Murder, She Wrote: Season 12, Episode 8

Shooting in Rome (16 Nov. 1995)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Jessica travels to Rome to help rewrite the script for the filming of one of her books, but the filming takes a tragic turn when a stuntman dies.

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Title: Shooting in Rome (16 Nov 1995)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Bruce Abbott ...
Monty Hayes
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Lucy Hendrix
...
...
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Gary Hayes
Louis Giambalvo ...
Raimondo Bonelli
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Webb Prentiss
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Jake Farber
Antony Ponzini ...
Tomaso Ciurillo
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Rex Toland
Shawn Weatherly ...
Kate Danbury
...
Adrianna Bonelli
...
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Storyline

In Rome to revise a script loosely based on one of her books, Jessica finds a star and director at each other's throats, a producer running out of money, and a rash of thefts. But when a stunt gone wrong leaves a stunt man dead, Jessica must find the person responsible. Written by mama.sylvia

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16 November 1995 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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During the show movie posters are seen in an office, one movie is called Crimson Harvest,the title of a previous Murder She Wrote episode. See more »

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References Cleopatra (1963) See more »

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"Young Love, Lost Love ~ Filled with Tense Emotion ~ With Feuding Folks ~ Who Share Their Deep Commotion"
3 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film Producer Boyce Brown (Mike Connors) assembles his cast and crew on location in Rome, Italy, to film the first adaptation of an unidentified J.B. Fletcher Mystery novel....

...which is set in Chicago, but the film script has undergone changes with its shift to a Texas setting, but it's more economical to film in Italy than the U.S.A., or at least it would be if there weren't corruption in the Finance Department and plenty of flaring tempers on the set....

Raimondo Bonelli (Louis Giambalvo) serves as Boyce's finance partner, to secure the necessary funds to film in Rome. But Raimondo has become involved with loan shark Tomaso Curillo (Antony Ponzini), who has ties with organized crime, and jeopardizes production in the process.

Monte Hayes (Bruce Abbott) serves as Director for the film project, he a demanding, no-nonsense, temperamental type, who doesn't relegate privileges to Mario the Italian Assistant Director (Victor Alfieri) and others around him.

This Boyce Brown production stars (the demanding, feuding ex-wife of Monte Hayes) Kate Danbury (Shawn Weatherly) and (the clueless) Rex Toland (Ben Reed), whose stunts are provided by Webb Prentiss (Sam Hennings), who opens this Western-style shoot with a leap from a railing above a saloon during an altercation with cowhand actors.

18-year-old Gary Hayes (Allen Cutler) accompanies his father, Monte, to Cinecitta Studio, which houses the offices and outdoor sets in Rome. Gary and Adrianna Bonelli (Lisa Vultaggio), the daughter of Raimondo, share small talk, which at times is interrupted by Rex Toland, who tries to charm her from Gary's affection.

Gary also tries his hardest to patch up the differences between his divorced parents, as Monte says that "at the end of the day..." Kate didn't want to return home to a headstrong director, and Monte didn't want to return home to a self-absorbed actress.

Jake Farber (Allan Miller) complicates matters, as he serves as talent agent to Kate Danbury, to make extra demands of Boyce on Kate's behalf, while behind her back tries to recast her role with one of the other actresses whom he represents, while also attempting to represent Rex Toland, and a different director than Monte, all to obtain a strong hold on the production.

Lucy Hendrix (Lisa Banes) serves as script consultant, to help performers with their lines, but the script has undergone changes and becomes unrecognizable from its original source, and so Boyce Brown invites author J.B. Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to Cinecitta Studio to assist with re-writes, a challenge which Jessica accepts, while additional problems develop on the set.

For one thing, a rash of burglaries drains the studio of assets, as a perpetrator has been thieving important items relevant to production. For another thing, a ramp necessary to elevate a stunt automobile has been severed. And for a third thing, someone alters the bearings on the speedometer of the stunt automobile, which leads to a dangerous situation resulting in murder.

Inspector Amati (Lorenzo Caccialanza), who has recently investigated a "MSW" case in Genoa (#11.14) as Inspector Piero Amato but somehow undergoes a surname variation, arrives under his new position at the Rome Police Department, to investigate the thefts, the sabotage and the murder, with Jessica at his side.

Because there has been a last-minute substitution as to who would be driving the stunt vehicle, Jessica and Piero must figure the identity of the intended victim, and to try to patch up a few broken hearts in the process, during this "Shooting in Rome."

This episode represents the second of two "MSW" appearances each for Lorenzo Caccialanza and Louis Giambalvo, the third of three each for Bruce Abbott and Mike Connors (including his second of two as Film Producer Boyce Brown), and the fifth of five "MSW" guest roles for Allan Miller.

Antony Ponzini, who has been acting on television and in film since 1965, and appears in one of his final roles here, has unfortunately since passed.


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