TELEPHONE TIME was a dramatic TV series that attracted bigger Hollywood stars than most, with "Novel Appeal" reuniting Claudette Colbert and John Carradine, veterans of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Sign of the Cross" (1932) and "Cleopatra" (1934), plus John Ford's "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939). Playing real life author Mary Roberts Rinehart, the still attractive, 54 year old Colbert interviews convicted murderer Ernest Weber (John Dierkes), coming away convinced that he is innocent of killing three people with an axe 15 years earlier, in 1896. Failing to get the authorities to reopen the case, she decides to write a mystery novel titled "The Afterhouse," covering the same events, but with the names changed. The real murderer is revealed to be religious fanatic Kurt Wolfgang Muller (Carradine), who boarded the ship and committed the murders under the name Charlie Brown, whose response to Mary's call provides a chilling reaction from his padded cell. Many familiar faces support the two stars, such as Paul Langton, John Hoyt, Paul Newlan, Robert Karnes, and Gene Roth, under the direction of Arthur Hiller, who soon graduated television for movies like "Love Story" and "Silver Streak."
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