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Justice in a Small Town (1994)

TV-14 | | Drama | TV Movie 23 September 1994
A civil service worker in Georgia places her family at risk when she agrees to help expose high-level corruption.

Director:

Jan Egleson

Writer:

Richard Rashke
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Jackson ... Sandra Clayton
John Shea ... Tommy Marchant
Terry O'Quinn ... Harris Wiley
Beth Broderick ... Melissa Brewer
Jennifer Guthrie Jennifer Guthrie ... Beth Tyler
Rand Courtney Rand Courtney ... Shane Clayton
Megan Gallacher ... Shannon
Gustave Johnson ... Agent Curtis
Dean Stockwell ... Commissioner Sam Caldwell
Robert Pentz Robert Pentz ... Mitchell
Nello Tare Nello Tare ... Sheriff Dawes
Marc Macaulay ... Derek
Ed Lillard Ed Lillard ... Senator Bo Denton
James Martin James Martin ... David K. Rogers
Robert D. Raiford Robert D. Raiford ... Albert Scardino (as Robert Raiford)
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Storyline

A civil service worker in Georgia places her family at risk when she agrees to help expose high-level corruption.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on true story | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Washington DC attorney B. Chad Bungard appears as an uncredited extra in the bar scene sitting directly behind Kate Jackson. See more »

Goofs

In the first few scenes with Kate Jackson where she is ironing and taking dictation, a cast on her right hand and wrist is visible. It disappears in the next scene in the bar. See more »

User Reviews

or Give me some Hard Evidence for the Day of Reckoning
10 June 2003 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

This made-for-TV movie based on a true story is so low-key it makes Mike Nichols' similar-themed feature Silkwood (1983) look like a masterpiece. Here one's empathy is with the badies through sheer apathy about the good guys.

In an un-named town in Georgia, Sandra (Kate Jackson) works as a secretary for the Wiley Lumber Company, where inappropriate behavior and corruption are blatant. Although the company's association with the Department of Labor's Commissioner Sam Caldwell (Dean Stockwell) is less clear, it is obvious to Sandra, who decides to blow the whistle on what she sees as fraud, with the help of her romantic interest and co-worker Tommy Marchant (John Shea).

The teleplay by Richard Rashke has some half-amusing southern wit. "He needs a new car the way Georgia needs another peanut farm". "You left a trail so wide a blind coon dog could follow it". "He's inside the coop. He knows where the eggs are". "They're like mean old tics. One smell of blood and they borough right on in". And "Georgia's half swamp. Sources have been known to disappear". However all the "You'll"'s and "Sugar"'s grow tiresome, and we even have the cliched exchange "Why should we trust you? You don't have much of a choice".

A break-in without gloves being worn is just a stupid lack of attention, and the hostility of Sandra's neglected son Shane is only addressed when he comes to admire his mother for the crusade, which seems ludicrous. Another co-worker of Sandra, Beth (Jennifer Guthrie) is forced to prostitute, and an expectation is created that Sandra will also be asked, but this is not met, and Beth practically disappears.

Rashke presents Sandra as a divorced mother of two, who also arranges flowers in her spare time, but she doesn't actually do anything until she wears a wire for the FBI late in proceedings. This scene finally provides Jackson with something to play, and she even gets a flattering close-up, but otherwise she is only marginally less stoic than Shea. Wearing her hair in bangs and a perm, she falls back on big-eye acting. Together Shea and Jackson do not make a very sizzling team, perhaps influenced by their facial similarities. As one of the Company managers, Beth Broderick has little to do except act blowsy, though she does supply some lesbian subtext, and a barely competent Gustave Johnson as the FBI agent steals scenes easily from Jackson and Shea.

Director Jan Egleson uses a tilted camera, a flashlight shone into the camera, hand-held, and black & white freezes when photograph's are taken, but the twangy guitar in the music score of composer David McHugh's is over-used. It's also hard to accept a tale about the abuse of women told by a director who introduces an actress by her legs, humiliates another in a rape scene, and drools over bikini-clad babes.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coacción al testigo See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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