On a scorching, hot summer day in 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden returns home to the house she shares with her father Andrew, stepmother Abby and sister Emma. But, unlike any normal day, Lizzie encounters the bloody scene of her parents violently murdered. Police quickly question multiple suspects in town, but evidence keeps pointing back to the Borden's youngest daughter Lizzie, the seemingly wholesome Sunday school teacher, as the prime suspect. Lizzie's lawyer, Andrew Jennings, proclaims her innocence arguing that it is inconceivable a woman could commit the heinous crime of brutally murdering her family with an ax. Or is it? Lizzie is put on trial for the murders, both in the courtroom and in the press, sparking a widespread debate about her culpability. As the case rages on, the courtroom proceedings fuel an enormous amount of sensationalized stories and headlines in newspapers throughout the country, forever leaving Lizzie Borden's name in infamy. Written by
You probably know the "Lizzie Borden took an axe" children's rhyme and wondered where it came from. This movie tells the story of the real crime that formed the basis of the rhyme.
I was quite surprised that the actual case took place as recently as 1892. The rhyme had always seemed very traditional to me; I thought it must have been based on something a very long time ago.
Thankfully, the sound track was used at only half a dozen places in the film, because it was so inappropriate that it could easily have ruined everything. While the story took place in a sedate New England town, where people lived genteel lives, sipping tea and wearing frock coats (think Anne of Green Gables), the sound track was screaming rock. Unbelievably jarring. Even in a party scene where people were dancing whatever they danced in those days of long gowns--waltzes, I suppose--it was portrayed minus the sounds of the party, minus the music that would have been played there, all replaced with a nerve-jangling sound track of rock music. Whoever made that decision should find another field to work in. Horrible.
"Lizzie Borden took an axe, Gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one."
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