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|Seventies & Eighties Made-For-TV Movies - E|
EARTH II 1971 100 min. Hari Rhodes, Gary Lockwood, Tony Franciosa, Gary Merrill, Lew Ayres, Scott Hylands. Directed by Tom Gries. Workable premise that doesn't lead anywhere; depiction of the day-to-day operations of a space station, with good performances battling forgettable dialogue. Average. EBONY, IVORY AND JADE 1979 78 min. Bert Convy, Debbie Allen, Martha Smith, Claude Akins, NIna Foch, Ji-Tu Cumbuka. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. A Las Vegas performer and two comely showgirls double as undercover agents to protect "guest" scientist Foch from terrorists in this routine pilot that never made it to series. Below average. ELEANOR AND FRANKLIN 1976 208 min. Jane Alexander, Edward Hermann, Rosemary Murphy, Pamela Franklin, David Huffman, Mackenzie Phillips, Lilia Skala, Ed Flanders, Anna Lee, Linda Purl, Linda Kelsey. Directed by Daniel Petrie. Outstanding performaces by the two leads and all the supporting players (Rosemary Murphy won an Emmy for her Sara Delano Roosevelt) in this multi-award-winning production adapted by James Costigan from Joseph P. Lash's Pulitzer Prize best-seller about the Roosevelts from FDR's youth to his death in 1945. Director Petrie won an Emmy, and the film itself was named Outstanding Special of the Year. Above average. ELEANOR AND FRANKLIN: THE WHITE HOUSE YEARS 1977 152 min. Jane Alexander, Edward Hrmann, Rosemary Murphy, Walter McGinn, Blair Brown, David Healy, Anna Lee, Mark Harmon, Linda Kelsey, Paggy McKay, Donald Moffat. Directed by Daniel Petrie. Follow-up to the award-winning TV portrait of the Roosevelts reunited most of the original cast and crew and practically duplicated the Emmy honors, with statuettes going to director Petrie and the program itself as Outstanding Special. This sequel concentrated on the lives of FDR and Eleanor during their 12-year residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Written by James Costigan. Above average. ELEANOR, FIRST LADY OF THE WORLD 1982 100 min. Jean Stapleton, E.G. Marshall, Coral Browne, Joyce Van Patten, Gail Strickland, Kenneth Kimmins, Richard McKenzie, Kabir Bendi. Directed by John Erman. Stapleton glows as Eleanor Roosevelt in the years after FDR's death, emerging as an influential public figure on her own. Script by Caryl Ledner, and Cynthia Mandelberg, from a story by Rhoda Lerman. Above average. THE ELEVATOR 1974 78 min. James Farentino, Roddy McDowall, Craig Stevens, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Carol Lynley, Don Stroud, Barry Livingston. Directed by Jerry Jameson. Standard amount of all-star thrills when a group of people are stuck between floors in a high-rise building with a claustrophobic thief (Farentino) trying to flee from his latest heist. Average. 11TH VICTIM 1979 100 min. Bess Armstrong, Max Gail, Harold Gould, Pamela Ludwig, Eric Burdon, Annazette Chase. Directed by Jonathan Kaplan. Standard exploitation drama involving a small town newspaperwoman who goes to Hollywood looking for the killer of her prostitute sister. Average. ELLERY QUEEN 1975 78 min. Jim Hutton, David Wayne, Ray Milland, Kim Hunter, Monte Markham, John Hillerman, John Larch, Tim O'Connor. Directed by David Greene. Preoccupied sleuth Ellery helps his police inspector dad in solving a fashion designer's murder. The Ellery Queen mystery THE FOURTH SIDE OF THE TRIANGLE served as the source for this enertaining, lighthearted period detective movie that preceded the well-crafted TV series. Written by Richard Levinson and William Link. Above average. Retitled TOO MANY SUSPECTS. ELVIS AND THE BEAUTY QUEEN 1981 100 min. Don Johnson, Stephanie Zimbalist, Ann Dusenberry, Rick Lenz, John Crawford, Richard Herd, Ann Wedgeworth, Ruta Lee. Directed by Gus Trikonis. The marketing of Elvis continues with this uninspired telling of Presley's romance with beauty queen Linda Thompson and their 5-year love affair. Average. EMERGENCY 1971 100 min. Robert Fuller, Julie London, Bobby Troup, Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe. Directed by Jack Webb. The daily adventures, foibles of an L.A. county paramedics unit and backup hospital personnel. The only difference between this and subsequent series is the running time. Average. EMERGENCY ROOM 1983 100 min. Sarah Purcell, LeVar Burton, Gary Frank, Gary Lockwood, Conchata Ferrell, Penny Peyser, Paul Stewart, Julia Sommars. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Formula hospital drama mixing romance, operating room activities and hospital politics. Average.
ENOLA GAY: THE MEN, THE MISSION, THE ATOMIC BOMB 1980 150 min. Billy Crystal, Kim Darby, Patrick Duffy, Gary Frank, Gregory Harrison, Stephen Macht, Walter Olkewicz, Robert Pine, Ed Nelson, James Shigeta, Robert Walden, Henry Wilcoxon. Directed by David Lowell Rich. The story of the crew that dropped the first atomic bomb, based on the reminiscences of the mission's leader, Paul Tibbets (played by Duffy). James Poe and Milalrd Kaufman wrote the dramatization. Average. THE ENTERTAINER 1975 100 min. Jack Lemmon, Ray Bolger, Sada Thompson, Tyne Daly, Allyn Ann McLerie, Michael Cristofer, Annette O'Toole, Mitch Ryan. Directed by Donald Wrye. Third-rate vaudevillian Archie Rice plays out his life in a seedy California burlesque house in the 1940s, vainly trying to emulate his once-famous father (Bolger) now living on faded memories. Lemmon is good, but no Olivier; Bolger is excellent as the father. Unrelenting drama punctuated by eight Marvin Hamlisch songs. Average. ERIC 1975 100 min. Patricia Neal, John Savage, Claude Akins, Sian Barbara Allen, Mark Hamill, Nehemiah Persoff, Tom Clancy. Directed by James Goldstone. Sensitive weeper about an atheletic youth who, aware of his terminal illness, refuses to give up. Based on Doris Lund's book about her own teen-aged son, given dignity by the steady performances of Savage in the title role and Neal as his valiant mother. Above average. ESCAPE 1970 73 min. Christopher George, Avery Schreiber, Marlyn Mason, William Windon, Gloria Grahame, John Vernon, William Schallert, Huntz Hall. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. After almost losing his life trying to prevent the kidnapping of a scientist, a magician-adventurer, with the help of his sidekick and the scientist's daughter (Mason), battles with a mysterious mad scientist over a plot to destroy Earth. Dumb characterizations, silly dialogue, passable action. Average. ESCAPE 1980 100 min. Timothy Bottoms, Kay Lenz, Colleen Dewhurst, Allan Miller, Antonio Fargas, Miguel Angel Suarez. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. TV's answer to MIDNIGHT EXPRESS traces the true story of Dwight Worker, stashed for smuggling hash in Mexico, and his intricate breakout escapade. Dewhurst's patented "earth mother" turn, hatching the escape plot, gives Michael Zagar's script added zest, but the whole is predictable. Average. ESCAPE FROM BOGEN COUNTY 1977 100 min. Jaclyn Smith, Mitchell Ryan, Michael Parks, Henry Gibson, Pat Hingle, Philip Abbott. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. Tawdry drama about a vicious political czar who strips his wife of her civil rights and imprisons her in their mansion when she threatens to expose his ruthlessness. Average. ESCAPE FROM IRAN: THE CANADIAN CAPER 1981 100 min. Gordon Pinsent, Chris Wiggins, Diana Barrington, Robert Joy, James B. Douglas, Tisa Chang. Directed by Lamont Johnson. The true story of six Americans who escaped being taken hostage when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was besieged, thanks to some daring Canadian Embassy officials. An inspiring Canadian-made film, written by Lionel Chetwynd, with a standout performance by Pinsent as Ambassador Ken Taylor. Above average. ESCAPE TO MINDINAO 1968 95 min. George Maharis, Ronald Remy, Nehemiah Persoff, James Shigeta, Willi Coopman. Directed by Don McDougall. Two American P.O.W.s break out of a Japanese prison, must make it back to U.S. forces via a Dutch black market freighter with a valuable enemy decoder. Contrived, unbelievable resolutions; the film should have been made for longer running time. Below average. EVERY MAN NEEDS ONE 1972 74 min. Connie Stevens, Ken Berry, Gail Fisher, Steve Franken, Henry Gibson, Louise Sorel, Carol Wayne, Nancy Walker, Jerry Paris. Directed by Jerry Paris. A bachelor architect, forced to eat his words, hires a "know it all" woman (Stevens) as his assistant. Typical TV-style comedy complete with an accommodating feminist slant. Average. EVITA PERON 1981 200 min. Faye Dunaway, James Farentno, Rita Moreno, Jose Ferrer, Pedro Armendariz, Jr., Michael Constantine, Signe Hasso, Katy Jurado, Robet Viharo, Jeremy Kemp, Verginia Gregg. Directed by Marvin Chomsky. Dunaway gives a flamboyant portrayal of Argentina's charismatic First Lady, and Farentino (who replaced Robert Mitchum) is interesting as dictator Juan Peron, in this lengthy teleplay by Ronald Harwood. No relation to the Broadway musical, though the idea of doing this film was clearly inspired by its success. Average. THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG 1982 Tommy Lee Jones, Rosanna Arquette, Christine Lahti, Eli Wallach, Jordan Clark, Steven Keats, Richard Venture, Michael LeClair, Walter Olkewicz. Directed by Lawrence Schiller. Jones's electrifying portrayal of convicted killer Gary Gilmore and his efforts to get the state of Utah to carry out his death sentence in 1977 keeps this lengthy film sizzling. Equally torrid: Arquette's erotic portrait of Gilmore's jailbait girlfriend, Nicole Baker. Norman Mailer adapted his own best seller into this film. Originally shown in two parts. Above average. THE EXO-MAN 1977 100 min. David Ackroyd, Anne Schedeen, A. Martinez, Jose Ferrer, Harry Morgan, Kevin McCarthy, Jack Colvin, Donald Moffat. Directed by Richard Irving. Paralyzed by the syndicate, physics professor Ackroyd creates a special "exo" suit to make him sufficiently mobile to take vengeance on his attackers. Disappointing and dull "superman" story. Below average.
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