What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, ... See full summary »
Al Shaw's life revolves around motor racing and his back country junkyard, the "Smash Palace". His French wife, Jacqui, doesn't appreciate the lack of attention due to Al's obsession with ... See full summary »
Anna Maria Monticelli,
San Francisco heiress Page Forrester is brutally murdered in her remote beach house. Her husband Jack is devastated by the crime but soon finds himself accused of her murder. He hires ... See full summary »
It's 1944 in the small town of Gregory, Texas. Divorcée Nita Longley has been brought into the town by the telephone company to work as its switchboard operator, a job which requires her to... See full summary »
Three sisters with quite different personalities and lives reunite when the youngest of them, Babe, has just shot her husband. The oldest sister, Lenny, takes care of their grandfather and ... See full summary »
It's the mid 1970s. Moving back home with her mother Virginia in Tennessee, Marie Ragghianti was able to leave an abusive marriage to eke out a better life for herself and her three young children - the youngest, Ricky, for who she would have to deal with his major health issues - by waiting tables, all the while being able to complete the degree requirements at Vanderbilt to obtain a B.A. in English and Psychology. She is unapologetic in asking a college acquaintance, Eddie Sisk, for a job, he who has just been appointed legal counsel for just elected Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton. In what he considers a win-win situation, Eddie offers Marie a job as the Extradition Officer for the state, a job offer which she accepts. From there, Marie quickly moves up the chain of command, first to become the liaison to the Governor via Eddie on Parole Board recommendations - the role which is meant to be a two way street, where there is an understood quid pro quo in recommendations from the Board...Written by
The picture's main movie poster featured a long blurb that read: "Criminals went free. Officials were bribed. Witnesses were threatened. The F.B.I. couldn't stop it. One woman did. She challenged the State of Tennessee and put criminal justice on trial". See more »
This was a great thriller, and is especially timely today, with all the corruption and lawbreaking at the top of government,
But I disagree with Michael Morrison when he says that Ray Blanton ended his governorship the way President Clinton ended his presidency. I've seen the movie twice, and have researched Blanton. The truth is, Blanton was a very corrupt official who did very little for his constituents and did not care about upholding the law or about the people who elected him. Unless everything I've read about Blanton, and saw in the film, was incorrect, Mr. Morrison is wrong. The truth is, Blanton left office in disgrace, with a dismal record as governor. Among those who remember him, he holds very little respect. In fact, even though The Tennessee State Constitution was amended in 1978 to allow Blanton and future Tennessee governors to succeed themselves. he did not run for reelection. In fact, due to the controversy surrounding his administration and lack of respect the public felt about him, it was very unlikely he would have been renominated, let alone reelected, had he chosen to run.
So Mr. Morrison observations are 180 degrees wrong.
As far as the movie, itself, is concerned, the story is strong. I was actually getting hot under the collar watching the corruption going on, even though it was only a movie. Spissy Spacek's performance as Marie Ragghianti made me genuinely feel the frustration of being in a position where she has to choose between siding with the law and your citizens or siding with a corrupt government official (who will abuse his power and authority in order to put you down if you don't join his side). This is true testimony to her acting skills.
Fred Thompson plays himself in this film; a skillful performance which led to his eventual full-time career as an actor. As a real life politician, himself, he skillfully is able to draw on his personal experience to bring certain depth to both his role here and subsequent acting roles he carried.
Although the situation in Tennesee, back in the 1970s, doesn't come close to the level of corruption today, at the Federal level, it does serve as an excellent morality tale of what can and, indeed, has happened. It's a bite size version of the bigger story that is going on today.
12 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this