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Super Seventies RockSite! presents

 Memorable Seventies Made-For-TV Movies

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THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Children's, 1973
videos bullet iconJosh Albee, Jeff Tyler, Buddy Ebsen, Jane Wyatt, Vic Morrow, Chris Wiggins. Directed by James Neilson. 78 min.

It's not the definitive Mark Twain classic, but not entirely abysmal, either. If your kids haven't seen any of the numerous versions available, they might enjoy the antics of Tom, his pal Huckleberry Finn, and the villianous Injun Joe. But no film of this tale has ever truly captured the earthy humor and twangy charm of the original. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE AFFAIR
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconNatalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Bruce Davison, Jamie Smith Jackson, Kent Smith, Frances Reid, Pat Harrington. Directed by Gilbert Cates. 74 min.

Sensitive, careful handling of a 30-ish female songwriter with polio (Wood) experiencing her first love affair with a lawyer (Wagner). Excellent cast, expert script by Barbara Turner. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ALEXANDER: THE OTHER SIDE OF DAWN
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconLeigh J. McCloskey, Eve Plumb, Earl Holliman, Juliet Mills, Jean Hagen, Lonnie Chapman. Directed by John Erman. 100 min.

In this sequel to Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, a country-boy-turned-Hollywood-hustler (McCloskey) tries to find legitimate work in order to marry a teen-aged prostitute (Plumb) he had hoped to regenerate, but gets involved with a homosexual football pro. A sordid tale, with McCloskey aping Jon Voight's Midnight Cowboy characterization. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Action/Adventure, 1979
videos bullet iconRichard Thomas, Patricia Neal, Ian Holm, Donald Pleasance, Ernest Borgnine. Directed by Delbert Mann. 155 min.

It isn't often that a TV remake can hold its own with a recognized movie classic, but this expertly crafted and memorably acted drama bears comparison with its illustrious 1930 Hollywood original. Although it lacks the power of its distinguished predecessor, this credible production touches our emotions and shakes us out of our complacency as it unfolds the tale of an idealistic German student turned soldier who comes of age on a World War I battlefield. The pain and anger of Remarque's antiwar novel is captured with force and incisiveness, making this another enduring pacifist drama. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ALL YOU NEED IS CASH
Comedy, 1978
videos bullet iconNeil Innes, Eric Idle, Rikki Fataar, John Halsey. Directed by Eric Idle and Gary Weis. 70 min.

All You Need Is Cash was a film spoof on The Beatles featuring a satirical group calling themselves The Rutles. The group, comprised of Ron Nasty (Innes), Dirk McQuickly (Idle), Stig O'Hara (Fataar), and Barry Wom (Halsey), portrayed characters based on The Beatles and performed original material, written by Innes, based on The Beatles' music. The show aired in the U.S. on March 22, 1978, and included a cameo appearance by ex-Beatle George Harrison. The idea for The Rutles was conceived by Idle, who first presented a film of the group performing which was shown on the NBC-TV show Saturday Night Live. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE AMAZING HOWARD HUGHES
Drama, 1977
Tommy Lee Jones, Ed Flanders, James Hampton, Tovah Feldshuh, Lee Purcell, Jim Antonio, Sorrell Brooke, Arthur Franz. 215 min.

A surprisingly colorless account of the reclusive millionaire's life. Jones' dull performance is easily overshadowed by Flanders as associate Noah Dietrich and Feldshuh as Katherine Hepburn. But there is occasional intrigue in this ambitious production. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS CAROL
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconHenry Winkler, David Wayne, Dorian Harewood, Chris Wiggins, R.H. Thompson, Susan Hogan. Directed by Eric Till. 100 min.

A lot of facial putty turns "The Fonz" into Scrooge for this update of Dickens' classic set in a Depression-era New England town. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE?
Mystery/Suspense, 1978
videos bullet iconKathleen Beller, Blythe Danner, Tony Bill, Robin Mattson, Tricia O'Neill, Dennis Quaid. Directed by Walter Grauman. 96 min.

Predictable thriller about a high school coed who is the target of a terror campaign. Unsatisfactory adaptation of Richard Peck's Edgar Mystery Award-winning novel. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE ASTRONAUT
Horror/Science Fiction, 1971
Monte Markham, Jackie Cooper, Susan Clark, Robert Lansing, Wally Schirra. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. 73 min.

Space officials involved in a cover-up, ask an ex-pilot to pose as a lookalike astronaut who died on Mars. Average.

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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconCicely Tyson, Barbara Chaney, Richard Dysart, Katherine Helmond, Michael Murphy, Odetta, Thalmus Rasulala. Directed by John Korty. 110 min.

Acclaimed drama from Ernest J. Gaines' epic novel covering, through the memories of a fictional 110-year-old slave (Tyson), the black experience from the Civil War to the start of the civil rights movement. Tyson's tour-de-force performance, Korty's subtle direction, and Tracy Keenan Wynn's intelligent script accounted for three of the nine Emmy Awards given to the film, one of the most ambitious ever made for television. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BAD RONALD
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
videos bullet iconScott Jacoby, Pippa Scott, John Larch, Dabney Coleman, Kim Hunter, John Fiedler. Directed by Buzz Kulik. 78 min.

A family with three daughters moves into an old house unaware that it has a secret room occupied by a psychopathic teenager who has murdered a taunting peer. An intriguing little thriller adapted by Andrew Peter Martin from the John Holbrook Vance novel. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BAFFLED
Horror/Science Fiction, 1972
videos bullet iconLeonard Nimoy, Susan Hampshire, Vera Miles, Rachel Roberts, Jewel Branch, Christopher Benjamin. Directed by Phillip Leacock. 90 min.

Contrived but enjoyable race-against-time thriller by Theodore Apstein with Nimoy as an American race driver whose visions convince an ESP expert (Hampshire) that people in vision are in danger. An unsuccessful television pilot. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BATTERED
Drama, 1978
Karen Grassle, LeVar Burton, Mike Farrell, Joan Blondell, Howard Duff, Chip Fields. Directed by Peter Werner. 100 min.

Absorbing and disturbing drama interweaves three stories of wife-beating victims; Grassle also co-wrote this teleplay with Cynthia Lovelace Sears. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE BERMUDA DEPTHS
Horror/Science Fiction, 1978
videos bullet iconBurl Ives, Leigh McCloskey, Julie Woodson, Carl Weathers, Connie Sellecca. Directed by Tom Katani. 100 min.

A mysterious beauty and a prehistoric monster puzzle some scientists but offer no challenge to the viewer; crummy sci-fi. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE BIONIC WOMAN
Action/Adventure, 1975
videos bullet iconLee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson. Directed by Richard Moder. 96 min.

This series pilot is right up there with earth shoes, disco dancing, and Watergate among the important reasons we should all be embarrassed that the 1970s ever happened. We admit it: we preferred Lindsay Wagner running in slow motion as Jaime Sommers to robot Lee Majors as robot Steve Austin, but really! Wagner's winsomeness doesn't overcome the nonsensical plot. This is what you bought a VCR to escape. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BIRDS OF PREY
Action/Adventure, 1974
videos bullet iconDavid Janssen, Ralph Meeker, Elayne Heilveil, Harry Klekas, Sam Dawson. Directed by William Graham. 95 min.

Good suspenser as Salt Lake City traffic-helicopter pilot Janssen witnesses a bank robbery in progress, becomes inexorably involved. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BLACK NOON
Mystery/Suspense, 1971
videos bullet iconRoy Thinnes, Yvette Mimieux, Gloria Grahame, Lynn Loring, Ray Milland, Henry Silva, Suzan Sheppard, Leif Garrett. Directed by Bernard Kowalski. 73 min.

A traveling preacher and his young wife stumble upon an odd religious sect in the American west. Last shot of film explains all. Average.

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BORN INNOCENT
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconLinda Blair, Joanna Miles, Kim Hunter, Richard Jaeckel, Mary Murphy, Allyn Ann McLerie, Mitch Voegl. Directed by Donald Wrye. 100 min.

Graphic story of teenaged girl's struggle to adjust to rigors of tough juvenile detention home. Uncompromising film, distinguished in its original showing by a realistic rape of Blair by her fellow inmates (now cut from film). Otherwise, played for the sensational; average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE BLUE KNIGHT
Drama, 1973
William Holden, Lee Remick, Joe Santos, Sam Elliott, David Moody, Jamie Farr, Vic Tayback. Directed by Robert Butler. 103 min.

Holden gives gritty, Emmy-winning performance as Bumper Morgan, the hero of Joseph Wambaugh's best-selling novel about an aging L.A. street cop. Morgan's last four days on the job find him obsessed with finding a prostitute's killer, while his girlfriend (Remick) anxiously awaits the hour of his retirement. Well-done, authentic police story, superbly performed. Cut down from original four-part, 200-minute presentation for TV syndication. Above average.

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THE BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE
Drama, 1976
videos bullet iconJohn Travolta, Glynnis O'Connor, Robert Reed, Diana Hyland, Ralph Bellamy, Karen Morrow, John Friedrich, Buzz Aldrin. Directed by Randal Kleiser. 100 min.

A teenager is forced to live in physical and emotional isolation, having been born with an immunity deficiency, and is faced with a life or death situation when he falls in love with girl next door. Hinges on Travolta's earnest performance, but touches of bathos and a certain sci-fi attitude in the story's approach mar it. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A BRAND NEW LIFE
Drama, 1972
videos bullet iconCloris Leachman, Martin Balsam, Marge Redmond, Gene Nelson, Mildred Dunnock, Wilfrid Hyde-White. Directed by Sam O'Steen. 74 min.

A believable melodrama centering on a middle-aged couple reacting to the unexpected prospect of having their first child. Remarkable script (by Jerome Kass and Peggy Chandler Dick) and performances. Above average.

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BRIAN'S SONG
Drama, 1970
videos bullet iconBilly Dee Williams, James Caan, Jack Warden, Judy Pace, Shelley Fabares. Directed by Buzz Kulik. 73 min.

An exceptional film relating the real-life relationship between Chicago Bears football players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, and the tragedy which affects entire team when Piccolo develops cancer. An outstanding teleplay by William Blinn from Sayers' I Am Third. A beautiful score by Michel Legrand. A milestone of excellence in made-for-TV movies. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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BRIEF ENCOUNTER
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconRichard Burton, Sophia Loren, Jack Hedley, Rosemary Leach, Ann Firbank. Directed by Alan Bridges. 103 min.

Simply terrible remake of Noel Coward's story about a romantic liason between two married people. Originally shown at 74 min. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL
Drama, 1970
videos bullet iconGlenn Ford, Rosemary Forsyth, Dean Jagger, Maurice Evans, William Conrad. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 100 min.

An ambitious but hollow story of Ford (in his TV dramatic debut) determined to investigate a strange secret fraternity which is bigger and more powerful than he'd imagined. Average.

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CAGE WITHOUT A KEY
Drama, 1975
Susan Dey, Jonelle Allen, Sam Bottoms, Michael Brandon, Anne Bloom, Karen Carlson. Directed by Buzz Kulik. 100 min.

Teen-aged girl (Dey) innocently finds herself accomplice to a robbery and murder when she accepts a ride from a stranger, and then is wrongly sentenced to jail. Tedious, run-of-the-cellblock tale, resembles a 1940s B-movie. Below average.

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THE CALL OF THE WILD
Action/Adventure, 1976
John Beck, Bernard Fresson, John McLiam, Donald Moffat, Michael Pataki, Billy Green Bush, Penelope Windust, Johnny Tillotson. Directed by Jerry Jameson. 100 min.

Stark but quite graphic remake of Jack London's 1903 tale of gold fever and adventure in the Klondike. In this version, John Beck is an eager greenhorn and Fresson is a veteran prospector, but the star is a sled dog named Buck, who faces the hazards of man as well as nature. Script by James Dickey. Above average.

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CAN YOU HEAR THE LAUGHTER?: THE STORY OF FREDDIE PRINZE
Drama, 1979
Ira Angustain, Kevin Hooks, Randee Heller, Devon Ericson, Julie Carmen, Stephen Elliot. Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff. 100 min.

Affectionate account of the meteoric rise of the young comedian and his death by suicide in 1977. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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CAPTAIN AMERICA
Action/Adventure, 1979
videos bullet iconReb Brown, Len Birman, Heather Menzies, Steve Forrest, Robin Mattson, Joseph Ruskin. Directed by Rob Holcomb. 100 min.

Routine attempt to bring the legendary comic strip crimefighter to TV, this plot has his ex-Marine son continuing the family tradition of righting wrongs by pursuing an archcriminal who's aiming a neutron bomb at Phoenix. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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CATHOLICS
Drama, 1973
Trevor Howard, Martin Sheen, Raf Vallone, Cyril Cusak, Andrew Keir, Michael Gambon, Leon Vitale. Directed by Jack Gold. 78 min.

Powerful futuristic religious drama pitting strong-willed abbot Howard against emmisary-of-change Sheen, sent by the Vatican to his secluded monastery. Wordy but thought-provoking, adapted by Brian Moore from his novel. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
Drama, 1978
Jason Robards, Eva Marie Saint, Joanne Woodward, George Perry, Bryan Englund. Directed by George Englund. 100 min.

A sentimental Depression era tale about an elderly farm couple who take in their city-bred adolescent grandson for the holidays. A high-powered star cast elevates this already satisfying adoptation by Stewart Stern of Glendon Swarthout's novel, The Melodeon. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A CIRCLE OF CHILDREN
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconJane Alexander, Rachel Roberts, David Ogden Stiers, Nan Martin, Matthew Laborteaux. Directed by Don Taylor. 100 min.

Beautifully acted drama about an affluent suburbanite (Alexander) whose volunteer work with emotionally disturbed children fills the void in her life. Mary MacCracken's autobiographical novel served as the basis for this sensitive, intelligent film. Jane Alexander's superb performance is matched by that of Rachel Roberts as a gifted, demanding teacher who regards the volunteer as merely a hostess out of place. Script by Steven Gethers. Above average. Sequel: Lovey: A Circle of Children, Part II.

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THE CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Horror/Science Fiction, 1970
videos bullet iconRobert Wagner, Stuart Whitman, Rosemary Forsyth, Joseph Cotten, Richard Basehart, James Darren. Directed by Irwin Allen. 98 min.

It is 2053 A.D.: Colonists in the first underwater city struggle through their first year of attempted invasions, ocean horrors, and interpersonal squabbles. Better than average production values thanks to Irwin Allen. Script by John Meredyth Lucas. Above average.

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A COLD NIGHT'S DEATH
Mystery/Suspense, 1973
videos bullet iconRobert Culp, Eli Wallach, Michael C. Gwynne. Directed by Jerrold Freedman. 98 min.

An exceptional, offbeat mixture of psychological and physical terror in the story of two scientists replacing a dead predecessor in a wasteland research laboratory. Watch out for that ending. Written by Christopher Knopf. Above average.

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THE CONNECTION
Drama, 1973
Charles Durning, Ronny Cox, Zohra Lampert, Dennis Cole, Heather MacRae, Dana Wynter. Directed by Tom Gries. 73 min.

A deliberately intricate tale of a go-between (Durning) arranging a meeting between a jewel thief and insurance company representatives, capped by a mad car chase on Manhattan's West Side. Flawless pacing, great performances, and a good script by Albert Ruben. Above average.

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CONSPIRACY OF TERROR
Horror/Science Fiction, 1975
videos bullet iconMichael Constantine, Barbara Rhoades, Mariclare Costello, Roger Perry, David Opatoshu, Logan Ramsey. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 78 min.

Husband-wife detective team investigates the case of a man who literally was scared to death and is confronted with Satanism in suburbia. Comedy-drama, with the "cute" touch of having the ethnically mixed pair working different shifts. Average.

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THE CORN IS GREEN
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconKatherine Hepburn, Ian Saynor, Bill Fraser, Patricia Hayes, Anna Massey. Directed by George Cukor. 100 min.

Classy remake of the 1945 movie about a spinster teacher bringing education to a North Wales mining community. The story is beginning to wear a bit, but glistens with Hepburn's tour-de-force performance (in her tenth and final teaming with director Cukor) and on-location filming. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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CROWHAVEN FARM
Mystery/Suspense, 1970
videos bullet iconHope Lange, Paul Burke, Lloyd Bochner, John Carradine, Cindy Eilbacher. Directed by Walter Grauman. 72 min.

A middle-aged couple (Lange and Burke) inherit a farm, move in to patch up their strained marriage, and eventually adopt a child who becomes the focal point in a supernatural flashback story. A surprise ending in a generally well-handled thriller. Written by John McGreevey. Above average.

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THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME
Horror/Science Fiction, 1978
videos bullet iconBette Davis, David Ackroyd, Rosanna Arquette, Rene Auberjonois, Norman Lloyd. Directed by Leo Penn. 200 min.

A leisurely gothic horror tale set in a New England village where Bette and other weirdos maintain a ritualistic life-style, to the dismay of a commercial artist who has moved his family there from Manhattan. Adapted from Thomas Tryon's novel Harvest Home; narrated in eerie fashion by Donald Pleasance. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE DARKER SIDE OF TERROR
Mystery/Suspense, 1979
Robert Forster, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Milland, David Sheiner, John Lehne. Directed by Gus Trikonis. 100 min.

An inept psychological thriller about a researcher who agrees to have himself cloned and then must fight his look-alike for his wife's affections. Below average.

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DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY
Drama, 1976
videos bullet iconEve Plumb, Leigh J. McCloskey, Bo Hopkins, Georg Stanford Brown, Lynn Carlin, Mary DeLain, Joan Prather, Anne Seymour, William Schallert. Directed by Randal Kleiser. 100 min.

Fifteen-year-old Plumb turns to prostitution in Los Angeles when she cannot find legitimate work after running away from her cocktail waitress mom Carlin. Serious social issue exploited for cheap sensationalism. Below average. Sequel: Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn.

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DEADMAN'S CURVE
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconRichard Hatch, Bruce Davison, Pamela Bellwood, Susan Sullivan, Dick Clark, Wolfman Jack. Directed by Richard Compton. 100 min.

Passable biography based on the meteoric tragedy-marred careers of Jan Berry and Dean Torrance, early '60s rock idols who popularized the Surfing Sound. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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DEADLY GAME
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconAndy Griffith, Mitzi Hoag, Claude Earl Jones, Sharon Spellman, Dan O'Herlihy, Morgan Woodward. Directed by Lane Slate. 100 min.

Sequel to Winter Kill offers Griffith in further adventures of small town sheriff Abel Marsh. Here he investigates the destruction and scandal caused by chemical spillage from an army tanker truck. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE DELPHI BUREAU
Action/Adventure, 1972
videos bullet iconLaurence Luckinbill, Joanna Pettet, Celeste Holm, Bob Crane, Cameron Mitchell, Dean Jagger, Bradford Dillman. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 99 min.

Fast-paced, sometimes effective cold-war thriller with the U.S. in a balance-of-power struggle. Shallow characterizations in this pilot for TV series; average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER
Horror/Science Fiction, 1973
videos bullet iconBelinda Montgomery, Shelley Winters, Robert Foxworth, Joseph Cotten, Jonathan Frid, Robert Cornthwaite. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc. 74 min.

At the funeral of her mother, Montgomery is befriended by Winters, who claims a long friendship with the deceased; actually Montgomery is needed to fulfill a pact in a Devil-worshipping group. A great Rosemary's Baby-ish premise is rendered inconsequential by indifferent dialogue, acting and direction. Written by Colin Higgins. Average.

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DIARY OF A TEENAGE HITCHHIKER
Drama, 1979
Dick Van Patten, Katherine Helmond, James Carroll Jordan, Charlene Tilton, Katy Kurtzman, Christopher Knight, Dominique Dunne. Directed by Ted Post. 100 min.

Tawdry drama dramatizing the risk of soliciting rides from strangers. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AIMEE
Drama, 1976
Faye Dunaway, Bette Davis, James Sloyan, James Woods, John Lehne, Lelia Goldoni, Barry Brown, Severn Darden. Directed by Anthony Harvey. 110 min.

Period drama covering, through a courtroom hearing, the sensational disappearance and reapperance of the famed preacher, Aimee Semple McPherson, in 1926. Dunaway is fascinating as Aimee, Davis feisty as her mother in this absorbing, richly atmospheric dramatization. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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DO NOT FOLD, SPINDLE, OR MUTILATE
Horror/Science Fiction, 1971
Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Mildred Natwick, Sylvia Sydney, Vince Edwards, John Beradino. Directed by Ted Post. 100 min.

Four elderly ladies, practical-joke enthusiasts, create a mythical girl for a computer dating questionnaire, then thirst for even more bizarre thrills. The way in which the prank turns frightening could've been handled far, far better, otherwise good performances. Average.

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DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Mystery/Suspense, 1973
videos bullet iconKim Darby, Jim Hutton, Pedro Armedariz Jr., Barbara Anderson, William Demarest, Lesley Woods, Robert Cleaves. Directed by John Newland. 74 min.

A young couple (Darby & Hutton) inherit a strange house occupied by small creatures out to possess the wife. A decent premise ruined by an indifferent script and situations. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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DR. COOK'S GARDEN
Horror/Science Fiction, 1970
Bing Crosby, Frank Converse, Blythe Danner, Abby Lewis, Barney Hughes, Bethel Leslie. Directed by Ted Post. 73 min.

Frank Converse's return to Greenfield, Vermont, and the kindly doctor who raised him degenerates into cheap horror by the halfway mark. Even Bing Crosby as the central character can't cut it. Adapted from a play by Ira Levin. Below average.

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DRACULA
Horror/Science Fiction, 1973
videos bullet iconJack Palance, Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport, Pamela Brown, Fiona Lewis, Penelope Horner, Murray Brown. Directed by Dan Curtis. 100 min.

The indomitable count of Transylvania lives in the person of Palance, who plays Bram Stoker's vampire king as a slightly pathetic figure, a victim of twisted fate. Sterling cast, Richard Matheson's faithful adaptation, and Oswald Morris' exceptional photography, rich in gothic touches, add to this classy new version of the old chestnut. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A DREAM FOR CHRISTMAS
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconHari Rhodes, Beah Richards, Lynn Hamilton, George Spell, Juanita Moore, Joel Fluellen, Marlin Adams, Robert DoQui, Ta Ronce Allen. Directed by Ralph Senensky. 100 min.

Inspirational story (by Earl The Waltons Hamner, Jr.) about a black minister who takes his family from Arkansas to L.A. for his new assignment: a poor congregation in a church earmarked for demolition. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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DUEL
Mystery/Suspense, 1971
videos bullet iconDennis Weaver, Tim Herbert, Charles Peel, Eddie Firestone. Directed by Steven Spielberg. 73 min.

A businessman driving rented car on lonely stretch of road begins to realize that the driver of a diesel truck (whom he cannot see) is out to get him. This TV movie put Spielberg on the map, and rightly so: it's a superb suspense film, from Richard Matheson's script. Released theatrically in 1983 at 88 min. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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DYING ROOM ONLY
Mystery/Suspense, 1973
videos bullet iconCloris Leachman, Ross Martin, Ned Beatty, Louise Latham, Dana Elcar, Dabney Coleman. Directed by Phillip Leacock. 74 min.

A couple traveling back to L.A. via the desert by car stop off at a roadside diner; the husband mysteriously disappears. Excellent mood thanks to Richard Matheson's surprise-ending script, thoughtful direction, and small ensemble cast. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ELVIS: THE MOVIE
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconKurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Pat Hingle, Season Hubley, Big Russell. Directed by John Carpenter. 150 min.

The Presley saga affectionately and believably retold, from his youth to his career as a club entertainer in 1969. Russell is surprisingly effective as Elvis, whose songs were dubbed by country singer Ronnie McDowell. One of the highest rated TV movies ever -- even out-drawing a second airing of Gone With the Wind on CBS, shown opposite its premiere. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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EVIL ROY SLADE
Western, 1971
videos bullet iconJohn Astin, Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Pam Austin, Dom DeLuise, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Penny Marshall, John Ritter. Directed by Jerry Paris. 100 min.

Excellent cast tries hard in an absurd attempt at bizarre Western comedy à la Cat Ballou. The life and times of bumbling outlaw Slade and his change in attitude after falling in love with a beautiful girl (Austin). The script by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson isn't bad; the fault lies in what's done with it. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconMartin Sheen, Mariclare Costello, Ned Beatty, Gary Busey, Matt Clark, Ben Hammer, Charles Haid. Directed by Lamont Johnson. 120 min.

Solid drama enhanced by Martin Sheen's beautiful performance as Eddie Slovik, the only American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion (in 1945). Thoughtful, literate adaptation by Richard Levinson and William Link of William Bradford Huie's controversial book. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE EYES OF CHARLES SAND
Mystery/Suspense, 1972
videos bullet iconPeter Haskell, Barbara Rush, Sharon Farrell, Bradford Dillman, Joan Bennett, Adam West, Ivor Francis. Directed by Reza Badiyi. 75 min.

Despite excellent names connected with the script (Henry Farrell & Stanford Whitmore), a predictable, largely boring ESP-gimmicked mystery featuring a troubled lead character (Haskell) who can flash onto the future. Average.

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THE FOUR FEATHERS
Action/Adventure, 1977
Beau Bridges, Robert Powell, Simon Ward, Richard Johnson, Jane Seymour, Harry Andrews. Directed by Don Sharp. 110 min.

Robust retelling (fifth time around) of the great adventure classic. Adapted by Gerald DiPego. Dandy entertainment. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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FRIENDLY FIRE
Drama, 1979
Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, Sam Waterston, Dennis Erdman, Timothy Hutton. Directed by David Greene. 145 min.

Gripping if overlong Emmy-winning drama about a rural American couple who try to cope with governmental indifference to learn the truth behind their son's death in Vietnam. Burnett seems somewhat sullen in her one-note portrayal of real-life war activist Peg Mullen, but Beatty is outstanding as her husband. Script by Fay Kanin. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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GARGOYLES
Horror/Science Fiction, 1972
videos bullet iconCornel Wilde, Jennifer Salt, Bernie Casey, Grayson Hall, Woodrow Chambliss, Scott Glenn. Directed by W.L. Norton. 74 min.

Anthropologist Wilde and his daughter are on a trip to Mexico, stop off at a curio station, and come upon an unusual skeleton. A very good beginning but it deteriorates halfway through the story. Flawless use of location. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE GATHERING
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconEd Asner, Maureen Stapleton, Lawrence Pressman, Stephanie Zimbalist, Bruce Davison, John Randolph. Directed by Randal Kleiser. 92 min.

A sentimental Emmy-winning Christmas drama of a man who seeks to reunite his shattered family for one final celebration before he dies. Ed Asner is solid as usual, but Maureen Stapleton is simply luminous as the wife who had lost him in his drive for success. Written by James Poe. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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GENESIS II
Horror/Science Fiction, 1973
videos bullet iconAlex Cord, Mariette Hartley, Lynn Marta, Percy Rodrigues, Harvey Jason, Ted Cassidy. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 97 min.

Disappointing sci-fi adventure. Cord is the unique survivor of a 20th-century holocaust as earth divides into two rival factions. Created by Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry, but owes a lot to "Flash Gordon." Reworked one year later as Planet Earth. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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GET CHRISTIE LOVE!
Action/Adventure, 1974
videos bullet iconTeresa Graves, Harry Guardino, Louise Sorel, Paul Stevens, Andy Romano, Debbie Dozier. Directed by William A. Graham. 100 min.

Shapely female cop goes undercover to crack a huge drug empire. Dorothy Uhnak's detective novel was the source, the later policewoman series was the result. Lots of action. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE GIRL IN THE EMPTY GRAVE
Mystery/Suspense, 1977
videos bullet iconAndy Griffith, James Cromwell, Mitzi Hoag, Claude Earl Jones, Jonathan Banks, Robert F. Simon. Directed by ou Antonio. 100 min.

A busted pilot in which small-town sheriff Griffith (again, after Winter Kill and Deadly Game) doggedly pursues a murderer. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE GLASS HOUSE
Drama, 1972
videos bullet iconVic Morrow, Clu Gulager, Billy Dee Williams, Dean Jagger, Alan Alda. Directed by Tom Gries. 73 min.

A gripping account of what it's like to be in state prison, adapted from a story by Truman Capote. Location-shot, with many real-life prisoners in the supporting cast. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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GO ASK ALICE
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconJamie Smith-Jackson, Andy Griffith, William Shatner, Julie Adams, Ruth Roman, Wendell Burton, Robert Carradine, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith. Directed by John Korty. 73 min.

Strong performances and a semi-documentary style combine in this study of a high school student's battle with drug addiction. Written by Ellen M. Violett. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE HANGED MAN
Western, 1974
Steve Forrest, Dean Jagger, Cameron Mitchell, Sharon Acker, Will Geer, Brendon Boone. Directed by Michael Caffey. 78 min.

Gunslinger Forrest miraculously survives his own execution and becomes an Old West soldier of fortune. Interesting idea routinely told. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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HELTER SKELTER
Drama, 1976
videos bullet iconGeorge DiCenzo, Steve Railsback, Nancy Wolfe, Marilyn Burns, Christina Hart, Cathey Paine, Allan Oppenhiemer. Directed by Tom Gries. 194 min.

Electrifying film of prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's best-seller, adapted by JP Miller, about the trackdown and trial of Charles Manson and his spaced-out "family" in California. Serious, intense, and frightening, with a vivid performance by Steve Railsback as Manson. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE HOMECOMING - A CHRISTMAS STORY
Drama, 1971
videos bullet iconPatricia Neal, Edgar Bergen, Ellen Corby, Andrew Duggan, Josephine Hutchinson, Cleavon Little, Dorothy Stickney, Richard Thomas, William Windon, David Huddleston. Directed by Fielder Cook. 120 min.

Patricia Neal is Olivia Walton in her first TV movie, the forerunner to the long-running TV series The Waltons. Teleplay by Earl Hamner, Jr., was adapted from his own novel, which previously had been converted into Spencer's Mountain. Corby, Thomas, and a number of the other young players continued in The Waltons for years. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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HONOR THY FATHER
Drama, 1971
Joseph Bologna, Raf Vallone, Brenda Vaccaro, Richard Castellano, Joe De Santis, Gilbert Green, Marc Lawrence. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 100 min.

Extraordinary slice-of-life presentation of the day-to-day operations of an organized crime family, written (primarily) around the Bill Bonanno character. Adapted from Gay Talese's book by Lewis John Carlino. Within TV restrictions, not bad. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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HORROR AT 37,000 FEET
Mystery/Suspense, 1972
videos bullet iconWilliam Shatner, Roy Thinnes, Buddy Ebsen, Tammy Grimes, Lynn Loring, France Nuyen. Directed by David Lowell Rich. 73 min.

OK fantasy premise disintegrates into a forgettable suspense drama of ancient evil aboard a transatlantic commercial flight. Below average.

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THE HOUSE ON GARIBALDI STREET
Drama, 1979
Topol, Martin Balsam, Janet Suzman, Nick Mancuso, Leo McKern. Directed by Peter Collinson. 100 min.

A textbook spy thriller about the capture of Adolph Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in 1960; good, but it nearly drowns itself in polemics. Filmed in Spain with an international cast. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN
Drama, 1970
videos bullet iconAnthony Perkins, Julie Harris, Joan Hackett, Kent Smith, Robert H. Harris. Directed by Curtis Harrington. 72 min.

Guilt-ridden blind mental patient Perkins thinks his release from the hospital and closeness to his sister Katherine (Harris) will cure him. Considering the talent connected with the script, direction and cast, a major disappointment. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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I HEARD THE OWL CALL MY NAME
Drama, 1973
Tom Courtenay, Dean Jagger, Paul Stanley, Marianne Jones, George Clutesi. Directed by Daryl Duke. 74 min.

A young Angelican priest is posted to a remote Indian village in British Columbia. A beautiful film translation of the Margaret Craven book. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS
Drama, 1979
Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Paul Benjamin, Roger E. Mosley, Esther Rolle, Madge Sinclair, Constance Good. Directed by Fielder Cook. 100 min.

Black writer Maya Angelou's remembrances of her childhood in the Depression era South. Good is more than good as young Maya and Rolle is a tower of strength as the grandmother who raises her. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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I WILL FIGHT NO MORE FOREVER
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconJames Whitmore, Ned Romero, Sam Elliott, Nick Ramus, Emilio Delgado, Linda Redfearn. Directed by Richard T. Heffron. 100 min.

Moving dramatization of the historical confrontation between Chief Joseph, trying to lead his tribe of Nez Perce Indians off the reservation to safety in Canada, and the U.S. Government, which sent the cavalry out to stop the migration. Written by Jeb Rosebrook and Theodore Strauss. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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IN THE MATTER OF KAREN ANN QUINLAN
Drama, 1977
Brian Keith, Piper Laurie, David Huffman, Biff McGuire, David Spielberg, Stephanie Zimbalist, Louise Latham. Directed by Hal Jordan. 100 min.

Docu-drama exploring legal, moral and ethical aspects of the case of a New Jersey woman whose parents (Keith and Laurie) argued her right to die with dignity and wanted her life-saving machine turned off after she lapsed into a coma and suffered brain damage. Good performances, talky script, tiresome movie. Average.

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THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Horror/Science Fiction, 1977
videos bullet iconBill Bixby, Susan Sullivan, Jack Colvin, Lou Ferrigno, Susan Batson, Charles Siebert. Directed by Kenneth Johnson. 100 min.

Sci-fi adventure drama in the Jekyll-Hyde mold, taken from Marvel Comics. Bixby plays the hapless scientist whose radiation experiments turn him into a homeless wanderer and powerful seven-foot monster (Ferrigno) when enraged. Good for some thrills and laughs. Pilot for the series, and followed by The Return of the Hulk. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF DOCTOR MEG LAUREL
Adventure Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconLindsay Wagner, Gary Lockwood, Brock Peters, Andrew Duggan, James Woods. Directed by Guy Green. 150 min.

A lady doctor returns from the big city to bring modern medicine to her kinfolk in Appalachia of the '30s and runs afoul of the local medicine woman (Miss Jane Wyman). Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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INCREDIBLE ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACE
Comedy, 1977
videos bullet iconChristopher Conelly, Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Whit Bissell, Bill Zuckert, Mike Mazurki, Jack Kruschen. Directed by James L. Conway. 100 min.

A madcap Western involving a cross-country grudge race between a young Mark Twain (Connelly) and his longtime rival, Mike Fink (Tucker). Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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INTIMATE STRANGERS
Drama, 1977
Dennis Weaver, Sally Struthers, Tyne Daly, Larry Hagman, Melvyn Douglas, Quinn Cummings. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 100 min.

Overlong drama about a battered wife and the destruction of a marriage. Offbeat roles for its two stars plus a sparkling cameo by Douglas as Weaver's mean old buzzard of a father. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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IT HAPPENED AT LAKEWOOD MANOR
Horror/Science Fiction, 1977
videos bullet iconLynda Day George, Robert Foxworth, Myrna Loy, Suzanne Somers. Directed by Robert Sheerer. 100 min.

Insects on the rampage, or what happens when the traditional stellar TV cast vacationing at a secluded lodge tampers with Mother Nature. Predictable horrors, and the squeamish are forewarned. Average. Retitled Panic at Lakewood Manor and later Ants for video release. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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JAMES AT 15
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconLance Kerwin, Linden Chiles, Lynn Carlin, Melissa Sue Anderson, Kate Jackson, Kim Richards. Directed by Joseph Hardy. 100 min.

Comedy-drama about the problems and pain of adolescence, with Kerwin, smitten with a high school cheerleader, faced with moving across the country with his parents. Arch family sitcom with standard plot twists. A series subsequently evolved. Average.

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JAMES DEAN
Drama, 1976
videos bullet iconStephen McHattie, Michael Brandon, Dane Clark, Meg Foster, Candy Clark, Jayne Meadows. Directed by Robert Butler. 100 min.

Dramatization of the memoirs of William Bast, James Dean's roommate, from their meeting as acting students until Dean's death. McHattie is excellent in the title role. Brandon is fine as writer Bast. Bast's script, though, is a bore. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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JESUS OF NAZARETH
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconRobert Powell, Anne Bancroft, Ernest Borgnine, James Farentino, Stacy Keach, Ian McShane, Laurence Olivier. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. 371 min.

Leading a superb cast, Robert Powell impresses as Jesus by adding a human dimension to playing this divine personage. Although the film met with considerable criticism from various religious groups, this intensely felt chronicle of the life and teachings of Christ succeeds as a religious document without sacrificing the intimate drama of the participants, who never are portrayed as if they just stepped off a gilt-edged holy card. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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JUDGE HORTON AND THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS
Drama, 1976
Arthur Hill, Vera Miles, Lewis J. Stadlen, Ken Kercheval, Ellen Barber, Susan Lederer, Tom Ligon. Directed by Fielder Cook. 100 min.

Excellent courtroom-based drama detailing the 1931 rape trial of nine blacks and the embattled Southern judge who presided over the proceedings. Hill is the backbone of virtue as the courageous judge, who bravely reversed the jury's popular decision and saved several of the accused from hanging at the risk of his own career and safety. The story is cogently adapted from the book The Scottsboro Boys and superbly directed by Fielder Cook. Some of the language of the trial has been toned down to meet network standards of the mid-seventies. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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KATIE: PORTRAIT OF A CENTERFOLD
Drama, 1978
Kim Basinger, Glynn Turman, Vivian Blaine, Dorothy Malone, Fabian, Tab Hunter, Don Johnson, Melanie Mayron. Directed by Robert Greenwald. 100 min.

Naïve beauty queen from Texas grows up fast after going to Hollywood in search of stardom. Below average.



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Movie-TV bullet

KEY WEST
Drama, 1972
Stephen Boyd, Woody Strode, Sheree North, Earl Hindman, Tiffany Bolling, William Prince. Directed by Philip Leacock. 100 min.

An ex-CIA operative and his friend, now running boat service in Florida, become involved in chase for incriminating evidence involving a U.S. Senator. Good cast, story overcome uninspired direction; above average.

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KILLER BEES
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
videos bullet iconGloria Swanson, Edward Albert, Kate Jackson, Robert Davis, Don McGovern, Craig Stevens. Directed by Curtis Harrington. 78 min.

A symbolic drama with Swanson a winegrowing family matriarch with a strange power over a colony of bees thriving in the vineyard. Middling thriller with stagey acting and unexplained mittle-European accents. Below average.

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KILLDOZER
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
videos bullet iconClint Walker, Carl Betz, Neville Brand, James Wainwright, James Watson Jr., Robert Urich. Directed by Jerry London. 78 min.

An alien being turns a bulldozer against a hard-hat crew bossed by Walker. A man-vs-machine thriller in the shadow of Duel. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK
Horror/Science Fiction, 1978
videos bullet iconKISS (Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley), Anthony Zerbe, Carmine Caridi, Deborah Ryan, Terry Webster. Directed by Gordon Hessler. 100 min.

The famed rock group (in their acting debut) try to thwart a mad scientist's plane to clone the foursome for evil purposes. Worth catching for those wanting to see Zerbe at his slimiest. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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KUNG FU
Action/Adventure, 1971
videos bullet iconDavid Carradine, Barry Sullivan, Keith Carradine, Philip Ahn, Keye Luke. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. 75 min.

Half-American/half-Chinese, young Kwai Chang Kane, a Bhuddist monk, flees mainland China to the American West with the Imperial government out to get him. Stylish use of pseudo-karate; offbeat direction to counterpoint the script's moods; good performances. Above average; pilot for the TV series. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE LAST CHILD
Drama, 1971
videos bullet iconMichael Cole, Janet Margolin, Van Heflin, Harry Guardino, Edward Asner, Kent Smith, Barbara Babcock. Directed by Llewellyn Moxey. 73 min.

1994: The U.S. government forbids more than one child per family. The Millers (Cole & Margolin) seek escape from prison by running to Canada, pursued by the authorities, and are finally aided by a retired U.S. senator (Heflin). The accent is on drama, soft-pedaling aspects of totalitarianism, but the action and performances (including Heflin's last) are more than adequate. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE LAST DINOSAUR
Horror/Science Fiction, 1977
videos bullet iconRichard Boone, Joan Van Ark, Steven Keats, Luther Rackley, Tatsu Nakamura. Directed by Alex Grasshoff and Tom Kotani. 100 min.

Fantasy tale, made in Japan, about the world's richest man who invades a newly-discovered prehistoric world to stalk a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Entertaining foolishness out of the "Godzilla" school, originally intended for theaters. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE LAW
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconJudd Hirsch, John Beck, Bonnie Franklin, Barbara Baxley, Sam Wanamaker, Allan Arbus, John Hillerman, Gary Busey. Directed by John Badham. 120 min.

An outstanding drama depicting the criminal-justice system of a large city as public defender Hirsch pursues a case surrounding a football superstar's torture-killing. Brisk and biting, with first-rate performances. Above average.

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THE LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconElizabeth Montgomery, Ed Flanders, Fionnula Flanagan, Katherine Helmond, Fritz Weaver, Don Porter, John Beal. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 100 min.

A realistic drama blending fact and speculation about a New England spinster accused of the murders of her father and stepmother. Atmospheric as well as graphic with a thoughtful performance by Montgomery. Script by William Bast. Above average.

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LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH
Mystery/Suspense, 1971
videos bullet iconZohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Kevin O'Connor, Mariclare Costello, Gretchen Corbet. Directed by John Hancock. 89 min.

A creepy little tale of murder and deception as an unstable girl gets the full fright-treatment at a country home. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE LIFE AND ASSASSINATION OF THE KINGFISH
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconEdward Asner, Nicholas Pryor, Diane Kagan, Fred Cook, Dorrie Kavanaugh, Gary Allen. Directed by Robert Collins. 100 min.

Ed Asner stands out in this docudrama of the controversial Huey Long, and overcomes Robert Collins' cliched script with his tour-de-force performance. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconShaun Cassidy, Linda Purl, Zalman King, Hope Lange, Michael McGuire, Maureen Arthur. Directed by Harvey Hart. 100 min.

Rock idol Shaun Cassidy's dramatic acting debut was in this drama of two mentally retarded young adults who decide to marry despite angry resistance from their families. Virtually identical to No Other Love. Average.

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THE LONELIEST RUNNER
Drama, 1976
Lance Kerwin, Michael Landon, Brian Keith, DeAnn Mears, Melissa Sue Anderson, Walter Edminson, Rafer Johnson. 78 min.

Sensitive drama about the misery and humiliation suffered by a teenaged bed-wetter, a talented athelete who subsequently becomes an Olympic star. Producer-director Landon wrote this from personal experience and turns up briefly to play the title character as an adult. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY
Horror, 1976
videos bullet iconStephen McHattie, Patty Duke Astin, Broderick Crawford, Ruth Gordon, Lloyd Haynes, David Huffman, Tina Louise, George Maharis, Ray Milland, Donna Mills. Directed by Sam O'Steen. 100 min.

Sequel to the 1968 occult blockbuster that traces the growth to adulthood of the demon child (McHattie). Patty Duke Astin is his distraught mommy; Milland and Gordon (recreating her original role) head the coven of devil worshippers. An uninspired successor to the Polanski classic, retitled, predictably, Rosemary's Baby II. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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LOVEY: A CIRCLE OF CHILDREN, PART II
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconJane Alexander, Ronny Cox, Kris McKeon, Jeff Lynas, Karen Allen, Helen Shaver, Danny Aiello. Directed by Jud Taylor. 100 min.

Jane Alexander reprises her role from A Circle of Children as a teacher of disturbed youngsters -- and again is top-notch. Above average.

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THE MARCUS-NELSON MURDERS
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconTelly Savalas, Marjoe Gortner, Jose Ferrer, Ned Beatty, Allen Garfield, Lorraine Gray, Gene Woodbury, Chita Rivera. Directed by Joseph Sargent. 148 min.

Top-notch thriller about a hard-boiled detective's efforts to keep a ghetto teenager from being wrongly convicted of murder. Based on the real life Wylie-Hoffert murders in New York in 1963, it became the pilot for the long-running Kojak series, won Emmys for director Sargent and writer Abby Mann, and stardom for Savalas. Also known as Kojak and the Marcus-Nelson Murders. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE MIRACLE WORKER
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconPatty Duke Astin, Melissa Gilbert, Diana Muldaur, Charles Siebert, Anne Seymour, Stanley Wells. Directed by Paul Aaron. 100 min.

Powerful refilming of the William Gibson classic about young Helen Keller's first encounters with Anne Sullivan, who would be her teacher and life-long companion. Having Patty Duke Astin, who won an Oscar as Keller in a 1962 big screen version -- play Sullivan was more a novelty than an inspired piece of casting, making this one just a notch below its predecessor. Still above average.

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THE MISSILES OF OCTOBER
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconWilliam Devane, Martin Sheen, Howard de Silva, Ralph Bellamy. Directed by Anthony Page. 155 min.

Originally an ABC Theatre presentation, this well-handled depiction of President Kennedy's trials during the Cuban missile crisis was one of television's first docudramas. The blend of suspense and history lesson, though less powerful than it could be, stands up nicely. William Devane's superb portrayal (he was one of the first actors to play JFK) brought him a great deal of attention, and Martin Sheen provides fine support as brother Robert. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE MISSING ARE DEADLY
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
videos bullet iconEd Nelson, Jose Ferrer, Leonard Nimoy, George O'Hanlon, Jr., Margorie Lord, Kathleen Quinlan. Directed by Don McDougall. 78 min.

Suspense tale about the panic caused when a disturbed teenager takes a rat infected with a deadly virus from his father's lab. Average.

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MOON OF THE WOLF
Horror/Science Fiction, 1972
videos bullet iconDavid Janssen, Barbara Rush, Bradford Dillman, John Beradino, Geoffrey Lewis, Royal Dano. Directed by Daniel Petrie. 73 min.

Muddy motivation is the major liability in a somewhat likeable modern day thriller involving a werewolf in Louisiana. The resolution is offbeat but forgettable. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE MORNING AFTER
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconDick Van Dyke, Lynn Carlin, Don Porter, Linda Lavin, Richard Derr, Robert Hover. Directed by Richard T. Heffron. 78 min.

Forceful movie written by Richard Matheson with Dick Van Dyke making an auspicious dramatic debut in his portrait of a corporate executive turned alcoholic. Above average.

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MRS. SUNDANCE
Western, 1974
videos bullet iconElizabeth Montgomery, Robert Foxworth, L.Q. Jones, Arthur Hunnicutt, Lurene Tuttle, Claudette Nevins. Directed by Marvin Chomsky. 78 min.

The further adventures of Etta Place, the widow of The Sundance Kid (of Butch Cassidy and... fame), who leads a fugitive's existence frightened by the memory of her late husband. Lighthearted Western by Christopher Knopf tries vainly to recapture the charm of its blockbuster predecessor. Average; the character was later played by Katherine Ross, who originated the role, in Wanted: The Sundance Woman. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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MY SWEET CHARLIE
Drama, 1970
videos bullet iconPatty Duke, Al Freeman Jr., Ford Rainey, William Hardy, Chris Wilson, Noble Willingham. Directed by Lamont Johnson. 97 min.

A white unwed mother and a black N.Y.C. lawyer are thrown together in an abandoned house in rural Texas. A good adaptation of the David Westheimer novel, excellent performances, and the total effect is believable and moving. A television landmark by Richard Levinson and William Link; this movie earned a theatrical showing after its debut on TV. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE NIGHT STALKER
Horror/Science Fiction, 1971
videos bullet iconDarren McGavin, Carol Lynley, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Kent Smith, Barry Atwater. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 73 min.

A wise-guy reporter is assigned to a series of strange murders in Las Vegas. A near-brilliant mixture of double-edged horror, comedy; well-constructed script by Richard Matheson. Kudos to the flawless cast. Above Average. Sequel: The Night Strangler. Later a TV series. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE NIGHT STRANGLER
Horror/Science Fiction, 1972
videos bullet iconDarren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jo Ann Pflug, Richard Anderson, John Carradine, Margaret Hamilton, Wally Cox. Directed by Dan Curtis. 74 min.

Sequel to The Night Stalker finds McGavin eking out a living in Seattle; he latches onto a series of murders involving blood drainage by syringe, discovers a secret, underground city and its lone "resident." Great cast, but script has problems. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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NIGHT TERROR
Mystery/Suspense, 1977
videos bullet iconValerie Harper, Richard Romanus, Nicholas Pryor, John Quade, Michael Tolan, Beatrice Manley, Quinn Cummings. Directed by E.W. Swackhamer. 78 min.

Housewife Harper vs. psychopath Romanus whom she had seen shooting a highway patrolman. Another relentless pursuit story that's resolved predictably by the fadeout. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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NO OTHER LOVE
Drama, 1979
Richard Thomas, Julie Kavner, Elizabeth Allen, Robert Loggia, Scott Jacoby, Frances Lee McCain. Directed by Richard Pearce. 100 min.

Sensitive drama focusing on the love affair of two mentally retarded young people. Thomas and Kavner's acting gives this one the edge over the similar Like Normal People. Above average.

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NOWHERE TO RUN
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconDavid Janssen, Stefanie Powers, Allen Garfield, Linda Evans, Neva Patterson, John Randolph. Directed by Richard Lang. 100 min.

Good yarn of Janssen's elaborate scheme to get his money-grabbing wife and the gumshoe she's hired off his back. Adapted by Jim Byrnes from Charles Eisenstein's novel The Blackjack Hijack. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ORDEAL
Drama, 1973
Arthur Hill, Diana Muldaur, James Stacy, Macdonald Carey, Michael Ansara. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. 74 min.

Mohave Desert location shooting enhances this morality tale of a scheming wife (Muldaur) abandoning her broken-legged husband (Hill) in the wilderness. The film suggests profound themes but refuses to admit so. Average.

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ORPHAN TRAIN
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconJill Eikenberry, Kevin Dobson, Lina Manz, Graham Fletcher-Cook, Milissa Michaelsen. Directed by William A. Graham. 150 min.

Historical drama taken from Dorothea G. Petrie's novel dealing with a dedicated young social worker, a newspaper photographer, and a group of slum kids on their mid-19th-century railroad odyssey from Manhattan to new lives out West. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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OUTRAGE
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconRobert Culp, Marlyn Mason, Beah Richards, Jacqueline Scott, Ramone Bieri, Thomas Leopold. Directed by Richard T. Heffron. 78 min.

Local doctor (Culp) turns vigilante to deal with teen gang terrorizing his upper-middle-class neighbors. Or your average-outraged-citizen plot. Average.

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PAPER MAN
Mystery/Suspense, 1971
videos bullet iconDean Stockwell, Stefanie Powers, James Stacy, Tina Chen. Directed by Walter Grauman. 73 min.

College computer workers find themselves in an eerie situtation that begins innocuously with a credit card scheme. An excellent idea gone awry, thanks to a rotten script and indifferent acting. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

Movie-TV bullet

PORTRAIT OF A STRIPPER
Drama, 1979
Lesley Ann Warren, Edward Herrmann, Vic Tayback, Sheree North, Allan Miller, K.C. Martel. Directed by John A. Alonzo. 100 min.

A young widow supports her son by stripping in a local nightclub, while fighting a custody battle with the boy's grandfather. Pure sleaze. Below average.

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PLANET EARTH
Science Fiction, 1974
videos bullet iconJohn Saxon, Janet Margolin, Ted Cassidy, Diana Muldaur, Johana DeWinter, Christopher Gary. Directed by Marc Daniels. 78 min.

Sci-fi fun as a future race of humans finds itself in combat with a sadistic matriarchy. A reworking of Gene Roddenberry's Genesis II (1973), though not as elaborate. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

Movie-TV bullet

THE POSSESSED
Horror/Science Fiction, 1977
videos bullet iconJames Farentino, Joan Hackett, Claudette Nevins, Eugene Roche, Harrison Ford, Ann Dusenbury, Diana Scarwid, Dinah Manoff. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. 78 min.

Supernatural drama with Farentino, a defrocked priest, called upon to do an exorcism at Hackett's exclusive girls' school. She keeps it from going off the deep end. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Action/Adventure, 1974
videos bullet iconAndy Griffith, William Shatner, Angie Dickinson, Janet Margolin, Robert Reed, Marjoe Gortner, Lorraine Gary. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. 100 min.

Mildly diverting "macho" flick about three advertising executives who are forced to join their sadistic client (Griffith) on a desert motorcycle trip. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE PRINCE OF CENTRAL PARK
Drama, 1977
Ruth Gordon, T.J. Hargrave, Lisa Richard, Brooke Shields, Marc Vahanian. Directed by Harvey Hart. 76 min.

Engaging tale of a pair of orphans living in a tree in Central Park and the lonely old lady who befriends them. Adapted from Evan Rhodes' ingratiating novel. Above average.

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QB VII
Drama, 1974
videos bullet iconAnthony Hopkins, Ben Gazzara, Juliet Mills, Leslie Caron, Edith Evans, Jack Hawkins, Lee Remick, John Gielgud, Dan O'Herlihy, Anthony Quayle. Directed by Tom Gries. 313 min.

Leon Uris's effective courtroom drama introduced the mini-series to a mass American audience, and like many of its successors, this one is a mixture of the soapy and the serious, the oversimplified and the genuinely compelling. The case is libel: The plaintiff is a respected Jewish doctor (Anthony Hopkins) and the defendant is an American author (Ben Gazzara) who painted him as a war criminal in a thinly disguised characterization in a novel. Based on a real suit brought against Uris after the publication of Exodus. Fine acting from all the principals, especially Jack Hawkins and Emmy-winner Anthony Quayle. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A QUESTION OF LOVE
Drama, 1978
Gena Rowlands, Jane Alexander, Ned Beatty, Clu Gulager, Bonnie Bedelia, James Sutorious, Joycelin Brando. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. 100 min.

A top-notch cast enriches this sensitive fact-based drama by William Blinn about two lesbians and the custody battle one has with her ex-husband over their young son. Above average.

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RESCUE FROM GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
Comedy, 1978
Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jim Backus, Natalie Schaefer, Russell Johnson, Dawn Wells, Judith Baldwin. Directed by Les Martinson. 100 min.

videos bullet iconThe hapless TV castaways (with Baldwin replacing Tina Louise) return 14 years after washing ashore on their uncharted desert isle in the first of three pilots (including 1979's The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and 1981's The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island) to a prospective new silly-time series. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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RETURN TO EARTH
Drama, 1976
Cliff Robertson, Ralph Bellamy, Shirley Knight, Charles Cioffi, Stefanie Powers. Directed by Jud Taylor. 78 min.

Cliff Robertson is A-OK in this real-life drama of the breakdown of astronaut Buzz Aldrin after his 1969 moonwalk. Adapted by George Malko from the book Aldrin wrote with Wayne Warga. Above average.

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REVENGE
Drama, 1971
Shelley Winters, Stuart Whitman, Bradford Dillman, Carol Rossen, Roger Perry, Gary Clarke. Directed by Jud Taylor. 78 min.

Winters plots to avenge her daughter's rape by imprisoning the man she suspects of the deed in a cage in her basement. Shelley tears it up in Joseph Stefano's adaptation of Elizabeth Davis' novel, and John A. Alonzo's striking photography doesn't hurt one bit. Above average.

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ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconJanet MacLachlan, Robert Christian, Claudia McNeil, Morgan Freeman, Rockne Tarkington. Directed by Jack Smight. 155 min.

A fiercely independent African-American family spearheads a boycott against a bigoted merchant who clandestinely heads a Klan-like organization in Depression-era Mississippi. A three-part television miniseries and unsuccessful pilot with an impressive cast, including an early Morgan Freeman role. Based on Mildred Taylor's 1976 award winning children's book. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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S.O.S. TITANIC
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconDavid Janssen, Cloris Leachman, Susan St. James, David Warner, Ian Holm, Helen Mirren, Harry Andrews. Directed by William Hale. 105 min.

Stylish docu-drama about the oft-told sea disaster, mirroring the fictional elements of the 1953 movie Titanic and the meticulously detailed facts of the 1958 A Night To Remember, faithfully recreated here through James Costigan's multicharactered teleplay. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SARAH T. - PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE ALCOHOLIC
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconLinda Blair, Verna Bloom, Larry Hagman, William Daniels, Mark Hamill, Laurette Spang. Directed by Richard Donner. 100 min.

Young girl turns to liquor to escape family problems; Blair shows competence with another of the meaty roles that made her the most put-upon screen teenager of the 1970s. Average.

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SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE
Drama, 1973 - Swedish
videos bullet iconLiv Ullman, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Jan Malmsjo, Anita Wall. Directed by Ingmar Bergman. 168 min.

A passionate, probing and honest look at a marriage, its disintegration, and the relationship that follows. Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson are remarkable throughout this intimate and often painful portrait, originally made as six TV episodes and edited into feature-length by writer-director Bergman. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SCREAM OF THE WOLF
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
videos bullet iconPeter Graves, Clint Walker, Jo Ann Pflug, Philip Carey, Don Megowan, Brian Richards. Directed by Dan Curtis. 78 min.

A predictable exercise in terror by Richard Matheson that has adventure writer Graves stalking a creature that has killed four people. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SEARCH FOR THE GODS
Action/Adventure, 1975
Kurt Russell, Stephen McHattie, Ralph Bellamy, Ramyond St. Jacques. Directed by Jud Taylor. 100 min.

Adventure drama involving an archeological dig in Pueblo territory and the discovery of a priceless medallion. Standard TV fare. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SERGEANT MATLOVICH VS. THE U.S. AIR FORCE
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconBrad Dourif, Marc Singer, Frank Converse, William Daniels, Stephen Elliott, Rue McClanahan. Directed by Paul Leaf. 100 min.

An earnest, worthwhile TV movie depicts a celebrated case of sexual discrimination, a no-win situation for an air force veteran who challenged the legality of Uncle Sam's bias against homosexuality. Brad Dourif is, for once, remarkably restrained and effective as a reluctant hero coming to grips with his sexuality and finding the courage to confront the homophobic attitude of the military establishment. Above average.

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SHARON - PORTRAIT OF A MISTRESS
Drama, 1977
Trish Van Devere, Patrick O'Neal, Janet Margolin, Gloria De Haven, Mel Ferrer, Sam Groom, Salome Jens, Gower Champion. Directed by Robert Greenwald. 100 min.

Drama of a woman's series of affairs with married men. A boring soap opera, though earnestly performed. Average.

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SHE LIVES!
Drama, 1973
Desi Arnez Jr., Season Hubley, Anthony Zerbe, Michael Morgotta, Jack Soo. Directed by Stuart Hagmann. 74 min.

A young college couple coping with news that she's contracted terminal disease; an inspirational love affair ensues. Too-obvious spinoff of Love Story. Average.

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A SHINING SEASON
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconTimothy Bottoms, Allyn Ann McLerie, Rip Torn, Connie Forslund, Mason Adams. Directed by Stuart Margolin. 100 min.

Inspired stricken-athelete story based on that of college track star John Baker who, despite a terminal illness, devoted his final year of life leading an underdog girl's track team to the championship. Above average.

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SOLE SURVIVOR
Drama, 1970
videos bullet iconVince Edwards, Richard Basehart, William Shatner, Lou Antonio, Larry Casey, Patrick Wayne, Brad Davis, Dennis Cooney, Alan Cailou. Directed by Paul Stanley. 100 min.

Title refers to the central character, the only person to walk away from a suddenly discovered B-52 crash in the Libyan desert. Odd drama by Guerdon Trueblood, with Edwards' performance a hands-down winner. Above average.

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SOMEONE I TOUCHED
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconCloris Leachman, James Olson, Glynnis O'Connor, Andy Robinson, Allyn Ann McLerie, Kenneth Mars. Directed by Lou Antonio. 78 min.

Unbelievable melodrama about an architect, his pregnant wife, and a nubile young teenager who learn they have VD and try to figure out who gave it to whom. Cloris even sings the romantic title song! Below average.

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SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME!
Mystery/Suspense, 1978
videos bullet iconLauren Hutton, David Birney, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers. Directed by John Carpenter. 100 min.

Dandy thriller about a career woman who takes things into her own hands after being rebuffed by the police when someone begins stalking her. Carpenter also wrote the script; his first TV-movie (and first with Barbeau). Above average.

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SON-RISE: A MIRACLE OF LOVE
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconJames Farentino, Kathryn Harrold, Michael Adams, Casey Adams, Glenn Jordan, Richard M. Rosenbloom. Directed by Glenn Jordan. 120 min.

Fact-based story of one family's efforts to save an autistic son who has been diagnosed as "unreachable" by medical experts. An award-winning television movie that takes place at the beginning days of understanding autism, and has been viewed by an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Based on the 1976 best-selling book by Barry Neil Kaufman. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE SPELL
Mystery/Suspense, 1977
Lee Grant, James Olson, Susan Myers, Lelia Goldoni, Helen Hunt, Jack Colvin, Barbara Bostock. Directed by Lee Philips. 78 min.

Occult thriller has an unloved teenager turning her supernatural powers on her tormentors. Merely a sanitized-for-TV Carrie and a poor substitute. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SPIDER-MAN
Action/Adventure, 1977
videos bullet iconNicholas Hammond, David White, Michael Pataki, Jeff Donnell, Lisa Eilbacher, Thayer David, Jeff Donnell. Directed by E.W. Swackhamer. 94 min.

So-so adaptation of the famed Marvel Comics character; grad student Nicholas Hammond is bitten by a radio-active spider, transformed into a superhero who climbs walls and thwarts a $50 million extortion plot. OK special effects; the kids may not mind the illogical plot. The once-in-a-while series followed. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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STOWAWAY TO THE MOON
Science Fiction, 1975
Lloyd Bridges, Michael Link, Jeremy Slate, Morgan Paull, James McMullen, John Carradine, Keene Curtis. Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. 100 min.

Delightful family-oriented tale about an 11-year-old rocket enthusiast (Link) who fulfills his life's dream by sneaking aboard a space capsule about to blast off. Above average.

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STRANGE NEW WORLD
Science Fiction, 1975
videos bullet iconJohn Saxon, Kathleen Miller, Keene Curtis, Martine Beswick, James Olson, Ford Rainey, Catherine Bach, Richard Farnsworth. Directed by Robert Butler. 78 min.

Sci-fi adventure with three astronauts returning to Earth after 180 years in suspended animation to find that scientists have developed eternal life by cloning. Warner Brothers' third attempt in as many years to launch a sci-fi series (following Genesis II and Planet Earth.) Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE STRANGER WITHIN
Horror/Science Fiction, 1974
videos bullet iconBarbara Eden, George Grizzard, Joyce Van Patten, David Doyle, Nehemiah Persoff. Directed by Lee Philips. 78 min.

Melodrama about a woman whose unborn baby begins to control her mind and body. Suspiciously reminiscent of Rosemary's Baby with offbeat touches added by writer Richard Matheson. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE STREETS OF L.A.
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconJoanne Woodward, Robert Webber, Michael C. Gwynne, Fernando Allende, Isela Vega. Directed by Jerrold Freedman. 100 min.

The strength is Joanne Woodward in this contemporary drama about a tenacious woman who goes alone into the L.A. barrio in pursuit of teenaged hoods who slashed her tires. Without her, the whole idea would be plain silly. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SUMMER OF FEAR
Horror/Science Fiction, 1978
videos bullet iconLinda Blair, Lee Purcell, Jeremy Slate, Ralph Bellamy, Carol Lawrence, Jeff East. Directed by Wes Craven. 100 min.

Linda Blair's not possessed this time, but she does have a witch as a guest. In this surprisingly effective TV shocker, an evil sorceress poses as a distant relative and sows seeds of dissension within a family, thus enabling her to dominate and then destroy the tight-knit suburban clan. A lean, nerve-racking thriller. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconKristy McNichol, Bruce Davison, Esther Rolle, Michael Constantine, Barbara Barrie. Directed by Michale Tuchner. 100 min.

Bittersweet romance of a Jewish teenager and an escaped Nazi POW in a small Georgia town during WW2. Loving if occasionally oversentimental, with an Emmy Award-winning performance by Esther Rolle as the family housekeeper. Based on Bette Greene's novel. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SUMMERTREE
Drama, 1971
Michael Douglas, Jack Warden, Brenda Vaccaro, Barbara Bel Geddes, Kirk Callaway, Bill Vint. Directed by Anthony Newley. 88 min.

The highly-acclaimed (if overrated) off-Broadway play by Ron Cowen fails as a film; Douglas plays a young music student who clashes with his parents over the Vietnam War.

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SUNSHINE
Drama, 1973
videos bullet iconChristina Raines, Cliff DeYoung, Brenda Vaccaro, Meg Foster, Bill Mumy, Lindsay Greenbush. Directed by Joseph Sargent. 130 min.

Penetrating character studies of a non-Establishment couple and the woman's doctor in the story of a terminal cancer case. But the deliberately slow-pacing, flashback approach hampers the lead performances. Songs by John Denver. Sequel: Sunshine Christmas. Above average.

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SUNSHINE CHRISTMAS
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconCliff DeYoung, Barbara Hershey, Pat Hingle, Eileen Heckart, Elizabeth Cheshire, Meg Foster. Directed by Glenn Jordan. 100 min.

A well-made sequel to Sunshine (1973) and the subsequent short-lived TV series. A charming, sincerely acted tale of how long-widowed DeYoung takes his adapted daughter Cheshire to meet his parents for Christmas and then falls in love with his childhood sweetheart. Above average.

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SURVIVAL OF DANA
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconMelissa Sue Anderson, Robert Carradine, Marion Ross, Talia Balsam. Directed by Jack Starrett. 100 min.

A pretty high school coed moves to a new town (in Los Angeles' suburban Valley) after her Prairie-esque parents break up and falls in with the wrong crowd. You've seen it all before. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SWEET HOSTAGE
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconLinda Blair, Martin Sheen, Jeanne Cooper, Lee DeBroux, Dehl Berti, Bert Remsen. Directed by Lee Philips. 93 min.

Drama about an escaped psychopath and the illiterate farm girl he drags to a deserted cabin to become her teacher, friend and lover. Performances of Sheen and Blair almost make this talky adaptation of Nathanial Benchley's Welcome to Xanadu worthwhile. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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SYBIL
Drama, 1976
videos bullet iconJoanne Woodward, Sally Field, Brad Davis, Martine Bartlett, Jane Hoffman, William Prince. Directed by Daniel Petrie. 198 min.

An Emmy-winning psychological study of a young woman who, disturbed by childhood experiences, has developed seventeen separate personalities. Field is remarkable in the title role and Woodward brings a special glow to the role of the psychiatrist. A fascinating but deeply disturbing drama. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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TAIL GUNNER JOE
Drama, 1977
Peter Boyle, John Forsythe, Heather Menzies, Burgess Merideth, Patricia Neal, Jean Stapleton, Ned Beatty, John Carradine. Directed by Jud Taylor. 144 min.

The rise and fall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, with a stunning performance by Boyle. Gripping drama woven with author Lane Slate's bias. Above average.

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TERROR ON THE BEACH
Mystery/Suspense, 1973
videos bullet iconDennis Weaver, Estelle Parsons, Scott Hylands, Kristoffer Tabori, Susan Dey, Michael Christian, Henry Olek. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 74 min.

A middle-class family is harassed for no apparent reason during a seaside vacation. The plot's resolution is the weakest point of an otherwise interestingly directed thriller. Above average.

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THAT CERTAIN SUMMER
Drama, 1972
videos bullet iconHal Holbrook, Hope Lang, Martin Sheen, Joe Don Baker, Scott Jacoby, Marlyn Mason, James McEachin. Directed by Lamont Johnson. 74 min.

Divorcé Doug Salter (Holbrook) must find a way to discuss homosexuality with his son during one of their usual reunions in San Francisco. Outstanding performances by the entire cast in a sensibly scripted, carefully crafted film, well done by any medium's standards. A television landmark from the estimable producing/writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link. Above average.

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THURSDAY'S GAME
Comedy, 1974
videos bullet iconGene Wilder, Bob Newhart, Ellen Burstyn, Cloris Leachman, Martha Scott, Nancy Walker, Valerie Harper, Rob Reiner, Norman Fell, Richard Schaal, Dick Gautier, John Archer. Directed by Robert Moore. 100 min.

A sparkling adult comedy about pokerplaying buddies Gene Wilder and Bob Newhart and their marital and business problems. Absolutely tops with a dandy cast and a gloriously intelligent, often hilarious script by James L. Brooks. Filmed in 1971. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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TRAPPED
Mystery/Suspense, 1973
videos bullet iconJames Brolin, Susan Clark, Earl Holliman, Tammy Harrington, Robert Hooks, Ivy Jones, Bob Hastings. Directed by Frank DeFilitta. 74 min.

A man mugged in a department store awakens to find he's been locked in overnight, then is attacked by security dogs. Good premise gone awry, thanks to a faulty script and subplot. Average.

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THE TRIAL OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD
Drama, 1977
videos bullet iconBen Gazzara, Lorne Greene, John Pleshette, Mo Malone, Frances Lee McCain, Lawrence Pressman, Marisa Pavan. Directed by David Greene. 210 min.

Intriguing courtroom drama from the "what if?" school of story-telling. John Pleshette is quite good as Oswald, who may or may not have been involved in any of the Kennedy assassination theories (including several that are quite bizarre), which are explored here. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE SCANDAL
Drama, 1979
Tom Bosley, David Dukes, Tovah Feldshuh, Janet Margolin, Stephanie Zimbalist, Lauren Front, Stacy Nelkin, Ted Wass, Charlotte Rae, Milton Selzer, Valerie Landsburg. Directed by Mel Stuart. 100 min.

How to turn a real-life catastrophe (the turn-of-the-century fire that revolutionized working conditions and fire regulations) into a perfectly dull soap opera. Average.

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TRIBES
Drama, 1971
videos bullet iconDarren McGavin, Jan-Michael Vincent, Earl Holliman, John Gruber, Danny Goldman, Richard Yniguez. Directed by Joseph Sargent. 74 min.

The D.I. updated for the anti-war era, with tough marine drill instructor Darren McGavin having his hands full with longhair Jan-Michael Vincent. An incisive mix of comedy, drama, and social comment, with an Emmy-winning script by Tracy Keenan and Marvin Schwartz. Shown theatrically overseas as The Soldier Who Declared Peace. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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TRILOGY OF TERROR
Horror/Science Fiction, 1975
videos bullet iconKaren Black, Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes, James Storm, Gregory Harrison, Katherine Reynolds. Directed by Dan Curtis. 78 min.

Karen plays four tormented women in three exercises in the bizarre by writer Richard Matheson. Best: the third, "Prey," has a devil doll almost hounding her to death. This segment alone is worth your time. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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TRUE GRIT: A FURTHER ADVENTURE
Western, 1978
videos bullet iconWarren Oates, Lisa Pelikan, Lee Meriwether, James Stephens, Jeff Osterhage, Lee H. Montgomery, Ramon Bieri. Directed by Richard T. Heffron. 100 min.

The further adventures of Rooster Cogburn put Warren Oates in the unfortunate position of trying to fill the Duke's boots in this busted series pilot. Average.

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THE TWO WORLDS OF JENNIE LOGAN
Mystery/Suspense, 1979
videos bullet iconLindsay Wagner, Marc Singer, Alan Feinstein, Linda Gray, Henry Wilcoson, Joan Darling. Directed by Frank DeFelitta. 100 min.

Stylish murder mystery/romantic drama taking place simultaneously in two centuries. Based on David Williams' Second Sight. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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THE UFO INCIDENT
Drama, 1975
videos bullet iconJames Earl Jones, Estelle Parsons, Bernard Hughes, Dick O'Neill, Beeson Carroll, Terrence O'Connor. Directed by Richard A. Colla. 100 min.

An absorbing, fact-based, semi-sci-fi drama tracing the story of a New England couple who claim to have been taken aboard a UFO and examined medically. Long on monologues, skimpy in action, it's kept afloat by the two leads and Hughes, the doctor who probes their memories. Above average.

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A VACATION IN HELL
Mystery/Suspense, 1979
videos bullet iconPriscilla Barnes, Barbara Feldon, Andrea Marcovicci, Maureen McCormick, Michael Brandon. Directed by David Greene. 100 min.

Vacationers at a posh island resort wander into the jungle and face terror. Wow. Average.

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WHEN MICHAEL CALLS
Mystery/Suspense, 1971
Elizabeth Ashley, Ben Gazzara, Michael Douglas, Karen Pearson. Directed by Philip Leacock. 73 min.

Thriller-mystery of a mother receiving strange phone calls from a voice sounding like her dead son, with a subplot about divorce. Tame, predictable resolution in film that can't even build tension convincingly. Later released on home video under the title Shattered Silence. Written by James Bridges. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE?
Mystery/Suspense, 1974
Peter Graves, Verna Bloom, George O'Hanlon Jr., Kathleen Quinlan, Michael-James Wixted. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 78 min.

Peter Graves and his family are among the survivors of a radiation explosion. An "end of the world" tale by Lewis John Carlino; unevenly spun, indifferently acted. Average.

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THE WINDS OF KITTY HAWK
Drama, 1979
Michael Moriarty, David Huffman, Tom Bower, Eugene Roche, Scott Hylands, John Randolph, Kathryn Walker. Directed by E.W. Swackhamer. 100 min.

Stunningly photographed but tediously talky dramatization about the Wright Brothers, their efforts to fly, and their feud with Glenn Curtiss and his patron, Alexander Graham Bell. Stacy and James Keach covered much of the same ground in half the time some years earlier in their production on public television. Off the ground, there's magic. Above average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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WINNER TAKE ALL
Drama, 1975
Shirley Jones, Laurence Luckinbill, Sam Groom, Joan Blondell, Sylvia Sydney, Joyce Van Patten. Directed by Paul Bogart. 100 min.

videos bullet iconDrama about a compulsive woman gambler. The cast doesn't cut it, but then the script doesn't offer much. Below average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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WINTER KILL
Drama, 1974
Andy Griffith, John Larch, Tim O'Connor, Sheree North, Nick Nolte, Elayne Heilviel, Charles Tyner, Louise Latham. Directed by Jud Taylor. 100 min.

Resort-town sheriff Griffith tracks murderer, who leaves spray-painted messages at the scene. Another Griffith pilot that failed to catch on. Average. Sequel: Deadly Game. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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A WOMAN CALLED MOSES
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconCicely Tyson, Will Geer, Robert Hooks, James Wainwright, Dick Anthony Williams, Jason Bernard, Hari Rhodes. Directed by Paul Wendkos. 200 min.

A dramatization of the life of Harriet Tubman, who founded the underground railway that helped fellow former slaves to freedom in the antebellum South. There's the expected exceptional performance by Tyson and the last work of Will Geer, but the whole project nearly goes down the tube because of an irrelevant narration provided by Orson Welles at his most imperious. Adapted by Lonne Elder III from Marcy Heldish's novel. Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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WONDER WOMAN
Action/Adventure, 1974
videos bullet iconCathy Lee Crosby, Kaz Garas, Ricardo Montalban, Andrew Prine, Charlene Holt, Richard X. Slattery. Directed by Vincent McEveety. 78 min.

Live-action cartoon -- the one that didn't make it -- about a superhuman female who uses her powers to stalk an elusive espionage agent. Set in present-day. Below average. Followed by The New, Original Wonder Woman and a TV series.

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YOUNG LOVE, FIRST LOVE
Drama, 1979
videos bullet iconValerie Bertinelli, Timothy Hutton, Arlen Dean Snyder, Fionnuala Flanagan, Leslie Ackerman. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. 100 min.

The title tells all in this routine story that asks the nagging question: Should Valerie go "all the way"? Average. Buy the DVD/VHS at Amazon.com.

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ZUMA BEACH
Drama, 1978
videos bullet iconSuzanne Somers, Steven Keats, Michael Biehn, Mark Wheeler, Kimberly Beck, Perry Lang, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Hutton, P.J. Soles. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. 100 min.

A fading rock star becomes involved with high schoolers at a beach party. OK if watching Suzanne in a bathing suit is enough to keep you interested for 100 min. Co-written by John Carpenter! Average.

- excerpted from Leonard Maltin's TV Movies 1985-86 (New York: Signet, 1984).

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