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|Seventies & Eighties Made-For-TV Movies - D|
D.A.: MURDER ONE 1969 100 min. Robert Conrad, Howard Duff, Diane Baker, J.D. Cannon, Alfred Ryder, Scott Brady, Gerald S. O'Laughlin. Directed by Boris Sagal. Good cast struggles through Jack Webb production featuring Conrad as a stereotyped deputy D.A. showing up his superiors in a case involving an insulin overdose. Average. Retitled MURDER ONE. DADDY, I DON'T LIKE IT LIKE THIS 1978 100 min. Talia Shire, Burt Young, Doug McKeon, Melanie Griffith, Erica Yohn. Directed by Adell Aldrich. A youngster withdraws into his own world unable to cope with the bickering of his parents because of their unfulfilled dreams. Veteran director Aldrich's daughter Adell made her own directing debut here, working with a somewhat pallid script by star Burt Young. Average. DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS 1979 100 min. Jane Seymour, Laraine Stephens, Bert Convy, Lauren Tewes, Pamela Susan Shoop, Katherine Baumann, Bucky Dent. Directed by Bruce Bilson. Featherweight "inside story" about the famed cheerleading squad whose suggestive attire and movements spice many Sunday afternoon football halftime shows. Below average. DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS II 1980 100 min. John Davidson, Laraine Stephens, Roxanne Gregory, Duane Thomas, Julie Hill, Texie Waterman. Directed by Michael O'Herlihy. Witless sequel to one of the highest-rated and most jiggly made-for-TV movies. For those deeply concerned, it focuses on the concocted conflicts the cheerleader squad faces while preparing to dance routines for Super Bowl Sunday! Below average. DANGER IN PARADISE 1977 100 min. Cliff Potts, John Dehner, Ina Balin, Bill Lucking, Jean-Marie Hon, Michael Mullins. Directed by Marvin Chomsky. Dreary action drama with stock characters -- all unsympathetic. Prodigal son Potts battles wicked stepmother Balin, in cahoots with land developers, for control of his ailing father's Hawaiian ranch estate. Below average. DANGEROUS COMPANY 1982 100 min. Beau Bridges, Carlos Brown, Karen Carlson, Jan Sterling, Kene Holiday, Ralph Macchio. Directed by Lamont Johnson. Dramatization of the true story of Ray Johnson, his 27 years of violent crime and imprisonment (with various escapes and recaptures), and his rehabilitation. Listless script nearly undermines Bridges' tour-de-force performance. Based on Johnson's book TOO DANGEROUS TO BE AT LARGE. Average. THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF KIOWA JONES 1966 83 min. Robert Horton, Diane Baker, Sal Mineo, Nehemiah Persoff, Garry Merrill. Directed by Alex March. Fair Western adventure features Horton in a good performance as a drifter agreeing to transport a criminal to jail. Average. DARK MIRROR 1984 100 min. Jane Seymour, Stephen Collins, Vincent Gardenia, Hank Brandt, Ty Henderson, Jack Kruschen. Directed by Richard Lang. Disappointing remake of the Olivia de Havilland good twin/evil twin murder thriller. Scripter Corey Blechman (BILL) painted this one with too broad a stroke; glum cast plays second fiddle to Jan and Jane, both overly flamboyant. Average. DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW 1981 100 min. Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith, Tonya Crowe, Larry Drake, Jocelyn Brando. Directed by Frank De Felitta. Satisfying if predictable chiller about a young girl's innocent friendship with the town dummy, whose killing by a group of vigilantes leads to a series of inexplicable events. Above average. DARK VICTORY 1976 150 min. Elizabeth Montgomery, Anthony Hopkins, Michele Lee, Janet MacLachlan, Michael Lerner, John Elerick, Vic Tayback. Directed by Robert Butler. Updated version of the Bette Davis classic has Montgomery as a TV producer who falls in love with the doctor who tells her she has a brain tumor. Former four-hankie weeper now is curiously unaffecting, despite the professionalism of its cast. Updating failed to help the old chestnut, nor did subsequent slicing to an hour. Average. THE DAUGHTERS OF JOSHUA CABE 1972 73 min. Buddy Ebsen, Karen Valentine, Lesley Warren, Sandra Dee, Jack Elam, Leif Erickson, Don Stroud. Directed by Philip Leacock. A new homesteading law and the refusal of daughters to return West forces trapper Cabe (Ebsen) to hire three women to pose as his children. Typical unbelievable Western. Average; spawned two sequels. THE DAUGHTERS OF JOSHUA CABE RETURN 1978 78 min. Dan Dailey, Ronne Troup, Christina Hart, Brooke Adams, Dub Taylor, Carl Betz, Arthur Hunnicut, Terry Wilson, Kathleen Freeman. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Second sequel to the 1972 movie with Dailey taking over as the rascally rancher, who, with the three shady ladies he has hired to pose as his daughters, is outwitted by the real dad of one of them, who holds her for a ransom Cabe cannot pay. Average. DAVID COPPERFIELD 1970 110 min. Robin Phillipls, Susan Hampshire, Edith Evans, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Laurence Oliver, Wendy Hiller, Emlyn Williams, Richard Attenborough. Directed by Delbert Mann. Top-drawer cast in a moody new version of the classic. The giants of the English theater give what support they can to a rather limp script and an unanimated lead. Average. THE DAY AFTER 1983 120 min. Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum, John Lithgow, Bibi Besch, Lori Lethin, Amy Madigan, Jeff East. Directed by Nicholas Meyer. The chilling after-effects of the catastrophic nuclear bombing of Lawrence, Kansas, in a potent drama written by Edward Hume. Probably the most controversial TV movie of its time, with unrelenting grimness, performances ranging from sturdy to overwrought, and a rare musical score by David Raksin, with Virgil Thompson's "The River" interpolated. Above average. A DAY FOR THANKS ON WALTON'S MOUNTAIN 1982 100 min. Ralph Waite, Ellen Corby, Judy Norton-Taylor, Eric Scott, Jon Walmsley, Robert Wightman, Mary Beth McDonough, David W. Harper, Kami Colter, Joe Conley, Ronnie Clare Edwards, Richard Gilliland, Melinda Naud. Directed by Harry Harris. It looks like the Walton clan won't be together for Thanksgiving, though the outcome is never really in doubt. Average. THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST 1982 150 min. Richard Crenna, Blanche Baker, Robert Vaughn, Dana Elcar, Robert Hays, Bill Macy, Donna Pescow, Laurette Spang, Franklin Cover, Audra Lindley, Rue McClanahan, David Ogden Stiers, Caroline McWilliams. Directed by Joseph Hardy. The personal lives of Wall Street wizards, average Joes, and jazz babies dovetail on Black Tuesday, when the stock market crashed. Written episodically and univolvingly by Stanley R. Greenberg (who was responsible for PUEBLO and THE MISSLES OF OCTOBER) from the best-seller by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts. Average. THE DAY THE EARTH MOVED 1974 78 min. Jackie Cooper, William Windon, Beverly Garland, Lucille Benson, Kelly Thordsen. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. Aerial photographers Cooper and Little have less trouble predicting an imminent earthquake than in convincing some townspeople to get out before the walls come tumbling down on them. Modest thriller with competent performances and special effects. Average. THE DAY THE LOVING STOPPED 1981 100 min. Dennis Weaver, Valerie Harper, Dominique Dunne, James Canning, Ally Sheedy, Sam Groom, Stacey Glick. Directed by Daniel Mann. Two young girls experience the emotional turmoil of their parents' separation. Average. THE DEAD DON'T DIE 1975 78 min. George Hamilton, Ray Milland, Linda Cristal, Ralph Meeker, Joan Blondell, James McEachin. Directed by Curtis Harrington. Creaky 1930s thriller by Robert Bloch has Hamilton, out to clear his executed brother's name, clashing with a crazed zombie master who has hatched a plot to rule the world with his army of living dead. Below average. DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES 1971 73 min. Christopher George, Judy Carne, Patricia Barry, Richard Anderson. Directed by Walter Grauman. Engaging chase-thriller with a sense of humor. Paid assassins mistake a travel photographer (George) for real quarry. Carne stars as a former girlfriend who decides to help the hero. Above average. DEADLOCK 1969 99 min. Leslie Nielsen, Hari Rhodes, Dana Elcar, Max Julien, Melvin Stuart, Ruby Dee, Aldo Ray. Directed by Lamont Johnson. Intelligent study of election-year politics and ghetto turmoil. D.A. Washburn (Rhodes) accepts the mayor's assignment to head a special investigatory panel in the death of a newspaperman who had covered a touchy racial issue. Excellent performances, realistic tension. Above average. DEADLY DREAM 1971 73 min. Lloyd Bridges, Janet Leigh, Leif Erikson, Carl Betz, Don Stroud, Richard Jaeckel, Phillip Pine. Directed by Alf Kjellin. Poor examination of dream-vs.-reality issue. A man has a recurring and episodic dream that strange men belonging to a "tribunal" chase after him. Adequate performances, but the script and direction are a real nightmare. Average. DEADLY ENCOUNTER 1982 100 min. Larry Hagman, Susan Anspach, James Gammon, Michael C Gwynne. Directed by William A Graham. Nonstop aerial action with Hagman as an ex-combat helicopter ace who's persuaded by old flame Anspach to help her flee from syndicate thugs. Great copter stunt work keeps this one moving briskly. Above average. DEADLY HARVEST 1972 73 min. Richard Boone, Patty Duke, Michael Constantine, Murray Hamilton, Jack Kruschen. Directed by Michael O'Herlihy. Semi-idyllic existence of an ex-spy-turned-grape-grower shattered when a bomb shows up in his pickup truck. Frustratingly uneven; some good performances, some bad; occasional good mood, often too rushed. Adapted by Dan Ullman from Geoffrey Household's WATCHER IN THE SHADOWS. THE DEADLY HUNT 1971 74 min. Jim Hutton, Anjanette Comer, Tony Franciosa, Peter Lawford, Tim McIntire. Directed by John Newland. Young businessman and wife (Hutton & Comer) on a hunting trip discover themselves targets of paid assassins, cuaght in a forest fire. Good location and stunt work are the major distinctions of this acceptable chase-thriller, adapted by Jerrold Ludwig and Eric Bercovici from Pat Stadley's novel. Above average. DEADLY LESSONS 1983 100 min. Donna Reed, Larry Wilcox, David Ackroyd, Diana Franklin, Ally Sheedy, Donald Hotton, Deena Freeman. Directed by William Wiard. A crazed killer stalks an exclusive girls school. Donna Reed, as headmistress, adds a misplaced touch of class to TV's contribution to slasher movie mania. Average. THE DEADLY TOWER 1975 100 min. Kurt Russell, Richard Yniquez, John Forsythe, Ned Beatty, Pernell Roberts, Clifton James, Paul Carr, Alan Vint, Pepe Serna, Maria Elena Cordero. Directed by Jerry Jameson. Fact-based drama about Charles Whitman (Russell), who holed up in the University of Texas tower in August, 1966, and fired at all in sight, killing 13 and wounding 33. Authentic, well-made recreation of the fateful event, with acting honors going to Yniquez as a Mexican-American police officer and Beatty as a passerby who reluctantly agrees to help him. Above average. DEAR DETECTIVE 1979 90 min. Brenda Vaccaro, Arlen Dean Snyder, Michael MacRae, John Dennis Johnston, Jack Ging, Stephen McNally, M. Emmet Walsh, Constance forslund, R.G. Armstrong. Directed by Dean Hargrove. Detective Vaccaro investigates killings of politicians, has romance with college professor Snyder. Forgettable mystery-comedy benefits from the presence of Vaccaro. Remake of the 1977 feature; pilot for the TV series. Average. DEATH AT LOVE HOUSE 1976 78 min. Robert Wagner, Kate Jackson, Sylvia Sidney, Joan Blondell, Dorothy Lamour, John Carradine, Bill Macy, Marianna Hill. Directed by E.W. Swackhammer. A "nostalgia thriller" about the obsession of a young writer (Wagner) for a long-dead movie queen who was supposed to have had an affair with his father and whose spirit reaches out from her glass tomb to destroy him. Creepy and unbelievable, but it's fun to see screen veterans and the magnificent Harold Lloyd estate where this was filmed. Average. DEATH BE NOT PROUD 1975 100 min. Arthur Hill, Jane Alexander, Robby Benson, Linden Chiles, Ralph Clanton, Wendy Phillips. Directed by Donald Wrye. Sterling version of John Gunther's 1949 account of his son's courageous battle against the brain tumor that killed him at 17. Perceptive portrayals by Hill as the famed author and Benson as young Johnny, with a glowing one by Jane Alexander. Memorable true-life drama. Above average. DEATH CRUISE 1974 78 min. Richard Long, Polly Bergen, Edward Albert, Kate Jackson, Celeste Holm, Tom Bosley, Michael Constantine, Cesare Danova. Directed by Ralph Senesky. Three couples win all-expenses-paid vacations, then realize on board the ship that they are marked for death. A disaster drama that sails along familiar seas. Below average. DEATH IN CANAAN 1978 120 min. Stephanie Powers, Paul Clemens, Tom Atkins, Brian Denehy, Jacqueline Brooks, James Sutorius. Directed by Tony Richardson. Dramatization of the sensational Connecticut murder case involving a local teenager suspected of the mutilation murder of his mother. Richardson made his American TV directing debut here, and Clemens, the son of actress Eleanor Parker, made his acting debut as Peter Reilly, the accused. Adapted by Thomas Thompson and Spencer Eastman from the book by Joan Barthel (played by Powers). Above average. DEATH MOON 1978 89 min. France Nuyen, Robert Foxworth, Joe Penny, Barbara Trentham, Debralee Scott. Directed by Bruce Kessler. Plodding tale of an executive (Foxworth) tangling with a witch with supernatural powers while vacationing in Hawaii. Below average. DEATH OF A CENTERFOLD: THE DOROTHY STRATTEN STORY 1981 100 min. Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Weitz, Robert Reed, Mitchell Ryan, Tracy Reed, Bibi Besch. Directed by Gabrielle Beaumont. Exploitative, fact-based story of a starstruck teenager from Canada who goes to Hollywood looking for the big break, becomes Playmate of the Year, and finds tragedy. Stratten's sad story, scripted by Donald Stewart, was also utilized by Bob Fosse in STAR 80. Average. A DEATH OF INNOCENCE 1971 73 min. Shelley Winters, Arthur Kennedy, Tisha Sterling, Ann Southern, John Randolph. Directed by Paul Wendkos. Parents from Idaho (Winters & Randolph) journey to N.Y.C. to attend their daughter's murder trial; the visit becomes a major emotional experience for the mother. Better than average script, by Joseph Stefano (from Zelda Popkin's novel), overblown performances, good direction. Above average. THE DEATH OF ME YET 1971 73 min. Doug McClure, Darren McGavin, Richard Basehart, Rosemary Forsyth, Meg Foster, Dana Elcar. Directed by John Llewellyn. A happily married newspaper editor in a small town, actually an ex-spy for the U.S. in Russia, is suddenly questioned by a government agent (McGavin) and sought by another agent. Good suspense, adequate performances. Above average. THE DEATH OF OCEAN VIEW PARK 1979 100 min. Mike Connors, Martin Landau, Diana Canova, Perry Lang, James Stephens, Caroline McWilliams, Mare Winningham. Directed by E.W. Swackhammer. A hurricane levels a seaside amusement park on a holiday weekend, and lots of familiar TV personalities panic with conviction. The special effects are surprisingly mediocre, considering that an actual park was destroyed for the film. Average. DEATH ON THE FREEWAY 1979 100 min. Shelley Hack, George Hamilton, Frank Gorshin, Peter Graves, Harriet Nelson, Barbara Rush, Dinah Shore, Abe Vigoda, Hal Needham. Directed by Hal Needham. A comely TV reporter goes after the maniac methodically terrorizing lone women drivers with his van on the L.A. freeways. Stunt work (supervised by Needham) more than compensates for nonacting of the leading lady. Average. DEATH PENALTY 1980 100 min. Colleen Dewhurst, Dana Elcar, Joe Morton, David Labiosa, Dan Hedaya, Ted Ross. Directed by Waris Hussein. Slow-moving drama abut a strong-willed psychologist's struggle to save a street-gang teenager from going to the electric chair for a double murder. Average. DEATH RACE 1973 73 min. Lloyd Bridges, Doug McClure, Roy Thinnes, Eric Braiden, Dennis Rucker. Directed by Lowell Rich. Two Americans in a wounded fighter plane vs. a German tank separated from its squad; drawn-out, boring WW2 adventure. Below average. DEATH RAY 2000 1981 100 min. Robert Logan, Ann Turkel, Maggie Cooper, Clive Revill, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Dan O'Herlihy, Penelope Windust, Paul Mantee. Directed by Lee Katzin. The pilot movie to the 1979-80 Robert Conrad series A MAN CALLED SLOANE has a flamboyant agent (here, Logan) and his associates ordered to retrieve an exotic device capable of destroying the world. Average. DEATH SENTENCE 1974 78 min. Cloris Leachman, Laurence Luckinbill, Nick Nolte, William Schallert, Alan Oppenheimer, Yvonne Wilder. Directed by E.W. Swackhammer. Juror Leachman discovers that the wrong man is on trial for murder and finds her own life threatened by the real one -- her husband. If you can accept a sequestered juror slipping away at night to play sleuth, you'll accept anything. Below average. THE DEATH SQUAD 1974 78 min. Robert Forster, Michelle Phillips, Claude Akins, Mark Goddard, Melvyn Douglas, Ken Tobey, Dennis Patrick. Directed by Harry Falk. A tough ex-cop is recruited to root out rotten apples on the police roster, a self-styled assassination squad that methodically executes criminals released on legal technicalities. If it all sounds familiar, refer to MAGNUM FORCE. Below average.
DEATH STALK 1974 78 min. Vince Edwards, Anjanette Comer, Robert Webber, Carol Lynley, Vic Morrow, Neville Brand, Norman Fell. Directed by Robert Day. Two men desperately try to save their wives, abducted by four convicts fleeing in rubber rafts down a treacherous river. Hokey suspense tale wastes a good cast and splendid scenery, including the expected rapids-run. Below average. DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY 1971 73 min. Melvyn Douglas, Myrna Loy, Yvette Mimieux, Monte Markham, Maureen Reagan. Directed by Robert Butler. Silly update of the 1934 version with Death on Earth trying to understand why people cling to existence, falling in love with a beautiful woman. Unbearable script, sloppy direction. Below average. THE DEFECTION OF SIMAS KUDIRKA 1978 100 min. Alan Arkin, Richard Jordan, Donald Pleasence, John McMartin, Shirley Knight. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Absorbing drama, based on the Lithuanian seaman's abortive 1970 attempt at freedom by jumping ship in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Arkin added another intriguing portrait to his personal acting gallery, and director Rich won an Emmy Award. Exceptionally well written by Bruce Feldman. Above average. DELANCEY STREET: THE CRISIS WITHIN 1975 78 min. Walter McGinn, Carmine Caridi, Michael Conrad, Lou Gossett, Mark Hamill, Barbara Babcock. Directed by James Frawley. Fact-based drama of a San Francisco halfway house helping ex-cons and former junkies to get back on their feet. Earnest performance, admirable story by Robert Foster. Above average. DELIVER US FROM EVIL 1973 78 min. George Kennedy, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bradford Dillman, Jack Weston, Jim Davis, Charles Aidman, Allen Pinson. Directed by Boris Sagal. Five "honest" men catch and kill a skyjacker during a camping trip and then get greedy about his $600,000 loot. So-so variation on THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Average. THE DEMON MURDER CASE 1983 100 min. Kevin Bacon, Liane Langland, Eddie Albert, Andy Griffith, Cloris Leachman, Richard Masur, Ken Kercheval, Joyce Van Patten, Charlie Fields. Directed by Billy Hale. Demonologisth Griffith, psychic Leachman, and priest Albert attempt to frighten the Devil out of young Fields. Also called THE RHODE ISLAND MURDERS. Average. DEMPSEY 1983 150 min. Treat Williams, Sam Waterston, Sally Kellerman, Victoria Tennant, Peter Mark Richman, Jesse Vint, Robert Harper, John McLiam, Bonnie Bartlett, James Noble. Directed by Gus Trikonis. Earnest but plodding dramatization of the Manassa Mauler's colorful boxing career and his marriage to silent-screen star Estelle Taylor. A singularly humorless Williams punches his way through the story which Edward DiLorenzo adapted from Dempsey's autobiography. Average. THE DEPUTIES 1976 100 min. Jim Davis, Don Johnson, Charles Martin Smith, Nicholas Hammond, Barbara Parkins, Glenn Corbett, Andrew Prine, Moses Gunn, Darleen Carr. Directed by Virgil W. Vogel. Frontier lawman Davis and young deputies seek a psychopath with a vendetta against prostitutes. Old West melodrama best described as THE ROOKIES on horseback. Average. DESPERATE INTRUDER 1983 105 min. Meg Foster, Nick Mancuso, Claude Akins, Robert Hogart, Stephen Keep, Lisa Jane Persky. Directed by Nick Havinga. Formula thriller: a blind woman in an isolated beach house takes in a mysterious stranger and falls for him, unaware that he's an escaped con and his sadistic buddy is on the way. Below average. DESPERATE LIVES 1982 100 min. Diana Scarwid, Doug McKeon, Helen Hunt, William Windom, Art Hindle, Tom Atkins, Sam Bottoms, Diane Ladd, Dr. Joyce Brothers. Directed by Robert Lewis. Story of a brother and sister who become involved in drugs in high school and their guidance counselor's battle againts dope. Average. DESPERATE MISSION 1971 100 min. Ricardo Montalban, Slim Pickens, Earl Holliman, Ina Balin, Roosevelt Grier, Robert J. Wilke, Antony Caruso. Directed by Earl Bellamy. Hokey Western with Montalban as Joaquinn Murietta, a Mexican bandit-folk hero portrayed here as a frontier Robin Hood. Adequate performances, forgettable resolution. Average. DESPERATE VOYAGE 1980 95 min. Christopher Plummer, Cliff Potts, Christine Belford, Lara Parker, Nicholas Pryor, Jonathan Banks. Directed by Michael O'Herlihy. Plummer is marvelously evil as a modern-day pirate who does his high-seas hijacking from a battered, diesel-powered fishing boat. Alvin Sapinsley adapted his dandy thriller from Ray Kytle's novel LAST VOYAGE OF THE VALHALLA. Above average. DESPERATE WOMEN 1978 100 min. Susan St. James, Dan Haggerty, Ronee Blakely, Ann Dusenberry, Max Gail. Directed by Earl Bellamy. Three scrappy female prisoners, abandoned in the desert, team up with a laconic ex-gunslinger to outsmart a ratty gang of desperados in this ragtag western comedy. Average. DESTINY OF A SPY 1969 99 min. Lorne Greene, Rachel Roberts, Anthony Quayle, James Donald, Patrick Magee, Patrick Newell. Directed by Boris Sagal. A dissatisfied Russian spy (Greene) reluctantly comes out of retirement, accepts an assignment in London investigating the death of a British scientist. Effective subplot involving a budding love affair with a British double agent (Roberts). Good production. Adapted by Stanford Whitmore from John Blackburn's THE GAUNT WOMAN. Above average. DEVIL DOG: THE HOUND OF HELL 1978 100 min. Richard Crenna, Yvette Mimieux, Kim Richards, Ike Eisanmann, Victor Jory, Martine Beswick. Directed by Curtis Harrington. Chiller about a family falling under the spell of a dog imbued with the spirit of Satan. Love that title! Average. DIAL HOT LINE 1969 100 min. Vince Edwards, Chelsea Brown, Kim Hunter, Lane Bradbury, June Harding. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. Unconvincing lead performance by Edwards as the head of a psychiatric telephone service with a story centering around three different young subjects. Average. DIAL M FOR MURDER 1981 100 min. Angie Dickinson, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Quayle, Michael Parks, Ron Moody, Gerry Gibson. Directed by Boris Sagal. Playwright Frederick Knott's mystery classic adapted by John Gay, about an ingenious murder conceived as the perfect crime given a straightforward refilming with many of Hitchcock's touches meticulously recreated. Average. THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK 1980 100 min. Melissa Gilbert, Maximilian Schell, Joan Plowright, Doris Roberts, James Coco, Scott Jacoby, Clive Revill. Directed by Boris Sagal. Straightforward but affecting remake of this still-powerful play, based on the 1959 Frances Goodrich-Albert Hackett script. A good showcase for young Gilbert in the title role, surrounded by a fine cast. Above average. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FLIGHT 412 1974 78 min. Glenn Ford, Bradford Dillman, Guy Stockwell, David Soul, Robert F. Lyons, Kent Smith, Jack Ging, Greg Mullavey. Directed by Jud Taylor. After two jets from commander Ford's unit mysteriously vanish while pursuing UFO's, he rips through military red tape to find out why the Air Force officially will not recognize the incident and stumbles onto a right-wing conspiracy. Average. DISASTER ON THE COASTLINER 1979 100 min. Lloyd Bridges, E.G. Marshall, Robert Fuller, Pat Hingle, Yvette Mimieux, William Shatner, Paul L. Smith. Directed by Richard Sarafian. A vengeful computer genious sets two passenger trains on a collision course in this fairly intelligent suspense thriller with lots of unplugged holes. Average. DIVORCE HIS -- DIVORCE HERS 1973 148 min. Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Carrie Nye, Barry Foster, Gabriele Ferzetti. Directed by Waris Hussein. Adequate examination of a husband-wife relationship in limbo, in two sections: first, through the eyes of the husband arriving in Rome, then through the eyes of the wife who has a new lover. Uneven script has embarrassing moments, good performances. Average. DIVORCE WARS: A LOVE STORY 1982 100 min. Tom Selleck, Jane Curtin, Candy Azzara, Joan Bennett, Maggie Cooper, Charles Haid, Viveca Lindfors, Philip Sterling. Directed by Donald Wrye. A high-powered divorce attorney finds trouble at home beyond him in this remarkably intelligent drama about a failing marriage. Script by Wrye and Linda Elstad. Above average. DIXIE: CHANGING HABITS 1983 100 min. Suzanne Pleshette, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth McMillan, John Considine, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Judith Ivey. Directed by George Englund. Amusing tale of a flamboyant who clashes with the Mother Superior (Leachman) of a local convent where she is sent for rehabilitation after her establishment is shut down. Pugently written by actor Considine and directed by Leachman's husband (both their sons also participated). Above average. DO YOU TAKE THIS STRANGER 1970 100 min. Gene Barry, Lloyd Bridges, Diane Baker, Joseph Cotten, Susan Oliver, Sidney Blackmer. Directed by Richard Heffron. OK drama featuring Barry as a man who has a milion dollars within his grasp if he can persuade another to assume his identity; a terminal disease victim is the likely candidate. Good complications, fair performances. Average. DOCTOR FRANKEN 1980 100 min. Robert Vaughn, Robert Perrault, David Selby, Teri Garr, Josef Summer, Cynthia Harris. Directed by Marvin J. Chomsky. Contemporary rehash of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein saga tells, in this prospective series pilot, how a single-minded New York surgeon rebuilds a shattered body from spare parts he acquires at work. And it's acted perfectly straight! Average. DR. MAX 1974 78 min. Lee J. Cobb, Janet Ward, Robert Lipton, David Sheiner, Katherine Helmond, Sorrell Brooke. Directed by James Goldstone. Irascible old G.P. remains dedicated to his less affluent patients in a run-down Baltimore neighborhood, tending to their personal and medical problems and those of his own family. Cobb is his usual larger-than-life self as the curmudgeonly medic. Average. DR. SCORPION 1978 100 min. Nick Mancuso, Christine Lahti, Richard T. Herd, Roscoe Lee Browne, Denny Miller, Sandra Kerns. Directed by Richard Lang. Another of the fondly remembered comic book heroes comes to TV to thwart a power-mad genius' plot to rule the world. The popcorn brigade might go for the silliness. Below average. DR. STRANGE 1978 100 min. Peter Hooten, Clyde Kusatsu, Jessica Walter, John Mills, Philip Sterling. Directed by Philip DeGuere. A Marvel Comics Group hero gets a shot at a series in this pilot dealing in the occult, with tongue firmly in cheek. The plot has him joining forces with a world weary sorcerer (played con brio by Sir John Mills) to stop a beautiful witch from adding to her collection of men's souls. Above average. DOG AND CAT 1977 78 min. Lou Antonio, Kim Basinger, Matt Clark, Charles Cioffi, Richard Lynch, Dale Robinette, Dick Wesson. Directed by Bob Kelljan. A flip streetwise detective and a hip country girl he inherits as a partner delve into the porno business to nail a kingpin. Offbeat characters and glib dialogue try to life a formula cop show out of the ordinary. Average; pilot for the series. DON'T GO TO SLEEP 1982 100 min. Dennis Weaver, Valerie Harper, Ruth Gordon, Robert Webber, Claudette Nevins, Robin Ignacio, Kristin Cummings. Directed by Richard Lang. Ned Wynn (Keenan's son) wrote this very effective shocker about a dead daughter reaching from the grave to take her family with her one by one. Above average. DON'T LOOK BACK: THE STORY OF LEROY "SATCHEL" PAIGE 1981 98 min. Louis Gossett, Jr., Beverly Todd, Cleavon Little, Ernie Barnes, Clifton Davis, Hal Williams. Directed by Richard A. Colla. The white-washed story of the legendary baseball star Paige, adapted from his book MAYBE I'LL PITCH FOREVER. Colla replaced George C. Scott as director. Average. DON'T PUSH, I'LL CHARGE WHEN I'M READY 1977 100 min. Enzo Cerusico, Sue Lyon, Cesar Romero, Dwayne Hickman, Jerry Colonna, Edward Andrews. Directed by Nathaniel Lande. Acceptable WW2 comedy has an Italian P.O.W. in America drafted into the Army. Filmed in 1969. Average. DONNER PASS: THE ROAD TO SURVIVAL 1978 100 min. Robert Fuller, Andrew Prine, Michael Callan, Diane McBain, John Anderson, John Doucette. Directed by James L. Conway. "Classics Illustrated" version of the true-life travails of a wagon train of pioneers who were snowbound on their westward trek and forced to return to cannibalism. Family adventure despite the grim underlying theme. Average. DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1973 73 min. Richard Crenna, Lee J. Cobb, Samantha Eggar, Kathleen Cody, Arch Johnson, John Fiedler, Robert Webber. Directed by Jack Smight. Remake of the 1944 version with Eggar seducing insurance investigator Crenna into a husband-murdering scheme. Follows the original almost shot-for-shot, but the overall effect is lifeless, unconvincing. Average. DRAGNET 1969 97 min. Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Vic Perrin, Virginia Gregg, Gene Evans, John Rosenboro. Directed by Jack Webb. Friday and Gannon investigate a series of murders of pretty models with a vaguely identified male the only suspect. Slightly better production than the series; direction and dialogue same as show. Average. DREAM HOUSE 1981 100 min. John Schneider, Marilu Henner, Michael Gross, Remak Ramsey, Miguel Fernandes. Directed by Joseph Hardy. Agreeable tale of a good old boy from Georgia who falls for a prety Manhattan woman and decides to build his dream house in a New York ghetto. Above average. THE DREAM MAKERS 1975 78 min. James Franciscus, Diane Baker, John Astin, Kenny Rogers, Mickey Jones, Jamie Donnelly, Devon Ericson, Steven Keats. Directed by Boris Sagal. College professor Franciscus leaves the security of the campus to become a recording company executive, only to be enmeshed in a payola scandal. A muddled attempt at an expose of the recording industry; Rogers' acting debut. Below average. THE DREAM MERCHANTS 1980 200 min. Mark Harmon, Morgan Fairchild, Morgan Brittany, Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard, Vincent Gardenia, Red Buttons, Robert Culp, Howard Duff, Jose Ferrer, Robert Goulet, David Groh, Carolyn Jones, Fernando Lamas, Ray Milland, Jan Murray. Directed by Vincent Sherman. Pedestrian tale of a young moviemaker's rise in the silent era. Based on the Harold Robbins novel, this was originallly shown in two parts. Average. DREAMS DON'T DIE 1982 100 min. Ike Eisenmann, Trini Alvarado, Israel Juarbe, Mark Gordon, George Coe, Judi West, James Broderick, Paul Winfield. Directed by Roger Young. Teenagers in the urban drug-saturated war zone, with unrealistically pat solutions. Below average. DRIVE HARD, DRIVE FAST 1969 73 min. Brian Kelly, Joan Collins, Henry Silva, Joseph Campanella, Karen Huston, Todd Martin. Directed by Douglas Heyes. Odd murder drama with a professional racing backdrop. A scheming wife (Collins) involves an innocent man in her husband's plan. Typical complications and doublecrosses in a hohum script which the cast can't save. Below average. DROP-OUT FATHER 1982 100 min. Don Taylor, Dick Van Dyke, Mariette Hartley, George Coe, William Daniels, Monte Markham, Arthur Rosenburg, Jacques Aubuchon. Directed by Don Taylor. Perceptive contemprary comedy about the effect on himself and his family when successful advertising executive Van Dyke decides to quit the rat race. Written and coproduced by Bob Shanks. Above average. DUMMY 1979 100 min. Paul Sorvino, LeVar Burton, Brian Dennehy, Rose Gregorio, Gregg Henry. Directed by Frank Perry. Real-life account of the relationship between a deaf and dumb black youth accused of murder and the deaf court- appointed attorney who defended him in the precedent-setting Chicago trial. Tour-de-force roles for Sorvino, exceptionally good as the lawyer, and Burton. Ernest Tidyman's script another plus. Above average. DYING ROOM ONLY 1973 74 min. Cloris Leachman, Ross Martin, Ned Beatty, Louise Latham, Dana Elcar, Dabney Coleman. Directed by Phillip Leacock. 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.
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