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The Longest Night (1972)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 12 September 1972
The daughter of a wealthy family is kidnapped and imprisoned underground in a coffin, while her family and the police search for her.

Director:

Jack Smight

Writer:

Merwin Gerard
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Janssen ... Alan Chambers
James Farentino ... John Danbury
Phyllis Thaxter ... Norma Chambers
Skye Aubrey ... Ellen Gunther
Mike Farrell ... Wills
Sallie Shockley Sallie Shockley ... Karen Chambers
Joel Fabiani ... Barris
Richard Anderson ... Harvey Eaton
Charles McGraw ... Father Chase
John Kerr ... Agent Jones
Robert Cornthwaite ... Frank Cavanaugh
Ross Elliott ... Dr. Steven Clay
Tom Hallick ... Officer Clark
Antony Carbone ... Officer Jackson
Joe Conley ... Salesman
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Storyline

The daughter of a wealthy family is kidnapped and imprisoned underground in a coffin, while her family and the police search for her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was kidnapped and buried alive for four agonizing days. The headlines reported it. Now you'll be chilled by it. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den längsta natten See more »

Filming Locations:

Thousand Oaks, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based off Barbara Mackle kidnapping in Atlanta in 1968. See more »

Connections

Version of 83 Hours 'Til Dawn (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A 'documentary' feel to this fact-based drama
8 February 2007 | by DPMaySee all my reviews

I remembered seeing this movie on UK television a couple of times when I was very young back in the 1970s and since then it has vanished without trace.

Only in recent years, with the memory of a kidnapped girl being kept in an underground coffin refusing to go away did I search on the internet and manage to identify this film and at last I've got hold of a copy and been able to see it again after all these years.

I was surprised how many well-known actors are in it and the fact that this adventure is based on a real-life incident will always give it that extra 'edge'. However, I found it very pedestrian watching it in 2007. The scenes unfold in a very matter-of-fact manner and yes, there's a certain tension because an innocent girl's life is at stake, but that aside I found it almost uninvolving at times. There's really not much effort made to really get inside any of the characters. We don't get to know any of the chambers family before the kidnap takes place on screen (the very first scene) so the impact of this shattering intrusion on their everyday lives is lessened.

David Janssen goes through a lot of worrying as the father but at no point during the film is he ever seen with his daughter, so its harder for us to see how greatly he's affected by all this - we never witness what his normal routine was like, what kind of a character he normally is, what kind of a change he goes through. Maybe he's always worried? Without much depth to the characters its hard for the actors to make much of their roles - there's a feeling that everybody is just going through the motions.

Nevertheless, the opening scene when Mrs Chambers is tied up and the daughter forcibly taken away is still dramatic and I'm not surprised it stuck in my memory for 30 years.

Overall - it's interesting to watch, but its really a straight re-telling of the facts rather than a carefully-crafted drama. It would be done a lot better nowadays, I'm sure.


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