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The Right of the People (1986)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 13 January 1986
After a horrific shooting incident, a small town votes to allow a mass arming of the citizenry.

Director:

Jeffrey Bloom

Writer:

Jeffrey Bloom
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Ontkean ... Christopher Wells
Jane Kaczmarek ... Alicia
Billy Dee Williams ... Mike Trainor
John Randolph ... Hollander
M. Emmet Walsh ... Mayor
Jamie Smith-Jackson ... Angela
Janet Carroll ... Marjorie
Jeffrey Josephson Jeffrey Josephson ... Styles
Joanne Linville ... Rosalind
Scott Michael Wilson Scott Michael Wilson ... Robbie Curtis
Sandra Lynn Currie Sandra Lynn Currie ... Nurse
Chuck Shamata ... Phil Petroni
Ken Pogue ... Jay Brooks
Lawrence Kopp Lawrence Kopp ... Law Student
Micki Moore ... TV Hostess
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Storyline

Michael Ontkean's wife and daughter die in a brutal diner robbery. Stricken with rage, he pushes right-to-carry legislation through the city council. But will a well-armed populace create more problems than it solves? Written by <purchagent@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ase kädessä See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This movie was said to have been inspired by a 1980 incident in which several people were shot and injured and murdered in a robbery at Los Angeles' Bob's Big Boy restaurant on December 14, 1980. See more »

Goofs

Lawrence, Kansas exists, but there is no "St" Lawrence anywhere in Kansas. See more »

Soundtracks

America the Beautiful
Written by Katharine Lee Bates (uncredited) and Samuel A. Ward (uncredited)
Performed by Ellis Hall and The Blossoms
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User Reviews

Morbid Fantasy of the Gun-Grabbing Lunatic Fringe
29 June 2001 | by Jubal28See all my reviews

I recall watching this MOW when it was on originally, which may have been the only showing of it to a national audience. Even at my young age (IMDb calls this movie 1986; I seem to recall it was earlier), in my early teens, I distinctly recall thinking that people just don't act the way they were depicted in this movie.

The basic crux is this -- a grieving father never wants anyone else to lose a child to a gunman, so he pushes to have carry laws in his town liberalized so that all citizens may carry a gun. The idea is that armed citizens can fend off a criminal's attack.

Of course, what ends up happening is that every little verbal spat ends up in a shooting, and the town is in chaos. The POINT, as if no one can figure it out, is that guns turn otherwise rational people into mentally depraved, frothy murderous lunatics.

It was a silly display. Just because you CAN kill someone doesn't mean you'd try, no matter how flippant he's being about your fender-bender. Most people know the difference between a heated argument and lethal violence; even if they'd be inclined to throw a punch, they're not going to take it to the level of death.

Much to the producers' chagrin, of course, subsequent to the movie, many states liberalized their carry laws, and instead of this morass of carnage, crime in each of those states experienced an immediate, dramatic, and permanent drop in crime. The fender-bender shootings never materialized (with one notable exception of which I'm aware -- between two women. Draw your own conclusions). In fact, several municipalities throughout the country have gone the extra step of REQUIRING gun ownership, and they are among the most crime-free anywhere.

This movie was made as propaganda for an extremist political agenda, and nothing more. Thankfully, no one remembers it -- because that's all it's worth.


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