The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story (TV Movie 2004) Poster

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Decent and intriguing real-life drama-thriller
boyinflares7 December 2005
Living in a country where media coverage of the Laci Peterson story was minimal, this TV-film did a great job of depicting the tragic events. The pace was good and the story telling was thoughtful without getting complicated. Dean Cain was fantastic (as always) in his role as Scott Peterson, and Tracy Middendorf was great as his innocent girlfriend, Amber. Sarah Brown and David Deman were also good as Kate and Tom Vignatti. The rest of the cast were all competent, but didn't get a lot of screen time. The only problem I see with the film is that perhaps it should have been made after the final outcome in the real Laci Peterson story, then there would have been more of an ending.
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Dean Cain's FILM!
whpratt116 February 2004
Dean Cain(Scott Peterson),"Dragon Fighter",'03, gave a great performance with the actual facts of the story as we presently have seen them over and over again. Dean Cain copied all the characteristics of Scott Peterson, which was a very difficult task to perform under all the circumstances concerning this case. I wonder if Scott will ever get a fair trial after the showing of this picture. The jurors in this case have a very hard job in trying to be fair and just!
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The Perfect Husband The Laci Peterson Story
psywizard88018 November 2006
This movie was released before the trial was over. I could not believe they were going to do that. I was glued to the TV from the beginning of this mess started on Christmas Eve 2002. I thought the movie was good, and Dean Cain kinda looked like Peterson. A little creepy! But we all now know, you can't kill your wife and unborn child here in the USA. Scott got what he deserved, the death sentence. I would rather seen him in prison, with no chance of parole, but in the general population. I watch this movie a lot. Good acting and i give this movie a B+.This trial went on and on as we know, but I think the whole world fell in love with Laci. She was just a beautiful girl in looks and spirit. All she wanted to do is have a normal life and have children with a man she could love and trust. But there were so many affairs with him, shortly after they were married. I only wish she would have left the marriage and Laci would still be here. I think of the family often.
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Average TV-movie on a notorious case
tcdarkness15 February 2004
The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story is a TV-movie starring Dean Cain as Scott Peterson, the man accused of killing his 8-month-pregnant wife Laci (Meredith Lieber) and who'd had an affair with Amber Frey (Tracy Middendorf) in 2002.

The movie was filmed before the murder case against Scott had even began, so of course the movie has to be rather ambivalent in its treatment of him. That is one of the major flaws of the movie. Without a settled case, the movie really beats around the bush as to whether or not Scott did the murder or if he was just a man with a bad secret who was wrongfully accused.

For his part, Dean Cain plays the role well with hints of guilt, but the part was scripted as such it seems and he is not an endearing character. He could have been more convincing early in the script, before the revelation that he was a suspect, then shown as more conniving. From the get-go, his character just shows too many guilt signs and ever action of his says "look at me, this is a warning sign" instead of being more subliminal early.

In all, there is a complete lack of a true central character. Laci is non-existent as a character in the movie, mostly just referred to in the past tense. The parents, rightfully so, share a large portion of the screen time and most of the sympathy of the viewer. But there are a lot of useless actors with bit roles (investigators, for instance) in the script to keep it true to the real-life people instead of amalgamated into a few more meaningful, dramatized characters.

Overall, a lackluster effort and a movie made too soon with no real connection to the murdered individual. It just seems like the TV movie that it is instead of something more. 5/10
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clarknlex0417 July 2004
I recently watched this film and have to be honest. I bought it because Dean Cain was playing a part in it. I live in the UK and had not heard much about Scott Peterson or what he was being accused of. My main reason for commenting on the film is the fact that seeing as this film is based on a sad true story (or should I say speculated from the writers and medias point of view)that Dean Cain played his part of Scott extremely well. It would of been a much better film had the trial been over so the ending would of been more understanding. As I didn't know much about the case I was asking myself what happened, was he guilty or innocent. I am writing this dated July 17th 2004 and I'm still not sure if Scott Peterson has had his trial. Although I don't think so as I'm sure it would be on the UK news channels as well. I'm also quite upset that the writer's didn't include in the film all the facts relating to the case. The fact that another pregnant woman was found on the same beach about a mile away should of been included. And the fact that the police didn't seem interested in the old lady who was pretty sure she seen Laci in the town with the dog, it's as if they wanted him to be guilty and didn't care if he wasn't. Also anyone who is being hounded by the press is going to try and disguise themselves (I know I would), I also heard that just because they found Laci's hair on her boat (yes I said her boat) there using this as evidence as well, but if it's her boat there's bound to be her hair on it. This seems a little extreme to me as if they are clutching at straws or something. It is a very good story in it's self and one which could've had a better ending but I for one did enjoy it but it wasn't what I expected to see. I actually thought the film was going to show Laci and Scott together to see just how well they did get on. After all he was being classed as the perfect husband. I hope I've not offended anyone with my comments, this was not my intention. I just wanted to comment on Dean Cain's superior acting skills. I'm sure everyone agrees.

From Tracey (Dean Cain fan)
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Soap Opera Glut
rollingbecks23 May 2004
This should not have been made at this time. Mr. Petersen should have been afforded a fair trial before he was tried in the media. As I watched the USA network production, I couldn't help but wonder "Why" I didn't recognize but 2 actors. Dean Cain and G.W. Bailey did a great job. Dean Cain's portrayal was very good. I guess G.W. Bailey did a decent portrayal, I really can't comment, because I not familiar with the investigating officer. But the question remains who were the other actors? Out of work Soap stars, that's who! And that my friends explains why this entire production is n nothing more than a "Soap Opera". Shame on you, USA network.
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Interesting As A True Life Story
Lechuguilla17 April 2014
Though it's an interesting true life story, the production and release of the film in 2004 is unfortunate because at that time the outcome of the case was not known; no person had been convicted and therefore the case technically was still unsolved. Accordingly, the timing of the release conveys the impression of tabloid journalism on the part of the film's producers, Sony Pictures, in an apparent attempt to capitalize on a personal tragedy.

That said, "The Perfect Husband" is not a bad film. It's got drama and credibility as a true story. On the other hand, I don't think I much care for most of the principal characters, upwardly mobile yuppies. The media vultures are nauseating. And the plot seems a little rushed; what made the cops so quick to suspect Scott after just ten minutes? Further, there's one mysterious telephone call to Scott that is never explained.

Production values are about what you would expect for a TV movie. Casting and acting are fine. Cinematography trends a bit pedestrian but competent; there are lots of camera close-up shots. Background music is irrelevant. I did not notice any problems with editing, though breaks for television commercials are obvious and slightly irritating.

Overall, what makes the film worth watching is that it is based on a true story. The characters, though annoying, are real people. But I wish the film could have been delayed until the case had been resolved, to give viewers a better perspective on the characters, especially Scott Peterson, and on overall case details such as motive and underlying mental state of the killer.
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Can't Hollywood leave anything alone?
charmedgirl813 December 2004
For crying out loud, this has got to be the most ridiculous, insensitive thing I have ever seen! (Well I haven't seen the movie but just the fact that there is one made)...can't Hollywood leave anything alone anymore? Why is it that every real-life tragedy has to be turned into some MADE FOR T.V. MOVIE? I guess producers can't come up with anything else more original and as if they don't have enough money already they need to bring in old soap actors (Sarah Brown as Laci Peterson???)into this just so their careers don't fade away completely!

Seriously Hollywood, stop feeding off of the families' pain and come up with your OWN stories instead of trying to re-enact real life tragedies and leave well enough alone!
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good movie but no end
JUDYCHRIS9 November 2005
Overall, I liked the movie. Especially, I liked the acting of Dean Cain. He did a great job. Also, the filming is great. But I am still not sure if the husband is guilty or not. I didn't like about this movie that it comes with an open end and you are made to think how the story ends. Some of my friends say there is evidence that the husband is guilt of killing his wife. I think, the true murderer was his friend Tom. I had the feeling he knows something he hadn't told us. He believed so sternly in his friend Scott until the end. Too bad, that Scott never got the chance to confess to his girlfriend who the true murderer was...

Summary: If you want to see good acting watch the movie. f you prefer to have happy endings this one is not the right movie for you.
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Scott Peterson
YANKEES_VS_LAKERS25 January 2009
I live in the UK as well. I heard the story through the National Enquire. I was really upset to read that someone could do that to their loved one. I have the Dean Cain film on this story as well as Amberty Frey: Witness for the prosecution's of Scott Peterson as well as the amber Frey book. Both the film and book by Amber Frey explain the missing pieces from the dean Cain version off. The Amber Frey has her version of accounts and it follows the trial right to the end. I would recommend that you watch the amber Frey film as it would give you a better understanding of what happened.

Scott Peterson started an affair with Amber Frey but he started to lie to her. Unbeknowen to amber he was already married to lacy and due a baby with her any day. Amber then find out about Scott and lacy. Amber's story is all about how she tried to help find lacy. and bring Scott to the police. As well as telling her versions of events that happened from the time she met Scott till his trial of which came back the verdict of Scott getting sentenced to death . He is currently awaiting death row at San Quentin State Prison. When it is time for him to receive his death sentience by Lethal Injection. it is not know when.
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The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story
a_baron17 December 2021
Although this is called the Laci Peterson story, the lady is noticeable by her absence; the film focuses entirely on her husband from the time she was reported missing up to his arrest. This controversial case needs no introduction for crime buffs. Eight months pregnant, the victim disappeared on Christmas Eve, 2002, and almost from the beginning, her husband was the prime suspect.

Dean Cain plays the lead straight, and while there is no violence nor anything graphic in the film, it might rightly be classed as obscene because it was released February 13, 2004 , nearly four months before Peterson's trial actually began. The lynch mob shown in one of the last scenes is an accurate reflection of what actually happened. The film-makers don't seem to realise they were part of that lynch mob, and while Peterson was almost certainly rightly convicted, it can only lose points due to its disgraceful presumptuousness.
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Excellent performances all 'round and meticulous attention to detail make this well above average for a made for TV Movie.
paulb475 April 2004
Was it even appropriate to make this movie before the case goes to trial!? It would appear that the American Judicial system continues to merge with the American Entertainment Industry such that there is very little to distinguish one from the other any more. So my short answer would be, "Yes it probably was appropriate".

As for the movie itself, I'm impressed with it's attention to detail and how well this made-for-TV movie stands up to multiple viewings. It's essentially just a chronology of highlights leading up to Scott Peterson's actual arrest. Portraying Scott as perhaps innocent would be a nearly impossible tasks just looking at those rather damning events. To get around that dilemma the producers use the purposely gullible character of Tommy Vignatti to convey the outside possibility of Scott's innocence right up until the final scene of the movie.

All the performances by all the leads in this movie are completely believable and they all do an excellent job of showing how those immediately involved went from initially supporting Scott Peterson to one by one viewing him with distrust and disbelief. I would give this movie very high marks for the type of expositive TV drama that it undeniably is.
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A waste of a story that could have been told without so much sadness!
BreanneB25 June 2005
This movie was total cheese. It stank. I didn't find anything that is worth mention about this movie. Bad acting, routine script, cheap production, no good dirty rotten movie in general. All it was was sadness. It could have been told telling the good things that happened in Laci Peterson's life, not one sad incident that happened in her lifetime. Also, I totally think that there could have been a lot better actors play these characters. People such as, Ben Foster, Jon Foster, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipee, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair and Holland Taylor. Good I hate that monster Scott Peterson. May he burn in hell with Satan forever. "Scott Got What He Deserved". Ron Grantski, Laci's Stepfather.
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i think this is so sad about LACY it is again on LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK,after not watching this for years.great movie!no complaint at all...................
domincanredangel13 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
i love Sexy dean Cain.he still is a cutie since playing Superman TV series love his acting.he look so much like a "better looking'Scott Peterson"i do see the strong resemblance,as the movie was a real good one,told by the friend perspective on it i think two of lacy and Scott friends or told by the two friends of lacy RIP. They should'vie in a way yes wait until the trial conclude,however i am sure they just wanted 1 movie told from the friend P.O.V.(point of view)in the inception of her missing,so i am fine with that. love the movie overall and what a great actress dean and Sarah j.brown(Carly corinthos)ex actress on general hospital.she was awesome!

very convincingly as KATE.

The man who played the brother was OK as well as who play tommy was a good actor portraying the friend to Scott.

and Dean just is always a great actor,with whatever part he is obvious crazy loser Scott killed his poor son and wife lacy.Guy was not even crying upset really over Connor and her missing so flagrant.

i give it 10 stars if i can,due to the nature of the true to life story. and two of my fave actors in it mention above rocked EACH sad but a good movie. ADIOS.
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Worst Movie Ever!!!!!
jaffar-18 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I had no idea it was based on a real story, but now that I know it I see it even worst. The worst acting ever, actors contradict their parliaments time after time. For example:

"When Scott leaves his house once her son and wife bodies are found by the sea shore he take his car to visit Amber Frey. The Detectives where at the PD checking his moves by a satellite transmitter installed on his truck, and while the Detectives where talking the older one said they must let him go into Amber's so that he confessed to her his crimes, the younger one reply him and then suddenly the older one says they must caught him before he get her, contradicting himself previous parliament. Dean Cain was not the best acting, his silly senseless smiles where completely out of tone, no dramatical differences between strongly touching parts and the normal movie rhythm. Scott's best friend acts even badly, his face seems more than a mask put on him from the very beginning of the movie till the very end, his wife is just a sea of tears.... If you really wanna waste an hour see it, dis-satisfaction guarantee. The original story it's a real tragedy, but once more Hollywood's directors and writers prove they care nothing at all people tragedies. Why putting some more sorrow on Laci Peterson's family, why abuse of people's sad stories just for money?? Let people deal with it instead of remember them how much does they suffer!!!!
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Dean Cain fan
u_rich0323 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a very good movie, though sad. I watched it cause I'm a huge Dean Cain fan. It hurt me to see him playing the bad guy. When ever I hear updates of the case on TV I think of Scott as being Dean and it makes me sad. I wish in future roles Dean would always be the good guy like he was as Superman. I think the movie was very good. There was a good cast of characters. It was very attention getting as I watched it from the beginning to end. The movie was very good about going along with the real facts of the case. I can't believe that they sentenced him guilty. There was not enough evidence to prove that it was him. I truly hope that it was not him.
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Hard to Understand the real story or how could this have happened!
Jazzie-too9 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is such a true story and hit so close to home that I'm sorry to have to rate it. The 8 is for the quality of the acting and portrayal of the story available before the trial. We live in Fresno, about 90 miles from Modesto. At the time this story first broke it was on Christmas Eve, 2002. We were busy with holiday family stuff--my birthday-- but it caught our attention because my daughter had met the couple, the previous February. She was stunned. Scott and Lacey had come up to where she lived at the time, in Mountain View. She shared a condo at the home of a long time friend of Scott, from high school. The friend told my daughter about the couple and how close they were. Just the "perfect couple". Then they met at this party in the condo's rec/party room. My daughter said they were a beautiful couple. Lacy was very bubbly. At one point Scott was hanging with a group of guys. Later my daughter referred to an observation that she thought Scott was surveying the room and thought he could be a "player". This thought did not come up until after the girlfriend, Amber Frye, went public. THAT was a huge shocker. Up to that point, we thought him to be this loving part of this "perfect couple". No way was he involved. That changed instantly upon the public revelation from Amber Frye on the news. Then, day by day, we watched the news and awaited more information. Where was Lacie? Where was Scott! when the town vigil was taking place? (he didn't want to be seen on TV--girlfriend!!) When her body was recovered from the San Francisco Bay, along with the baby's body, Scott's fishing story started to link up with how Lacy ended up where she did. As to how it all occurred, we may never know, but make no mistake, he did it. It is still a mystery HOW could HE do THIS!! It is probable that Lacie found something that exposed the infidelity and they had a physical altercation in which she was injured or killed, or even started delivery. Remember the fresh bleach cleaning in the home. In the story, Scott is portrayed to appear innocent, by his demeanor, but as my daughter suggested, he was that way. Very smooth. And I almost neglected to mention, before Scott was arrested, sometime in January, he went up to his friend's condo, in MV, where my daughter still lived. He needed to escape all the news blitz and suspicions in Modesto. This was after Jan 17th. I remember my daughter calling me and telling me Scott Petersen was there that night, sleeping under the same roof. I was so not comfortable. Neither was my daughter. Seems so dumb now that she stayed there that night, and just closed her door. It is such an eerie memory. He wasn't arrested until April 18, 2003--4 days following decomposed body remains of the fetus on the 13th and Lacie's on the 14th. So terribly sad! Sorry this movie was made too soon and prior to any trial. And strangely at the end of the movie it states: "The views of the convicted killer presented in this program are his own and not those of the producers or A+E Networks." Now THAT is really weird. Firstly, he had only been arrested when it ends. Why would they do that! $$ Sick!
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rydelpinklady23 September 2004
Disappointment IN MOVIE-MAKING. The over-all movie lacked substance and what did go on was the trash we've already read in the tabloids. I don't know who wrote the film, but I feel like I could have done better myself being I've been following this case/trial since it started.

Just because I'm anal about these types of things, I noticed the fact that the leaves on the trees outside of the courthouse were orange which indicates it was fall when in the movie, it was supposed to be Winter. Also, being from the Bay Area, it was funny because all those news channels do not exist in the Bay Area. (I told you I'm anal about those types of things.)

It would be nice to see a movie made once the trial is completed and a verdict is reached (even though I'm almost 100% sure who's to blame). I'd like to see a film made with all the facts and details. This made for TV movie, had the worst ending I've ever seen. I kept waiting for something more to happen, but no, it concludes with Scott in jail.
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Stick To Lois & Clark
johnginesi-7227816 September 2020
I watched this movie at night, bad mistake as the storyline put me to sleep, this is not a good movie for Dean Cain, loved him in Lois & Clark, but this story was totally slow and boring. These daytime movies can be hit and miss but this one get's a thumbs down for me. Dean is a great actor who deserves a better film than this. I scored the 2 for his presence though the movie disappoints.
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badly written, made too quickly
silentfilmsiren13 February 2005
I watched this on TV a couple of months of ago and then recently after the trial was over, I watched it again because a friend of mine had a tape of it. First of all, Dean Cain tries to do a good job playing Scott Peterson and even sounds a little like him. It's sort of creepy but I kind of get the impression that Dean watched a lot of Scott's interviews and listened to him over and over again, trying to imiate him. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. The movie is poorly written. It came out way too soon before too many facts were out and it's also way too favorable to Scott Peterson. It's not too often that the film casts a shadow of guilt on him. It does try to make the cops involved in the case look bad. The movie tries to convince us that they are more concerned with framing Scott than actually finding Laci Peterson. It also makes Laci's family and friends look bad. They are seen as people who turn on Scott very quickly, because of his selling of Laci's car and his affair with Amber Frey. The attempt to recreate times that Laci's family and Amber went to the press are also bad and look poorly staged. Since the conversations between Scott and Amber weren't public at the time, the writers tried to write out dialogue on what they thought Peterson might have said on his cell phone to Amber. Those scenes are pretty short,lol. There's also a fictional (guessing) couple who are supposed to be friends of Laci's and Scott's who fight over whether or not Scott did it. Typical idiot writers portray it as though it's the hysterical women (Laci's two friends) who think Scott is guilty and the cops who are after Scott. I'm really so sure that the cops and her female friends were really anxious to see Laci's husband on trial for murder instead of the who did this. I'm sure justice meant nothing to them and they were fine with the idea of the killer of the friend being on the loose as long as Laci's husband (whom they probably had to their houses dozens of times and who they knew thought they knew pretty well) getting sent to jail. That is beyond stupid. It was most likely difficult for them even beginning to think that Scott did it but they could no longer no ignore Scott's behavior or the evidence pointing to the fact that Scott most likely did it. The annoying part in the movie that I'm sure never happened in real life was everybody going around hollering "How'that going to look when you do that?" "It's going to look bad if you do this, Scott". Everybody was probably too upset about Laci to worrying about how things were looking, unless of course you've got something to hide. Why would friends advise Scott on how to behave unless they suspected he was guilty and want to help him look innocent? One of the earlier scenes where they are talking about giving a press conference and Dean goes, "The press has a victim, now they need a villain." That was really poor writing. The press conferences were about trying to get people to give tips about finding Laci, not about looking a villain, lol. Basically, this movie might have been interesting before all the facts and everything was out but now, it just makes you roll your eyes at it.
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Outstanding performance by Dean Cain.
cdstevensny4 April 2022
I came across this film that I somehow missed in the past. To say that at times I was literally convinced that I was staring at Scott Peterson when Dean Cain was on screen is an understatement!

Films based on real people/events are usually cheesy or hard to get into because its people acting in some drama we've already seen play out - that is NOT the case with this film.

The entire was excellent, well done overall and worth seeing!
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Can anyone tell me the end?
carmenrod15 October 2006
I've seen this picture twice. But this two times, I haven't seen the end of this interesting picture. I agree that the actuation of Dean Cain is very good. It demonstrates an enigmatic husband, that some times seems a victim and others a murder. The question is, can anyone tell me if he's the killer? Please, last night is was so late and I can't stay awake... Then, the actuation of his best friend is excellent too, that guy shows all the time his loyalty to his friend, Dean Cain, above all the suspicious of almost all the friends, relatives and press. His wife plays a good role too. She shows her angry against what she thoughts is the murderer.
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Real life movie or fiction?
ungasg3 December 2004
To present a real happening as in a movie is unique and always interesting to watch. However, smooth as the story line may be, the ending is rather cynical, without the 'real' presentation of the real case, if any otherwise it was only based on presumption. It is 'presumed' that Dean Cain MURDERED his wife but without court verdict nor findings. I don't know much about the real life story behind, or if the case has been closed or still an open end case or was it just the conclusion of the police and if so, why then made a movie based on real life story that has not ended with a finding?. Is Hollywood expecting us to judge as like in a fiction movie?.
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