Unemployed journalist and aspiring novelist, Guy Foster, has a minor argument with his wife Melissa and decides to stay home while she attends a party with friends. Later that night, Melissa phones and asks him to join her. Out driving, he comes across the police surrounding a crime scene. A woman has been strangled --it's Melissa! With each twist and turn, Guy is further incriminated; mysterious phone calls, a second dead body, and a psychiatrist that treated Guy for his anger management problems, but that he doesn't remember seeing. Guy is desperate to solve the case, but no one and nothing is what it seems! Written by
"Melissa" has the feel of a stylish whodunit at a Shaftbury Avenue theatre -- with a dash of Cornell Woolrich thrown in. Made in a bygone TV era (1974,) the tantalizing mystery unfolds in three acts, largely set in the trendy flats of its principals with only an occasional saunter (to discover a corpse or a clue) into the countryside. At its center is Peter Barkworth as an ex-Fleet Street journalist, currently at liberty, working on a novel. When he gets a phone call from his pretty young wife, Melissa, pleading with him to take a break and join her at a party on Wimbledon Common, he reluctantly accepts. But the only thing on Wimbledon Common that night is her dead body. Barkworth soon discovers that the address she gave him for the "party" doesn't exist, that a neurologist he never met claims to have been treating him for emotional stress and that his late wife's purse has a nasty habit of vanishing and reappearing at awkward times. The result is a clever, thoroughly entertaining mystery, enlivened by strong scripting, surprising twists and solid support from such first-rate British players as Joan Benham, Ronald Fraser and Phillip Voss.
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