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Sparks: The Price of Passion (1990)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 25 February 1990
A female mayor (Victoria Principal) of Albuquerque gets embroiled in a fight over the development of a new economic center. In the midst of this, she receives blackmail photos of an ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Richard Colla)

Writers:

(story), (teleplay) (as John Robert Bensink) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Patricia Sparks
... Steve Warner
... Vic Ramos
... Cam Wilson
... Pete
Gracie Harrison ... Cathy, T.V. Reporter
... Marti Sparks
... Orville Lemon
Radha Delamarter ... Elinor Cummings
Steven Tyler ... Craig Stone
Lois Geary ... Daisy McMahon
Tory Polone ... Cheryl Becker
Patricia Van Ingen ... Gloria Aguilar
Joseph Andrade ... Mike Delgadillo
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Storyline

A female mayor (Victoria Principal) of Albuquerque gets embroiled in a fight over the development of a new economic center. In the midst of this, she receives blackmail photos of an overnight fling she had with a stranger and threats of blackmail. On top of all this, the city is under siege by a serial killer who hunts powerful women. When the FBI moves in for the investigation, the chief officer (Ted Wass) turns out to be the stranger. Ralph Waite shows up as a friend of the mayor pressuring her for the development. Elaine Stritch plays her mother, Hector Elizondo is the city attorney, and William Lucking is the police chief. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

25 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Preis der Leidenschaft  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

MAGDELENA
Performed by Lawyers, Guns and Money
Written and vocals by William Parnall
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User Reviews

Victoria Sparks
10 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

Produced by Victoria Principal's production company, she is Patricia Sparks, the Mayor of Albuquerque. Believing Principal as a mayor is only the first of the plausibility hurdles this treatment requires, though she does look lovely and has enough skill to pull off a scene of angry hysteria at the news of the death of a friend. The idea of casting Elaine Stritch as her mother is one that doesn't work, since Stritch is a different kind of performer to Principal, and they don't look physically right together.

The teleplay by John Robert Bensink and Bill Svanoe includes a serial killer of women, blackmail, opposition to Principal from big business good ole boys, and her romance with the FBI agent (Ted Wass) in charge of the homicides. The opening scene where Principal nearly has casual sex with Wass exists so that she can be photographed in a compromising pose, though Wass is hardly the casual sex type, and the blackmail a means to stop Principal's objections to city land development. However since the businessman are presented as overweight snakes, there's no doubt about the result. At first, the serial killings also seem to be related to the blackmail, however the identity of the killer when revealed is arbitrary.

The killer is profiled on television with psychobabble, `a born killer, not wanted in the people equation he landed in', and the writers idea of wit is `I could kill a puppy for a cup of coffee right now'. They also use `cowboy jive' in `If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch', in a community which is parts cowboy, latino and American Indian. The banter between Principal and Wass, where he is meant to charm her into bed, is unconvincing, which makes her sudden change of mind after an extended kiss, all the more inexplicable. And they have a later sex scene in the open, which one would think is foolhardly considering the previous trouble.

However Principal's secretary gets a laugh from reciting phone messages regarding the photograph, `Who's the guy? When can I see the mayor? How worried is she about this? And who's the guy?'.

Director Richard Colla does nothing to enliven the interminable proceedings, each plot strand is weighted indifferently, diffusing any tension, and he overuses the music score by Bob Alcivar.


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