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Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006)

Jane Doe investigates the murder of an international business mogul.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Davis
Jim Monroe
Stella Andre
Daniel Vasquez
Doug Maynard
Frances DeStefano
Tom Shaunessy
Melville Horning
Captain Barnes
Margaret Monroe
Dr. Edelstein (as Robert Clendenin)


Californian food tycoon Melville Horning dies, apparently drowned accidentally on a yacht cruise with his firm's four executive directors, actually murdered. The prime suspect, his security chief Jim Monroe, implores his former CSA colleagues to investigate, claiming jurisdiction as the recent machinations in the firm, probably inside trading, not only affected stock prices but also US export. Frank and Jane work out what's with a recent TV interview, allegedly live, the yacht cruise, each director's possible motives and the fifth executive who actually succeeded as CEO. Meanwhile good son Nick gets into trouble by trying to help his foolish brat sister cover up her reckless college fund speculation. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Family | Mystery



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Release Date:

4 March 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I dipli zoi tis Jane Doe  »

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Follows Jane Doe: Yes, I Remember It Well (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Distracting as long as your expectations aren't high
7 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When industrial giant Melville Horning is found dead floating alongside his luxury yacht body guard Jim Monroe, who is found "drunk" in a life raft, looks guilty of incompetence and is fired on the spot. Meanwhile all the other executives scramble to protect themselves and let the body wash away. When the body is found on the beach several days later the official line is that of a tragic accident but by then Monroe has lost his job and his wife has stormed out as she believes he has sunk into alcoholism again. Margaret does love him enough to turn to Jim's previous partner and friend Frank Darnell to tell him Jim's story about Horning dying on Saturday. With Horning officially alive until Monday, Cathy Davis is put on the case. The first puzzle – how can a man who Jim saw dead on Saturday night do a live television on Sunday night?

Although I'd like to think of myself as a fully paid up member of the cineaste society I must confess a weakness for some TV mystery series – indeed there aren't many Columbo's or Perry Masons that I haven't seen. I have come to the Jane Doe series a couple of times now and found it to be rather inconsistent with some good and some pointless. The crux is usually how good the central "puzzle" concept is and in this case it is a bit forced and involves a lot of planned and convenient things happening to establish the mystery to be solved. Once you have got passed how much of a struggle it was to get everyone in place the mystery has enough development about it to hold the interest but it is far too basic and obvious as it goes to appeal to anyone looking for more than just their daytime mystery fix.

Thompson continues in her character but I found her a bit too light for the role here and the script doesn't highlight her sharp mind in the way that, for example, the better episodes of Columbo. Penny works well alongside her with a gruff delivery and solid presence on screen – they have good chemistry and I'm glad the series has not (yet?) resorted to the narrative of "will they won't they?". That said it wouldn't be much worse that some of the other threads – in this case some rubbish about the kids (both irritating performances) selling stuff on eBay to recoup stock portfolio losses. Harewood is OK but Moses still finds himself with only a few days work and a poor character. The various suspects are mostly just so-so performance-wise and nobody stood out at all.

Overall then a reasonably OK daytime mystery that will please fans of the series but the puzzle aspect could have been better and the investigation more thrilling or engaging. Distracting as long as your expectations aren't high.

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