|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wealthy George Devon is very tight with his money, he has twin nephews
Donald and David, one day one of them calls on the old man to try and
get some cash out of him, when he refuses one of them plunges a knife
deep into his back killing him outright. The offender is witnessed by
long standing housekeeper Mary, the trouble is she cannot tell the
twins apart, she knows it was one of them, but not sure which. It seems
maybe only local barmaid Sally may have the answer.
I am not a fan, it looks and feels so cheap and unprofessional, the recent batch of episodes have been very grown up, serious and very engaging, this almost feels like they're sending the show up, it's very silly.
Some clever bits of trick photography, they did a great job of making David appear twice in scenes, although he looks very pale in some of the scenes.
It's boring, it could and should have been great, getting through these 25 minutes is hard work!!
The final scene shooting in an indoor - Bar scenario, when the sheriff
(performed by Darren McGavin) in order to find out who of the twins
(David Cassidy) is the killer of their uncle and decided to use the
help of a female bartender (Tara Buckham) is a very clever and well
organized script, having also a nice mix of close up shots and mid
shots. In fact, this scene is a truly piece of art.
Today, and from my humble point of view as a movie fan, it is quite difficult to encounter with movies that have a compelling script. It's seems that the sequences of action and special effects are always the main goal for big production companies instead of pointed in a well-structured screenplay. This can be a result of lack of talented screenwriters or those big production companies prefer to ignore them. The absence of good stories or ideas in recent decades (despite few good movies that mainly come from the hand of the genius Steven Spielberg and other great producers & directors like Martin Scorsese or Joel Coen) are very sad news and the best example of it is the quantity of remakes in recent years. I need to say that I wasn't quite surprised when I have noticed that very soon it will be on the screens another "Ben- Hur" (2016)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tales of the Unexpected: Heir Presumptuous is set in a small American
county where rich businessman George Devon (Robert Snively) refuses to
loan one of his nephew's $25,000, upset at his uncles tight ways
George's nephew murders him & leaves but is spotted by Mary (Ann Doran)
the housekeeper. Mary informs county Sheiriff Milt Singleton (Darren
McGavin) of the murder & what she saw, however since George has
identical twins (David Cassidy in a dual role) as nephew's she didn't
know which one she saw. Both twins profess their innocence & claim to
have a water tight alibi & since no-one can tell them apart it looks
like they will never know which one did it...
This Tales of the Unexpected story was episode 5 from season 6 & originally aired here in the UK during May 1983, directed by Phillip Leacock one has to say that Heir Presumptuous is a reasonable murder mystery with a twist but it could have been so much more. The story by C.B. Gilford was dramatised by Ross Thomas & has the neat concept of two identical twins killing their uncle for the inheritance, although that makes them obvious suspects one has a iron clad alibi & since no-one can tell them apart the truth behind who committed the murder looks like it will never be known & without knowing which one the killer is neither David or Donald will stand trial. Or at least that's their plan which is quite cool but the majority of the episode is spent with Sheriff Singleton as he tries to uncover the truth & in the twist ending he manages to figure out a way to tell them apart & prove which one the killer is. At only twenty five minutes in length this moves along at a decent pace & is an OK mystery but not much is done with the premise which could have been used to make a cracking murder mystery whodunit. The ending is reasonably satisfying I suppose as the Sheriff manages to solve the crime by being even cleverer than the killer but we still don't learn which twin actually did it...
One of the US made episodes Heir Presumptuous is well made although like the other US lensed installments it has a different sort of look & feel to the ones shot in the UK. Popular actor & singer David Cassidy appears in a dual role as both twins via some body doubles & optical effects which let two of him appear on screen at once while veteran actor Darren McGavin appears as the Sheriff.
Heir Presumptuous is a reasonable murder mystery with a decent twist but it isn't anything amazing & the plot had much more potential than is shown here. Worth a watch but not brilliant.
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