Murder, She Wrote: Season 5, Episode 4

Snow White, Blood Red (13 Nov. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 87 users  
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A massive storm results in Jessica snowed in at a ski lodge with an Olympic men's ski team and a murderer on the loose.

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Title: Snow White, Blood Red (13 Nov 1988)

Snow White, Blood Red (13 Nov 1988) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Ronnie Claire Edwards ...
Sylvia McMasters
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Gunnar Tilstrom
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Mike Lowery
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Ex-NYPD Lt. Ed McMasters
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Larry McIver
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John Dowd
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Anne Lowery
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Pamela Leeds
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Karl Anderson
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Dr. Lewis
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Lead Performer
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Skier
John Arndt ...
Parker
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Storyline

While Jessica waits for her nephew's arrival at Sable Mountain ski lodge, Swedish womanizing skiing top-talent Gunnar Tilstrom's refusal to compete in the world championship frustrates his trainer, and his otherwise insignificant agent Pamela Leeds, who courts as alternative charming youngster Larry Minor. During a snow storm an arrow from a missing crossbow kills Gunnar. Shortly after Larry is found stripped and hanged but arrow-killed in the showers. Both victims were on the same world championship US team as the host Mike Lowery, who invited them all for that weekend, his own career being cut by an accident, and tries to cover up his wife's flirt with Gunnar. The violence continues with the left-handed stabbing of John Dowd, and an apparent attack on Jessica and former NYPD lieutenant Ed McMasters by ski trainer Karl Anderson from a snowmobile, leaving Karl killed. Written by KGF Vissers

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crossbow | shower | locker room | gym


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13 November 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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"Stopping at the Lodge, the Ski Team Comes to Play. Well, the Blizzard Touches Down, When Someone Starts to Slay"
13 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Series Co-creator Peter S. Fischer pens this screen-story about a triple murder plus an attempted murder at a New England ski resort sequestered from civilization by a winter blizzard. Fischer adds his characteristic nice touches of comic relief* to offset a sense of panic amid a brutal series of murders and intense inclement weather conditions.

Sable Mountain Ski Resort sets the stage in an unidentified northeastern U.S. state, as evidence from the dialogue points to northern New England because of talk that it lies north of New York City and outside of New York State. Backdrop footage shows peaks rising above the tree lines, indicating this farther north than Massachusetts (at which mountains would not rise as loftily).

At any rate, Anne Lowery (Jamie Rose) and husband, Mike Lowery (John Laughlin), operate Sable Mountain Ski Resort after Mike retires from a skiing team which (after winning one) vies for another U.S. World Cup tournament, Mike having to exit in the aftermath of a leg injury, which disqualifies him from participation.

Coach Karl Anderson (Bo Svenson) arrives to assemble several of Mike's former teammates to train upon the slopes. These include Gunnar Tilstrom (Eric Allan Kramer), Larry Minor (Tony O'Dell), John Dowd (Cyril O'Reilly), Parker (John Arndt), and Skier (Craig Branham).

Pamela Leeds (Emma Samms) arrives as an agent of an advertising firm, which signs Swedish-American star Gunnar Tilstrom to a sporting product endorsement contract, but amid difficulty in following through in the wake of rumors that Gunnar has been seduced by the wife of a powerful Nevada syndicate boss, Pamela turns to All-American star Larry Minor as a potential alternative spokesperson.

Ex-NYPD Lieutenant Ed McMasters (Barry Newman) and wife, Sylvia McMasters (Ronnie Claire Edwards), arrive to spend a brief vacation at Sable Mountain. After the blizzard touches down upon their exiting along their return journey to NYC, the McMasters' reverse direction and return to the lodge.

Doctor Lewis (George Wyner), a Gynecologist, also vacations at Sable Mountain Resort, for which its lodge offers accommodations and dinner entertainment, as Lead Performer (Kenny Davis) introduces his Country band in song. John Dowd also performs a song while accompanying himself on guitar before his teammates in the lounge.

Into this setting, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) arrives from Cabot Cove, to meet her nephew (presumably Grady), for rest and relaxation while he skies, or perhaps he would if he could because he does not arrive during the course of the action, possibly because of the effects of the blizzard's closing the routes into Sable Mountain (as well as external telephone lines although the Lowerys manage to operate internal telephone lines via a generator).

But soon, marital infidelity surfaces, and so does the first body, the victim of a sinister bow and arrow attack on the mountain slope.

Pamela Leeds later stumbles across blood-soaked clothing in a locker room and screams quite loudly when she discovers a nude body hanging from a shower spigot, the victim of a bludgeoning and arrow stabbing. (Emma Samms stands in contention as one of "MSW's" best screamers.)

A third victim then stumbles into the lobby, after being stabbed with an arrow, and collapsing upon the floor before Jessica, who manages to rescue the victim with the assistance of a reluctant Doctor Lewis, whom Jessica enlists to conduct autopsies (causing a greater reluctance on his part).

And when Jessica receives an in-house telephone call to meet Ed McMasters outdoors this evening, someone shoots an arrow toward them, causing Ed McMasters to shoot back with his pistol as a snowmobile approaches, but Jessica maintains that the fourth victim has already been murdered and set up as the perpetrator of the first three attacks, thus leaving a third murder victim and also the victim who manages to recover amid all of this "Snow White, Blood Red."

Andrew Amador rounds out the cast as Weather forecaster (voice). At the time of production, Andrew Amador has been serving as a genuine Weather Personality at Station KCAL-TV, in Los Angeles, and would branch into acting, by portraying fictional reporters on various television series'.

This episode represents one of the first acting credits by Eric Allan Kramer, as well as the first of two "MSW" appearances each for John Arndt and Bo Svenson, the second of two for John Laughlin, the first of three each for Jamie Rose, Barry Newman, Cyril O'Reilly and George Wyner, and the second of three "MSW's" for Kenny Davis.

* Some of the much-needed aforementioned comic relief involves a conversation which Jessica has with the recovering victim. Jessica: "Try to get some sleep." Victim: "You got to be kidding."

Other possibly humorous touches include Anne's responding to a telephone call. After the conversation, she tells curious onlookers, "That was the telephone company. They said the lines are working again." Later, after law enforcement officers arrive at the showdown scene to make their presence known by pointing pistols, Anne steps from behind them to announce, "The police have arrived." (Both lines may seem funny because they reflect obvious observations, and yet they fall onto expressions of surprise.)


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