele Greene is very good as his wife, and Hamel is always interesting to watch.
New information keeps popping up as the story goes along, making it not only more interesting, but much less straightforward as to what happened to Singer, who planned what, etc. The family turns out to be a lot more complex than it seems on the surface.
Very entertaining and absorbing, and you won't guess the ending.
I actually enjoy mad for TV movies of this type, but even I admit some
are better than others. This was among the better ones I have seen.
The story was engaging and well told, the acting wasn't bad, it had some good plot twists, and the solution to the "crime" was a complete surprise! It managed to keep you guessing about what had happened till the very end.
Because the main point of the movie wasn't the abuse that Michelle Greene's character suffered, but more what she did about it, it wasn't sickeningly violent, at least not after the first 15 minutes or so.
Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.
There is hardly anyone in the cast that I particularly like and would
normally tune in to watch. However, I recorded this and figured I could
dump it if it wasn't good.
I didn't dump it.
I will say nothing about the plot--except that it will probably keep you guessing to the end. (At one point I correctly figured it out, but I soon changed my mind.) The clues are all there, so you won't feel cheated by the ending--surprised probably, but not cheated.
As for the cast, everyone is good. However, Veronica Hamel and Michele Green are not aging too well. Greene was, surprisingly, much less annoying than I usually find her; and John Ratzenberger was very likable in a totally different, for him, role.
The whodunit is a genre that has not fared well over the years. Murder, She Wrote is typical - uninteresting stories, poor acting (except, in M,SW, for the lead actress) and an unimaginative climax. This movie is the very rare exception. The story is quite good for a TV movie and the actors keep you engaged. Yes, Marc Singer's performance is over the top, but so is his character, as evil a villain as you'll find in any film. Singer is a fine actor, which makes his wildly intense bad guy a pleasure to watch. All of the other actors do a better than creditable job, and the ending is a genuine surprise and makes sense to boot. The writing is entertainingly manipulative, designed to keep you guessing and off the track. -- Remarkably, the movie never drags and everything going on is essential to the internal logic of the story - except of course for the obligatory love interest between Greene's and Katt's characters. And the use of flashbacks to the attempted murder is a bit overdone. But on the whole this film is far better paced and absorbing than 8 or 9 out of 10 of the TV thrillers turned out these days.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**SPOILERS** Mind-bending plot that has to do with this wife abusing
creep Reese Williams, Marc Singer, who's got the goods not only on his
long suffering old lady Katie, Michele Green, but her hot shot attorney
sister Ginny Halloran, Veronica Hamel, as well.
Being the sick and uncontrollable gambler that he is Reese has just about bankrupted himself and Katie in his exploits in Vagas and now want's to pull off a faked death, on his part, for him to hit the ultimate jackpot. All this is in order for Reese to collect five million dollars in a life insurance policy that he dreamed up for himself. Putting on an act in front his brother-in-law Charlie Halloran (Johm Ratzenberger), who was unwitting used as a witness, by staging his own death all Reese had to do now is wait for it, his accidental death, to be declared official by the courts. It's then that he'll, with the help of his wife Katie, pick up his millions and live happily ever after; or so he thought.
Like all perfect crimes this one was anything but perfect with Reese actually getting shot when he was in the process of faking his death by jumping into the Pacific Ocean while out hunting with Charlie. It's then that insurance investigators Mac & John, George Dzundza & William Katt, got on the scene to first find out if Reese was actually dead! And then if possible find Reese's body, that was supposed to be swept out to sea, to prove it.
It later becomes obvious, with him resurfacing, that Reese was actually shot but miraculous survived both bullet and ocean! But the big question in the movie is not who shot him but who didn't! It seemed that everyone in the cast had it in for Reese including****SPOILER ALERT****Katie's sister Ginny! It turns out that Ginny ****MAJOR SPOILER**** had an affair with Reese while he was in the US Army! This affair lead to Reese being dishonorably discharged from the military after spending six months in the brig. You see Ginny as well as her sister, now Reese's wife, Katie were the daughters of the late Army base camp commander Briadier General Herman McElvy: Pvt. Reese's commanding officer at the time!
Meanwhile insurance investigator John got very friendly with Katie to the point where he couldn't do his job properly. This has his partner Mac get a bit put off in John possibly screwing the company, that Mac & John worked for, out of five million big ones! The movie starts to pick up when Reese, with a bullet still lodged in his left shoulder, pops up and demands from his shocked wife Katie that she get's his money, the five million, for him from the insurance company as soon as possible if not sooner. Reese then also kidnaps both Katie and Ginny in order to keep them from talking to the police and insurance investigators. In another big surprise in the film it later turns out that Ginny ***ANOTHER MAJOR SPOILER*** secretly had Reese's, not her husbands Charlie, son Joey, Jack Dinwiddle, while he was a GI at her father's, Gen. McElvy, military base! Reese is now using that fact in order to blackmail her which lead to Ginny going along with his planned and faked death.
Reese now wanting to put an end to all this musical chairs act decides to put a bullet in the skulls of both Katie & Ginny and have his secret, that he's alive and well, die with them. This so he can collect the money, the five mill, that he worked so hard to get even willing to go so far as murder to get it.
Not that good of an ending with Reese getting everything he's got coming to him but from an unexpected source, guess who! Someone that he in fact didn't screw, like almost everyone else in the movie, only because he didn't have a chance to do it!
Not the best on TV movie lists. A stellar cast does mediocre job with
bad script. I guessed the killer from the beginning. Won't reveal. A
shame to make you watch this terrible movie to find out, but thoze the
rules, baby. With the likes of Veronica Hamel as her usual cold look
self, Michele Greene, a bit on the boring side, John Ratzenberger a bit
on the over weight side, William Katt, looking middle aged these days,
George Dzundza, looking like he's serious about this movie, Marty
Papazian, looking like he doesn't know what's going on, Alice Hirson,
looking like she's lost Ellen DeGeneras and Marc Singer giving an over
the hill acting job. Way over the hill.
Now some of these actors are good actors. So you hate to see them do a bad job, but this script demands it from them. I hate to think of the money it cost to hire them, so my heart goes out to the producer.
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