|Index||4 reviews in total|
Surfing the channels on a Saturday afternoon and the title caught my eye, thought okay I will give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised, Not a blood and guts type of mystery but one that required a bit of thinking. I liked the premise of the two savant twin brothers that were only truly one whole person when they were together. The main character, played by Megan Ward is very likable and Patty Duke had a nice turn as a iron fist in a velvet glove Mother Superior. I figured it out long before the last half hour came up but that's okay it was still a fun trip getting there. Not familiar with the book this was based on, but it might be worth checking out of the library, just to compare.
An interesting story given the Hallmark touch. Potentially, the plot
was somewhat hard-hitting, but it was handled the way the Harlequin
romances were when made into movies: light, entertaining, perfect
Sunday afternoon fare. The story concerns idiot savant twins who were
suspected, but never tried and convicted, of killing their mother
thirty years earlier. The twins were separated and put into separate
facilities and, without each other, they stopped communicating. An
ex-nun becomes involved in finding the real killer. The cast is able,
though the main character is short on development.
David Proval does a good job as the twins and Patty Duke brings spark as a nun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Having just been released from her vows ex Catholic nun
Christine Bennett, Megan Ward, gets a job as a counselor at the
Greewood Sanitarium. It's Greenwood that's under fire by the local
community in having an accused, but not convicted ,murder as one of
it's patients. It's the 55 year old mentally challenged, with a
borderline moronic IQ of 70, James Talley, john Proval, who's been
admitted to the sanitarium and the people of the neighboring town of
Oakwood are up in arms against it. The fact that both James and his
twin brother,also played by Mr. Proval,were deemed mentally incompetent
to stand trial technically made them innocent in the brutal murder of
their mom Alberta Talley, Laura Kirk, some 30 years ago on Good Friday
With James separated from his twin brother Edward,who were both diagnosed as idiot savants, since their mom's murder his mental state has deteriorated to the point where he stopped talking and became almost a mute. It's Christina who realizes that if both the two brother were reunited their brains would click, like two missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and remember who was responsible for their mom's murder. Since the two were at the scene of the crime! As Christina together with the help of local Oakwood police detective Jack Brooks,Morgan Weisser, start to uncover the truth about Mrs. Talley's murder and the person responsible for it the killer comes out of hiding and plans to murder one if not both twins. That's before they get a chance too put their heads together and expose his true identity!
Pretty good made for TV murder mystery with Christine putting her life on the line in order to find the true killer of Mrs.Talley. After going down a number of blind alleys Christine finally gets the two brother together in the same place,a Catholic Church,where they have a chance to put their heads together and remember who murdered their mom which many people feel they were responsible for. As it soon turned out one of the people invited to the meeting was in fact the person who not only murdered Mrs.Talley but who was planning to murder both her sons James & Edward together with the pesky and annoying Chrisna Bennett!
***SPOILERS*** Shocking final were the murderer was reviled by the twin brothers who then held Christina hostage with a hypodermic needle,loaded with morphine, pointed at her jugular threatening to kill her. In him finally seeing that there's no way out and that the jig was up him the killer did the next best thing! By him doing himself instead of Christina in! The film besides having David Proval play both twins James & Edward parts it also had two different sets of twin brothers Rafael & Yan Feldman and Daryl & Even Sabara play both Jack & Edward at different ages,10 & 24, in their lives.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
MURDER WITHOUT CONVICTION is a Hallmark channel produced TV Movie
(which you can tell just by its mundane title) It's based upon the
novel 'The Good Friday Murder' by Lee Harris. It stars Megan Ward as
former Nun Christine Bennett who has just been released from her vows,
and quickly gets involved in the murder mystery surrounding savant
twins James and Edward Talley (both older men played by David Proval)
who may or may not have killed their Mother on Good Friday 1974.
Christine investigates whether or not they may be innocent, because the future of a caring home where her Cousin Gene (Matt Lutz) resides may be forced to close because one of the brothers (after 30 years of being detained under Psychiatric care without being charged of any crime) has been moved in, and so the local people of the neighbourhood protest and want it closed.
Megan Ward is OK but lacks spark in her performance, David Proval's performance as the twins is better than this production probably deserves, it also stars TV Movie regular Patti Duke as a Mother superior at the Convent and Morgan Weisser is the cardboard cut-out Detective on the case.
There are very few suspects in this, with the red herrings signposted well in advance which makes the identity of the Killer very predictable - I figured it out about half-way through. MURDER WITHOUT CONVICTION is different in the sense that it has a rather naive former Nun as the main character but other than that it's rather average and isn't the most riveting of movies I've ever seen but despite its restricted budget and TV Movie origins, it kept me relatively intrigued.
The current rating here on IMDb of 6/10 is about right
P.S. - This was apparently a first in a series of detective novels by the aforementioned author with the former Nun - although this was worth watching, I can understand why Hallmark didn't make any others.
*** out of *****
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