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Death Sentence (1974)

A juror on a murder case begins to believe that the man on trial is innocent of the crime - and then discovers that the real killer is her own husband.


E.W. Swackhamer


John Neufeld, Eric Roman (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cloris Leachman ... Susan Davies
Laurence Luckinbill ... Don Davies
Nick Nolte ... John Healy
Alan Oppenheimer ... Lubell
William Schallert ... Tanner
Yvonne Wilder ... Elaine Croft
Herb Voland ... Lowell Hayes
Hope Summers ... Emily Boylan
Peter Hobbs ... Judge
Doreen Lang Doreen Lang ... Mrs. Cottard
Murray MacLeod ... Martin Gorman
Bing Russell ... Trooper
Meg Wyllie ... Mae Sinclair
Lew Brown Lew Brown ... Mr. Bowman
C.J. Hincks ... Marilyn Healy


A juror on a murder case begins to believe that the man on trial is innocent of the crime - and then discovers that the real killer is her own husband.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's a juror in a murder trial- but she suspects they've got the wrong man- and that could be her own... DEATH SENTENCE


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Release Date:

2 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

After the Trial See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the courtroom scene during Mrs. Boylan's examination, masking tape can be seen on the floor of the set to mark where the actors should stand. The tape is not there in any other scenes. See more »

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User Reviews

Phyllis: Portrait of a Runaway Juror
13 December 2004 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

One out of dozens and dozens of tightly constructed TV movies of the 1970's (some hilariously bad, some unforgettably distinctive, most - sadly - missing in action!) Hincks is a clinging mistress, desperate to hang on to her married lover (Luckinbill) despite her own good-looking, but hard-drinking husband (Nolte.) When she pushes too far, Luckinbill does her in, but lets Nolte take the rap. Leachman plays a sincere and naive jurist at the trial who begins to doubt Nolte's guilt despite everyone else's sense that he killed her. When she begins to put the pieces together, she finds that she may have imposed a death sentence on herself! Made when Leachman was still knocking them dead on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and about to embark on "Phyllis", she clearly tries to downplay her glamor and attractiveness for this "serious" role. The result is high comedy almost as funny as what she did in her sitcoms! With mousy hair parted in the center, no make-up and some really ugly glasses, she spends the entire movie with the same pinched, unappealing expression on her face. Her character is dippy to begin with, but she adds extra hilarity through her wooden reactions to the events around her until she is forced to confront the killer personally, at which point the film soars into the comic stratosphere. Sopping wet, wearing ugly cream-colored heels and with her glasses all smeared, she creates the most abhorrent expressions paired with the zaniest physical manifestations. She flails around at the end like someone who's being zapped with a cattle prod! All this work and her name isn't even printed on the DVD case! Luckinbill gives a decent double-edged performance. Nolte, at the very start of his career, has almost nothing to do (and his case is never properly resolved.) Various familiar TV actors dot the cast such as Oppenheimer and Schallert as lawyers and Lang (famous for her hysterical turn in "The Birds") as the victim's devastated and opinionated mother. As loony as it is (and there is one twist to the tale not divulged here), it's great to see some of these old films turning up as they are too enjoyable (for either the right or the wrong reasons) to stay buried in a vault somewhere.

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