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A Killer in the Family (1983)

A father serving time for murder convinces his three teenage sons that his life is being threatened by fellow inmates and that they should break him out of jail. However, when his sons ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard T. Heffron

Writers:

Sue Grafton (teleplay), Steve Humphrey (teleplay) (as Steven Humphrey) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Gary Tison
James Spader ... Donny Tison
Lance Kerwin ... Ray Tison
Eric Stoltz ... Ricky Tison
Salome Jens ... Alice Johansen
Lynn Carlin ... Dorothy Tison
Stuart Margolin ... Randy Greenawalt
Arliss Howard ... John Lyons
Amanda Wyss ... Dannelda Lyons
Susan Swift ... Teresa
Catherine Mary Stewart ... Carol
Nolan Adams Nolan Adams ... Gas Station Attendant
Spencer Alston Spencer Alston ... Mark (as Spencer B. Alston)
Tip Boxell Tip Boxell ... Tower Guard
Craig Clyde ... Prison Guard
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Storyline

A father serving time for murder convinces his three teenage sons that his life is being threatened by fellow inmates and that they should break him out of jail. However, when his sons succeed in the jailbreak attempt, the father brings along his cell-mate, a former two time killer, and soon the sons find themselves involved in the pair's murderous crime spree. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Killer in der Familie See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ricky & Raymond Tison were under 20 years of age at the time of their family's murder spree. They had their death sentences reduced to life imprisonment. See more »

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User Reviews

 
factual, but somewhat misleading
29 May 2006 | by joposaSee all my reviews

This comment may contain a few spoilers for people who are not aware of the events on which this movie is based.

Though it has been a number of years since I've seen this movie, I know it is based on a true story, the Tison family's murderous rampage through the Arizona desert, accompanied by the psychopathic Randy Greenwalt, in the summer of 1978.

Reminiscent of his portrayal as the heavy in "Cape Fear", Mitchum is at his "worst", so to speak (that's actually a compliment), as the brutal psychopath, Gary Tison. I was troubled, though, at the movie's apparent attempt to exonerate the Tison boys of any real culpability beyond the prison escape. Some observers who have seen the surviving sons after their capture say they hardly conveyed an image of otherwise decent boys who only wanted to save their father from a prison bully, and then live in peace. They were more like willing accomplices to the six murders committed during the rampage, even if they didn't do the actual killings. The climactic scene where the gang attempts to run a roadblock, during which oldest son Donald Tison is seen trying to kill his father, was utterly implausible. Donald Tison was in fact killed during an attempt to run a roadblock, but the rest, come on!

Watch it to be entertained, and perhaps even informed, but don't take it all at face value. Check other sources if you want facts.


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