5.7/10
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When Secrets Kill (1997)

A young girl's adoptive parents become suspects when her biological mother is murdered.

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(book), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Greg Newhall
... Karen Newhall
... Jenny Newhall
... Linda Emery (as Larissa Lapchinski)
... Lt. Larry
... Det. Walter Ferrence
... Phyllis Hodges
... Eliza Emery
... Eddie Hughes
... Emily Ferrence
... Bill Emery
Sally Willis ... Glenda Emery
Patric Masurkevitch ... Sam Martin
Kate Hennig ... Mary Martin
... Chief Matthews
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Storyline

A woman comes to claim her daughter and threatens to destroy the Newhall's family. When she gets killed, the prime suspect becomes Greg Newhall. He claims he is being framed and didn't kill her. But who did? Based on the book called "Mother's Day". Written by David Schaefer <schaefd@eagle.ca>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

6 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les soupçons du coeur  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
If Agatha Christie were American, she would have written it
12 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

This movie was more than a pleasant surprise when I took an old VC that I'd recorded years ago and put on a shelf for later (when nothing else would be available). A TV movie with Roxanne Hart isn't something one would run to buy or hire, and as there are gallons of "true" or "could be true" stories on different channels it can be easily missed. And what a pity it would be! My instinct didn't mislead me this time, this one is a hidden star in the mud of similar movies.

If Agatha Christie were American this would be her story. The story-writer must have read all her novels and carefully transposed it's mood and plot-developing to USA, not neglecting American society (small American town looks probably more like Martian than like English small town), characters, and construction of American movies: the only real difference is made in last five minutes, the movie doesn't end with meeting of all possible suspects and Poirot or Miss Marple points the villain, but in typical American way - a few shots and the bad one's dead (I won't reveal if it is he or she).

The story introduces us to a typical peaceful lethargic (rather) small town where you don't expect crime bigger than broken window or stolen garden dwarf (like Picket Fences, or Edward Scissorhands). Then we meet a family with a teenage girl and for a short while it is a typical ordinary sitcom-type family with all the problems a teenager-containing family is expected to have (8 Rules, Family Ties). A bell on the door shows that the family isn't so ordinary, and a drama replaces first light tones (Fly Away Home, The Horse Whisperer, Man in the Moon). We meet more and more characters, the slow start is speeding, and when a first (not so unexpected) corpse is found, we are prepared to start guessing who did it - all in typical A. Christie way, including a total of three murders (without the final shooting) as usual in her novels.

If you prefer calm who-did-it movies with a lot of possible suspects, all of them well played interesting characters, and a surprising but not illogical end, give this one a chance even if TV movies are on your ignore list.


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