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The Awakening of Candra (1983)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 16 December 1983
Based on the true-life story of teenage bride Candra Torres who was abducted in 1975 while on a honeymoon camping trip in the High Sierras.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Candra Torres
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Thomas Leslie Brown
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Robert Harrison
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Professor Michael Silver
Paul Regina ...
Julio Torres
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Maria
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Chief Brooks
Rosanna Huffman ...
Sara
Vernon Weddle ...
Reiser
Ken Sansom ...
Dr. Larsen
Gypsi DeYoung ...
Bonnie (as Gypsi De Young)
Jonathan Estrin ...
Forest
Robert Moloney ...
Hayden
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Burrows
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Mrs. Nettles
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Storyline

Based on the true-life story of teenage bride Candra Torres who was abducted in 1975 while on a honeymoon camping trip in the High Sierras.

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Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated
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16 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hypnoosi  »

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1.33 : 1
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Filmed in 1981 but not broadcast until 1983. See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Enough Made-For-TV Offering Mostly Forgotten Since the 1980s
26 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

Small town Oregon newlyweds Julio Torres (Paul Regina) and his wife Candra (Blanche Baker) honeymoon in the mountains of their home state in 1978. Julio is preoccupied with fishing and following various spots where they may be biting. He is so preoccupied with fishing that he strikes up a conversation with bug-eyed creep Tom Brown (Cliff De Young), a local outdoorsman/weirdo about the best spots.

Julio invites himself and Candra to follow Brown who says he knows of a secret fishing hole where an impressive catch is certain. Candra gets bad vibes from Brown immediately and is reluctant to go along but Julio is insistent even as Brown displays increasingly erratic behavior. Within 24 hours Brown has murdered Julio.

Days later Brown accompanies a visibly shaken Candra to the local police station. He tells police that the killing of Julio was just a hunting accident. Candra backs up his story and the case is quickly closed. But in the weeks which follow whilst Candra is safely back home with family she begins to have flashbacks to what really happened including her abduction and repeated rape by Brown.

She goes to the police to contradict her earlier account. The justice system is tasked with extrapolating the truth in the bizarre case where the only witness has told vastly contradictory versions of what happened. Oregon in the late 1970s was evidently a favorite playground for sex murderers like Ted Bundy & Randall Woodfield. Based on a true story we see yet another in the person of Thomas Leslie Brown.

This CBS TV movie was made in 1981 but shelved until 1983 and then only broadcast late at night. It technically is not one of those much loathed 'woman in peril' sleazy exploitation movies. But to audiences, and in particular those concerned about the mixture of sex and violence on network TV, the difference would have been negligible and the network might have been accused of insensitivity.

Director Paul Wendkos may well have thought he was making a profound take on the Kurosawa epic Rashomon but based upon real-life events. He certainly got the most out of the cast assembled and in particular Cliff De Young as the diabolical Tom Brown. Cliff De Young is that type of character actor that quietly delivered believable characterizations in countless productions without garnering much notice since the very early 1970s.


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