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Isn't It Shocking? (1973)

A small-town sheriff is confronted with the deaths of local senior citizens and strange goings-on in his town.


John Badham


Lane Slate
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Alan Alda ... Dan
Louise Lasser ... Blanche
Edmond O'Brien ... Justin Oates
Lloyd Nolan ... Jesse Chapin
Will Geer ... Lemuel Lovell
Ruth Gordon ... Marge Savage
Dorothy Tristan ... Doc Lovell
Patricia Quinn ... Ma Tate (as Pat Quinn)
Liam Dunn ... Myron Flagg
Michael Warren Powell Michael Warren Powell ... Michael (as Michael Powell)
Jacqueline Allan McClure Jacqueline Allan McClure ... Hattie


A small-town sheriff is confronted with the deaths of local senior citizens and strange goings-on in his town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

senior citizen | murder | See All (2) »







Release Date:

2 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Isso não é Mesmo Chocante? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Circle Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In his biography 'Please Don't Shoot My Dog', Jackie Cooper claims virulent anti-second amendment actor Alan Alda justified playing a gun-carrying lawman by stating the character he played - a sheriff - wouldn't have actually used his gun. See more »


References The Man (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Sharp & clever ABC goodness!
3 December 2016 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"Isn't it Shocking?" is a low-keyed and inconspicuous TV-movie that greatly benefices from a terrific ensemble cast, an unusual but nevertheless intriguing premise and a script full of witty jokes and fun dialogues (and this in sheer contrast to the sober subject matter). This was one of the many legendary "ABC Movies of the Week" that were especially produced for cable-TV during the early seventies, and I have yet to encounter one of those that isn't worth tracking down. I was born in the wrong decade and the wrong continent in order to enjoy this series on actual television, but thanks to the modern wonders such as You Tube these old TV-movies still find their way to new fans. The story takes place in a small American town called Mount Angel, where in a short period of time three senior citizens – including the deputy Sheriff – die from seemingly ordinary heart failures that nevertheless raise the suspicion of Sheriff Dan. At the beginning of the film we witness how a strange and also elderly man comes to town and kills his first victim with a portable device that induces the heart failure. So the viewer knows the killer's identity immediately, but it's up to Sheriff Dan and his gossipy assistant Blanche to figure out why these gentle old folks are knocked off. They discover that all victims graduated together in the class of '28 so perhaps something sinister happened back then. It always amazes me how those modest ABC movies managed to rely on such acclaimed and respected actors and actresses! "Isn't it Shocking?" stars class players like Alan Alda ("MASH", "The Mephisto Waltz") and Edmond O'Brien ("The Wild Bunch", "Fantastic Voyage"), but also a splendid supportive cast including Louise Lasser, Will Greer and Ruth Gordon (as a character that may perhaps have inspired the "Crazy Cat Lady" from "The Simpsons"). This was also one of the first directorial efforts of John Badham, who would later make a handful of action favorites like "Blue Thunder", "Stakeout" and "Nick of Time". There's one remarkably spectacular sequence involving a battle with cars (!) but what I really liked most were the smooth jokes and sly interactions between the lead characters. Fun movie!

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