Murder, She Wrote: Season 1, Episode 9

Death Casts a Spell (30 Dec. 1984)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 132 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

A popular nightclub hypnotist is discovered murdered during a private press-call.



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Title: Death Casts a Spell (30 Dec 1984)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Germaine
Cagliostro (as Jose Ferrer)
Bud Michaels
Lt. Bergkamp
Dr. Yambert
Elaine Joyce ...
Sheri Diamond
Andy Townsend
Joe Kellijian
Mayf Nutter ...
Zack Bernard
Regina Kellijian
Alex Rebar ...


English hypnotist Cagliastro is fired by casino-hotel-owner Joe Kellijian, because he does his glamorous wife Regina. Jessica saves her editor's assistant Joan Germaine's bacon covering for making a date for her with Cagliostro as inspiration for another mystery book. They overhear the master dare local press journalists Bud Michaels and rookie Andy Townsend to be hypnotized before a revealing interviewer so they won't remember a word unless he's a charlatan as they claim, Joan gets them invited too but they're late; when the door is opened after a scary bang, Cagliostro lies dead, the six journalists (Bud sent Andy in his place) are hypnotized motionless. Fortunately for the startled police detective Lt. Bergkamp, Jessica is as resourceful and inspired as ever after Dr. Yambert proves hypnosis works even on her, but nobody seems to have both motive and opportunity... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

30 December 1984 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Unusual and intriguing mystery
1 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A young staff member (Diana Canova) at Jessica's publishing firm gets Jesica to come to a Lake Tahoe resort by pretending to be the publisher's assistant. Jessica takes this better than many, and perhaps most, of us would and tells the young woman that she will overlook it and not tell the publisher. The young woman wanted to meet Jessica to pitch a story idea to her. They later attend a performance of the renown hypnotist Cagliostro - which is well played by Jose Ferrer. Cagliostro is soon revealed to be a real scumbag albeit a polished one. To prove that he is the real thing and not a fake he invites six journalists to attend a private hypnotism session and that he will tell them important information about his past but that when they awake they won't remember a thing he has told them. A group of people, including Jessica, are outside the room when they hear a bang from inside the room. Breaking in they discover Cagliostro dead and the six journalists hypnotized and motionless. Jessica, of course, investigates and as so often happens in this series she hears something that triggers her realizing the solution. Her face lights up and she says "Of course!" this is a good yarn and a good mystery ably supported by the guest stars especially Murray Hamilton and Robert Loggia. But the most interesting thing to me was to see Diana Canova in a lead role. I had to check but she is indeed Judy Canova's daughter. Judy Canova's hillbilly comedy is now long out of fashion but I still enjoy it today when listening to her radio shows. I find these shows to be funny but with no hint of the vulgarity or mean spiritedness that is standard today with comics. Those days are gone forever but seeing Diana Canova reminded me of them.

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