Point of Origin (2002)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  22 June 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,131 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 4 critic

Fact-based drama about an arson investigator (Ray Liotta) searching for the perpetrator of a string of deadly fires in 1980s California.


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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Camello
Wanda Orr
Chief Gray
Mike Camello ...
Glen Lucero
Stella Cove (as Sandy Gimpel)
Miles Schneider ...
Gabby Finn
Clarence Hyde


Fact-based drama about an arson investigator (Ray Liotta) searching for the perpetrator of a string of deadly fires in 1980s California.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When fire becomes an obsession... truth becomes stranger than fiction.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Heat of Fire  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


During filming in the hardware store set, located behind Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel, a special effects technician suffered first and second degree burns over 40 percent of his body. See more »

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User Reviews

Hard to believe it was THAT good
16 July 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

At first glance it's just a movie of the week. It's true that it was one of HBO's original movies, but to call it a movie of the week would be to limit it to a group of movies with hackneyed plots, weak actors, and clueless directors. Point of Origin is so much more than those terrible excuses for entertainment.

The story concerns an arson investigator (Ray Liotta) and his protege (John Leguizamo) who are investigating a particularly nasty string of arson fires. Those of you who remember the news of the incident this film is based on might see the story coming, but most people will not simply because it is too outlandish to be true. But it IS.

What grabbed me most in this movie were the two lead performances by Leguizamo and Liotta as well as a directorial vision that is on the verge of brilliance. Every creative decision made in this movie had a very specific goal. Pay close attention to the palette of colors used. Much of the movie is made up completely of black, white, and orange. Special effects are used to great effect in putting the audience and the characters "inside" the fires they are investigating. As far as TV movies go, this one was truly refreshing.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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When Did He Have The Time? ChazG
what an ending!! cswellz
To what extent is this based on truth? MrJinx
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