6.0/10
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4 user 2 critic

Beyond the Call (1996)

R | | Drama | TV Movie 23 June 1996
Russell Gates is a Vietnam vet on death row for killing a policeman. His childhood sweetheart, Pam O'Brien, is stunned to learn this and does not believe he could commit such a crime. She ... See full summary »

Director:

Tony Bill

Writer:

Doug Magee
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sissy Spacek ... Pam O'Brien
David Strathairn ... Russell Cates
Arliss Howard ... Keith O'Brien
Janet Wright ... Fran
Lindsay Murrell ... Rebecca
Leslie Carlson ... Dan (as Les Carlson)
Ken James Ken James ... Mel
Christina Collins Christina Collins ... Ruth
Andrew Sardella Andrew Sardella ... Mark
Wayne Downer Wayne Downer ... Policeman #2
Diane D'Aquila Diane D'Aquila ... Angela
Christine Reeves Christine Reeves ... Cop's Wife
Rufus Crawford ... Thibodeaux
Desmond Campbell ... Guard #1
John Pearson John Pearson ... Guard #2
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Storyline

Russell Gates is a Vietnam vet on death row for killing a policeman. His childhood sweetheart, Pam O'Brien, is stunned to learn this and does not believe he could commit such a crime. She writes to him much to the dismay of her husband Keith and becomes obsessed with the case, exploring every avenue that may still be open to the doomed man. The trips to the prison take a toll on both her marriage and her family. Written by David Kinne <davros@gargoyle.apana.org.au>

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Trivia

True story what film is based on appertains on episode of "My Favourite Murder" podcast See more »

User Reviews

 
Well played death row drama
10 March 2014 | by OJTSee all my reviews

Actor and director Tony Bill has directed this story which tell another tragic Vietnam veteran story. Today a bit contrived, maybe, but in 1996 quite actual. It still is. War time veterans with psychological problems are coming out of any war.

Middle aged Pam learns that her childhood sweetheart, Russel, a man which couldn't hurt a fly, is imprisoned and waiting on death row after killing a policeman. She can't understand why, and goes to visit him, and sons learn that he didn't do what he is accused for. She engages in the case, and this soon affects her life and her marriage. Her husband is a Vietnam vet himself, and not at all with ease with it.

Sissy Spacek plays Pam, and David Strathairn plays their roles with great poise, and adds to the films greatness. Arliss Howard starts off like an unimportant guy in the beginning, but soon he is doing just as great as the others. The film hits on several levels, and is almost like a stage play. It could have been great on stage with a couple if good actors. And it's turned out to be a good film as well. Dark and bleak, yet filmed with bright colors as well, like a fresh nineties film, it balances between a film noir and prison movie. The film uses flashbacks when it comes to her child hood memories, to underline that Russ was a nice guy back then.

It's strong on emotions, and gets you really in the end. A drama you won't forget.

Watch this seven times before you go watch the highly overrated "Dead man walking".


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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperança Final See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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