As a favor to his longtime lover Dr. Susan Silverman, Spenser agrees to investigate the stalking of a theater company director, pro bono. But before he can get started, an actor is killed ... See full summary »

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(as Po Chih Leong)

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(novel), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Police Chief DeSpain
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Rikki Wu
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Vinnie
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Jimmy Christopholous
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Lonnie Wu
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Fast Eddie Lee
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Herman Leong
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Liang
Scott Wickware ...
Healy
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Lou Montana
Marcy Goldberg ...
Waitress
Edward Davey ...
Fantasy man
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Storyline

As a favor to his longtime lover Dr. Susan Silverman, Spenser agrees to investigate the stalking of a theater company director, pro bono. But before he can get started, an actor is killed by an arrow in the middle of a play. Now that there's a real-life murder to investigate, Spenser and Hawk, get to do what they do best--even if it means death threats from the Chinese underworld, being ordered out of town by the tough local police chief, and dodging bullets and crossbows at every turn. By the time they leave the quaint ocean front community, the population has decreased by three, and live theater will never be the same. Written by A&E

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Genres:

Mystery

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Release Date:

26 August 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Chief DeSpain: Well, you learn anything, you dash right on in and tell us about it. 'Cause we're fightin' crime up here, day and night.
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Connections

Follows Spenser: Small Vices (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dreadful!
28 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A perfectly ghastly entry in what was shaping up as an eagerly anticipated annual event, A&E's end-of-Summer dramatization of a Spenser novel.

As I was initially fearful, the re-casting of Ernie Hudson was a blunder… a shaven head and a leather coat does not a "Hawk" make! The new co-henchman character of "Vinnie," who didn't have a line of dialogue in the entire screenplay, was infinitely more interesting. Hudson makes one long for the over-the-top version portrayed by Avery Brooks in the Robert Urich TV series and subsequent tele-flicks.

The director… Po-Chih Leong, who somehow has made the transition from the Shanghai cinema school to teleflicks… must have seemed like a good choice given the setting, the Chinatown of an East Coast port city which is an entryway for an illegal alien smuggling scheme, apparently has seen one too many Ang Lee films, and tried mixing alternative points of view in a style reminiscent of the late '60s Roger Corman drug flicks. It detracted from an already incompletely realized narrative and was nothing more than an absurd stylistic conceit. (No cohesive story? Dazzle'em with camera-work!)

Author Parker makes another of his fatuous, wordless cameos, and director Leong gives him a slow zoom close-up that suggested his character is to play a larger role in the narrative. Of course, he doesn't, and in that three second shot, Parker overacts on a par with Steven King in his cameos.

Joe Mantegna was clearly hampered by the direction and the script (by Parker and his wife Joan, to whom all of his novels are dedicated). Even the always excellent Marcia Gay Harden was forced to struggle with a suddenly silly "Susan Silverman." Oddly, Eric Roberts comes off reasonably well in a role as a sympathetic villain, although that suffers from poor direction as well!

What a disaster! I actively hated this tele-flick!


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