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|Seventies & Eighties Made-For-TV Movies - G|
THE GATHERING, PART II 1979 98 min. Maureen Stapleton, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Jameson Parker, Bruce Davison, Lawrence Pressman, Gail Strickland. Directed by Charles S. Dublin. Soapy sequel to 1977's THE GATHERING in which a widow's Christmas reunion with her grown children is marred by the arrival of a new man in her life. Ed Asner's photograph throughout reminds all how glowing the original was. Average. GAUGIN THE SAVAGE 1980 125 min. David Carradine, Lynn Redgrave, Barrie Houghton, Dame Flora Robson, Michael Hordern, Ian Richardson, Carmen Matthews, Bernard Fox. Directed by Fielder Cook. Plodding drama about the temperamental French painter who abandoned his wife and children to pursue a life of artistic freedom in Tahiti. A curiously cast Carradine is far from the Gaugin of Maugham's THE MOON AND SIXPENCE. Script by JP Miller. Average. GEMINI MAN 1976 100 min. Ben Murphy, Katherine Crawford, Richard Dysart, Dana Elcar, Paul Shenar, Cheryl Miller. Directed by Alan Levi. H.G. Wells' THE INVISIBLE MAN recycled with Murphy as a dare-devil secret agent whose transient invisibility (the result of a technological accident) makes him the bane of various saboteurs. Predictable spy show with a fantasy element, later a short-lived TV series. Below average. Retitled CODE NAME: MINUS ONE and cut to 78 min. GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL 1971 74 min. Gary Collins, E.J. Peaker, Barbara Feldon, Larry Hagman, Jim Backus, Bergess Meredith. Directed by Lee Philips. Two middle-aged, middle-class couples sell houses, quit work to find an idyllic "back to nature" existence, and decide to return to civilization. Contrived and infuriating, with unconvincing performances. Below average. GETTING MARRIED 1978 100 min. Richard Thomas, Bess Armstrong, Van Johnson, Katherine Helmond, Mark Harmon, Fabian, Dena Dietrich. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. Romantic fluff set in a TV newsroom manned by lots of attractive people. Average. GETTING PHYSICAL 1984 100 min. Alexandra Paul, Sandahl Bergman, David Naughton, John Aprea, Robert Wagner, Sydney Penny, Franco Columbu. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. The first drama about women's bodybuilding is just FLASHDANCE with weights, as chunky Paul pumps iron to get her life together amid much tongue-clucking from family and friends. Endless working-out montages set to disco music lead up to a ludicrous climax with Paul competing against real-life champs Rachel McLish, Candy Csencsits, and Lisa Lyon. Tries to be sympathetic, but fails even at that; catch the documentary PUMPING IRON II instead. Below average. GHOST DANCING 1983 100 min. Dorothy McGuire, Bruce Davison, Bo Hopkins, Richard Farnsworth, Bill Erwin, Wings Hauser, Victoria Racimo. Directed by David Greene. McGuire shines in a rare latter-day performance as a widowed farmer-turned-activist, launching a one-woman war against the power company that has damned up her valley's water supply. Phil Pennigroth's original story won the annual "ABC Theatre Award." Above average. THE GHOST OF FLIGHT 401 1978 100 min. Ernest Borgnine, Gary Lockwood, Tina Chen, Kim Basinger, Eugene Roche, Beverly Todd. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. Supernatural mystery about the ghost (Borgnine) of the pilot of the plane that crashed in the Florida Everglades around Christmas of 1972 and the legend of its presence in the cockpit of later flights. Taken from John C. Fuller's intriguing book. Average. GIDEON'S TRUMPET 1980 104 min. Henry Fonda, Jose Ferrer, Dean Jagger, Nicholas Pryor, William Prince, Dolph Sweet, Ford Rainey. Directed by Robert Collins. Fonda is superb in the true story of a semiliterate Florida convict who changed the course of American legal history; Ferrer is equally fine as his powerful attorney, Abe Fortas. Script by David Rintels, from Anthony Lewis's book; produced by John Houseman. Above average. GIDGET GETS MARRIED 1972 73 min. Michael Burns, Monie Ellis, Don Ameche, Joan Bennett, Macdonald Cary, Corrine Camacho. Directed by E.W. Swackhammer. Boring situation comedy (minus laugh track) featuring Burns and Ellis as young newlyweds in Glossop, Maryland; he an engineer, she a dissatisfied housewife. Tame humor, unbelievable plot. Below average. GIDGET GROWS UP 1970 75 min. Karen Valentine, Edward Mulhare, Paul Peterson, Nina Foch, Paul Lynde. Directed by James Sheldon. Moving to N.Y.C. after a short return to surfing life, Gidget takes a job as a U.N. guide, and becomes involved in her "first adult love affair." Romance never more unbelievable, nor dialogue more naive. Only Lynde has good material. Average. THE GIFT 1979 100 min. Glenn Ford, Gary Frank, Julie Harris, Allison Argo, Maggie Cooper, Tom Clancy. Directed by Don Taylor. Poignant period piece (the '50s) about a sailor who returns to his old Brooklyn neighborhood on Christmas leave. Ford's eye-opening performance as his hard-drinking, Irish-brogued, peg-legged father makes this one shine. Based on Pete Hamill's autobiographical novella. Above average. THE GIFT OF LIFE 1982 100 min. Susan Dey, Paul LeMat, Edward Herrmann, Cassie Yates, Caroline McWilliams, Priscilla Pointer, Art Lund, Michael Alldredge. Directed by Jerry London. A wife with two children becomes a surrogate mother, and faces family and social pressures, then has second thoughts about surrendering her baby to the adoptive parents. Similar to TOMORROW'S CHILD, which premiered at the same time. Average. THE GIFT OF LOVE 1978 100 min. Marie Osmond, Timothy Bottoms, Bethel Leslie, June Lockhart, Donald Moffat, David Wayne. Directed by Don Chaffey. Sticky-sweet adaptation of O. Henry's THE GIFT OF THE MAGI as a costume vehicle for Marie Osmond's acting debut. Veteran David Wayne is on hand to narrate in the guise of O. Henry. Average. THE GIFT OF LOVE: A CHRISTMAS STORY 1983 100 min. Lee Remick, Angela Lansbury, Polly Holliday, Joseph Warren, Michael Higgins, Hark Hulswit. Directed by Delbert Mann. Maudlin drama about one family's Christmas crisis that even Remick and Lansbury (as the put-upon lady and her mother) are hard-pressed to energize. Earl Hamner based his script on the short story THE SILENT STARS GO BY by Bess Streeter Aldrich. Average. THE GIRL ON THE LATE, LATE SHOW 1974 78 min. Don Murray, Laraine Stephens, Bert Convy, Yvone DeCarlo, Gloria Grahame, Van Johnson, Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell, Mary Ann Mobley, Joe Santos, John Irleand, Walter Pidgeon, Sherry Jackson. Directed by Gary Nelson. Movieland murders follow TV producer Murray in his search for 50s film queen Grahame, who mysteriously vanished at the height of her career. Nostalgia buffs will fin this a feast while detective nuts will spot the baddie early on. Average. THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & DYNAMITE 1981 100 min. Lee Purcell, Philip MacHale, Burton Gilliam, Zohra Lampert, Jack Elam, Gary Lockwood, Jerry Mathers, Richie Havens, Barney Phillips, Carol Lawrence, Tom Poston, Gene Barry, Morgan Fairchild. Directed by Hy Averback. Pedestrian sequel to THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING, with the further misadventures of the square heir to a foundering business and a time-stopping watch. Average. THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING 1980 100 min. Robert Hays, Paw Dawber, Zohra Lampert, Ed Nelson, Maurice Evans, Peter Brown, Macdonald Carey, Jill Ireland. Directed by William Wiard. John D. MacDonald's fantasy about an unassuming fellow who inherits a gold watch with time-stopping powers is translated into a standard sitcom. Average. THE GIRL WHO CAME GIFT-WRAPPED 1974 78 min. Karen Valentine, Richard Long, Tom Bosley, Farrah Fawcett, Dave Madden, Louise Sorel. Directed by Bruce Bilson. Country cutie Karen comes to the big city looking for a husband and setting her sights on bachelor Long, decides to give herself to him as a birthday present. Comic tale with large doses of leering sex and suggestive poses, but Karen looks great bikini-clad. Average. THE GIRLS IN THE OFFICE 1979 97 min. Susan St. James, Barbara Eden, Tony Roberts, David Wayne, Penny Peyser, Joe Penny. Directed by Ted Post. Four women working in a Houston department store must choose between love and success in this standard romantic comedy. Average. THE GIRLS OF HUNTINGTON HOUSE 1973 73 min. Shirley Jones, Mercedes McCambridge, Sissy Spacek, William Windom, Pamela Sue Martin, Darrell Larson. Directed by Alf Kjellin. This weak melodrama takes place in a school for unwed mothers where an unmarried teacher finds herself drawn more to the students' individual problems. Conceived from the kids' point of view, but unmemorable dialogue and anticlimax helped the film become quickly forgotten. Average. GIRLS OF THE WHITE ORCHID 1983 100 min. Jennifer Jason Laugh, Ann Jillian, Thomas Byrd, Mako, Carolyn Seymour, Richard Narita, Soon-Teck Oh. Directed by Jonathan Kaplan. If it didn't take itself so seriously, this sleazy tale of young-girl-in-white-slavery-by-yellow-peril could have been a delicious send-up of those Monogram B movies of the late '30s. Average. GO WEST, YOUNG GIRL 1978 74 min. Karen Valentine, Sandra Will, Stuart Whitman, Richard Jaeckel, David Dukes, John Payne. Directed by Alan J. Levi. Lighthearted Western pits East and a cavalry officer's widow against gamblers, bounty hunters, and leering lawmen as they go in search of Billy the Kid. Average. THE GODCHILD 1974 78 min. Jack Palance, Jack Warden, Keith Carradine, Ed Lauter, Jose Perez, Fionnuala Flanagan, Bill McKinney. Directed by John Badham. Seventh version (at least) of THE THREE GODFATHERS, with three Civil War prisoners, fleeing both Confederates and Apaches, risking their freedom to become guardians of the baby they deliver for a dying woman in the desert. Peter B. Kyne's Western classic is starkly recreated for TV, but John Ford's 1948 version still casts a mighty long shadow. Average. GOLD OF THE AMAZON WOMEN 1979 100 min. Bo Svenson, Anita Ekberg, Donald Pleasence, Richard Romanus, Maggie Jean Smith. Directed by Mark L. Lester. Two fortune hunters stumble upon a society of modern-day Amazons who follow the pair out of the jungle to downtown Manhattan. Silly B-minus movie stuff that brought '50s sex queen Ekberg out of obscurity. Below average. GOLDEN GATE 1981 100 min. Jean Simmons, Richard Kiley, Perry King, Robyn Douglass, Mary Crosby, John Saxon, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Blye, Peter Donat. Directed by Paul Wendkos. Slick soap-opera pilot about a publishing empire and the struggle to keep it out of an unscrupulous investor's hands. Written by Stirling Silliphant and acted by rote. Average. THE GOLDEN GATE MURDERS 1979 100 min. David Janssen, Susannah York, Tim O'Connor, Lloyd Bochner, Kim Hunter, Richard O'Brien. Directed by Walter Grauman. A gruff detective and a pretty nun join forces to prove that a priest who fell from the Golden Gate Bridge was murdered and not a suicide. Accept the initial premise of the cop/nun relationship, ignore the terrible studio recreation of the San Francisco landmark and you might have some fun. Shown theatrically as SPECTER ON THE BRIDGE. Average.
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: AN OLYMPIC LOVE STORY 1980 200 min. Stephanie Zimablist, David Keith, Richard Lawson, VIctor French, Merlin Olsen, Jack Palance, James Earl Jones, Nancy Marchand, Ed McMahon, Salome Jens. Directed by Richard Sarafian. An American athelete falls for a pretty Russian gymnast at the 1980 Olympics. Obviously made to be tied in with the 1980 Olympic games -- from which the U.S. withdrew! The cliche-ridden love-at-first-sight script further dooms it. Below average. GOLDIE AND THE BOXER GO TO HOLLYWOOD 1981 100 min. O.J. Simpson, Milissa Michaelsen, Roger Bowen, Reb Brown, Jack Gilford, James Gregory, Stubby Kaye, Sheila MacRae, Robert Mandan. Directed by David Miller. Follow-up to the 1979 movie about a heavyweight champion and the 11-year-old girl who becomes his manager, and no better than the original. Below average. GOLIATH AWAITS 1981 200 min. Mark Harmon, Christopher Lee, Eddie Albert, John Carradine, Alex Cord, Robert Forster, Frank Gorshin, Jean Marsh, John McIntire, Jeannette Nolan, Emma Samms. Directed by Kevin Connor. A colony of survivors, trapped for over 40 years in the wreckage of an ocean liner torpedoed by a U-boat, is uncovered by oceanographer Harmon in this credibility-stretching tale. Originally shown in two parts. Average. GOOD AGAINST EVIL 1977 78 min. Dack Rambo, Dan O'Herlihy, Elyssa Davalos, Richard Lynch, John Harkins, Jenny O'Hara, Lelia Goldoni. Directed by Paul Wendkos. An itinerant writer writer falls for a woman chosen by a satanic cult to bear the devil's child. O'Herlihy has a flamboyant role as a priest called upon to perform a traditional exorcism in this silly supernatural thriller. Below average. GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE 1972 73 min. RIchard Boone, Barbara Bain, Michael Dunn, Victor Buono, Gianni Russo. Directed by Peter Hyams. A down-and-out detective team have a visit from a seemingly innocent blonde who wants her fiance found. Not quite THE MALTESE FALCON takeoff as claimed, the film (also written by Hyams) has an offbeat point of view with a timeless atmosphere, excellent direction. Above average. THE GOSSIP COLUMNIST 1979 100 min. Kim Cattrall, Bobby Vinton, Robert Vaughn, Dick Sargent, Conrad Janis, Joe Penny, Martha Raye, Bobby Sherman, Sylvia Sydney, Lyle Waggoner, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Jack Carter, Jim Backus. Directed by James Sheldon. An idealistic political journalist is assigned to replace a legendary news-hen. Slickly done but strictly ho-hum, despite the shine from Raye's turn as a faded night-club singer. Average. GRACE KELLY 1983 100 min. Cheryl Ladd, Lloyd Bridges, Diane Ladd, Alejandro Rey, Ian McShane, William Schallert, Marta DuBois, Salome Jens. Directed by Anthony Page. A cardboard valentine to Princess Grace that reportedly was given her blessing shortly before her death in late 1982. Ladd poses prettily as Grace and McShane postures somewhat unsteadily as Rainier, but Bridges (who worked with the real Grace in HIGH NOON) manages to give some dimension to Jack Kelly, her father. Cynthia Mandelberg's script is somewhat pat, but fun can be gathered from watching the parade of Hollywood personalities who are impersonated -- including veteran actress Edith Fellows turning up as famed costume designer Edith Head. Average. GRAMBLING'S WHITE TIGER 1981 100 min. Bruce Jenner, Harry Belafonte, LeVar Burton, Dennis Haysbert, Deborah Pratt, Ray Vitte. Directed by Georg Stanford Brown. The story of Jim Gregory, a California high-school football star quarterback who becomes the only white player on the all-black Grambling College's team. Olympic-athelete Jenner is somewhat miscast as a high-schooler, but Belafonte, in his TV acting debut, is solid as legendary coach Eddie Robinson in this so-so dramatization of Bruce Behrenberg's book MY LITTLE BROTHER IS COMING TOMORROW. Average. THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER OVER THE SEPTIC TANK 1978 100 min. Carol Burnett, Charles Grodin, Alex Rocco, Linda Gray, Robert Sampson, Vicki Belmonte. Directed by Robert Day. The Erma Bombeck book lost some of its humor in this still-amiable translation to the screen, telling of a New York couple who decide to swap the hassle of big city living for suburbia. Originally intended to test the waters as a possible Burnett series. Average. THE GREAT AMERICAN BEAUTY CONTEST 1973 74 min. Eleanor Parker, Bob Cummings, Louis Jordan, Joanna Cameron, Susan Damante, Tracy Reed, Farrah Fawcett. Directed by Robert Day. An offbeat, behind-the-scenes look at a present-day bigtime pageant, complete with sordid intrigues, rumors of rigging, etc., enlivened by a social-commentary point of view. Good performances, especially Parker's. Above average. THE GREAT CASH GIVEAWAY GETAWAY 1980 105 min. George Hamilton, David Kyle, Elissa Leeds, Albert Salmi, Richard Bull, James Keach, Autrey Totter. Directed by Michael O'Herlihy. Hamilton is a suave heavy who wants to nail the two teenagers who've gone on a spending spree with the quarter-million dollars he gained in a drug-smuggling deal. Sounds like an old Bowery Boys plot recycled. Below average. GREAT EXPECTATIONS 1974 103 min. Michael York, Sarah Miles, James Mason, Margaret Leighton, Robert Morley, Anthony Quayle, Joss Ackland, Rachel Roberts, Heather Sears, Peter Bull. Directed by Joseph Hardy. OK remake of the Dickens classic; originally produced as a musical, but the songs have been deleted. Anyway, OLIVER! it ain't. Average. THE GREAT HOUDINIS 1976 100 min. Paul Michael Glaser, Sally Struthers, Ruch Gordon, Vivian Vance, Adrienne Barbeau, Peter Cushing, Bill Bixby, Jck Carer, Nina Foch, Maureen O'Sullivan, Wilfrid Hyde White, Clive Revill, Geoffrey Lewis. Directed by Melville Shavelson. Drama about the real life and times of the famed illusionist-escape artist whose career masks obsession with the occult. Brisk direction and literate script (both by Shavelson), wonderful performance by Gordon as Houdini's possessive mother. Above average. THE GREAT MAN'S WHISKERS 1971 100 min. Dennis Weaver, Ann Southern, John McGiver, Harve Presnell, Beth Brickell, Cindy Eilbacher. Directed by Philip Leacock. Weak comedy-drama about President Lincoln rerouting his train tour after receiving a letter from a 10-year-old girl urging him to grow whiskers. The political aspect of the plot doesn't work; historically unbelieveable, too. Below average. THE GREAT NIAGARA 1974 78 min. Richard Boone, Michael Sacks, Randy Quaid, Jennifer Salt, Burt Young. Directed by William Hale. Offbeat outdoor adventure about a bitter, obsessed old cripple (Boone) who endangers his sons' lives by forcing them to challenge Niagara Falls in a barrel to continue a family tradition. An evocative drama, set in the Depression 30s with a generous supply of thrills. Average. THE GREAT WALLENDAS 1978 100 min. Lloyd Bridges, Britt Ekland, Taina Elg, Cathy Rigby, Michael McGuire, John Van Dreelen. Directed by Larry Elikann. Straightforward drama based on the legendary circus family of high-wire artists whose career has been stalked by tragedy. Enthralling when up in the air. Average. THE GREATEST GIFT 1974 100 min. Glenn Ford, Julie Harris, Lance Kerwin, Harris Yulin, Charles Tyner, Dabbs Greer. Directed by Boris Sagal. A rural, poverty-stricken preacher (Ford) battles a ruthless sheriff (Yulin) and restless church deacons in a struggle to support his family in a small Southern town in 1940. Sentimental, homespun, with a violent turn. Adapted by Abby Mann (as "Ben Goodman") from Jack Farris' novel RAMEY. Subsequently it spun off a series, THE FAMILY HOLVAK. Above average. THE GREATEST THING THAT ALMOST HAPPENED 1977 100 min. Jimmie Walker, James Earl Jones, Deborah Allen, Tamu, Kevin Hooks, Suandra Sharp, Valerie Curtin. Directed by Gilbert Moses. Tearjerker involving a high school athelete stricken with leukemia and his insensitive father who never had time for him. Average. GREEN EYES 1976 100 min. Paul Winfield, Rita Tushingham, Jonathan Lippe, Victoria Racimo, Royce Wallace, Claudia Bryar. Directed by John Erman. Disillusioned ex-GI Winfield returns to Vietnam to search for the son he left behind with his common-law prostitute wife. Poignant drama by David Seltzer with a moving performance by Winfield. Above average. GRIDLOCK 1980 100 min. Desi Arnaz, Jr., John Beck, Noah Beery, Rene Enriquez, Shelley Fabares, Phil Foster, James Gregory, Lisa Hartman, Michael Lerner, Rue McClanahan, Ed McMahon, Christopher Norris, Al Molinaro, Allen Sues, Vic Tayback, Abe Vigoda, Lyle Waggoner, Marcia Wallace, Howard Hesseman. Directed by James Frawley. Comic chaos involving a highway full of TV stars as the L.A. freeway system grinds to a halt following a series of freak accidents. Retitled THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAFFIC JAM. Average. GRIFFIN AND PHOENIX: A LOVE STORY 1976 100 min. Peter Falk, Jill Clayburgh, John Lehne, Dorothy Tristan, Ben Hammer, John Harkins. Directed by Daryl Duke. Tearjerker about two doomed people sharing a brief but buoyant affair. The stars do wonders brightening a maudlin tale. Average. GUESS WHO'S SLEEPING IN MY BED? 1973 74 min. Barbara Eden, Dean Jones, Kenneth Mars, Susanne Benton, Reta Shaw, Todd Lookinland. Directed by Theodore Flicker. An ex-husband too lazy to work ingratiates his way into his former wife's house, stays there with his family and all but ruins her sex life. Entertaining comedy with likable performances. Above average. A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED WOMAN 1978 100 min. Cybill Shepherd, Charles Frank, Barbara Feldon, Eve Arden, George Gobel, Bill Dana, John Hillerman, Bonnie Franklin, John Byner, John Beradino, Mary Frances Crosby. Directed by Hy Averback. There's a smile or two to be had as lots of familiar TV faces pop up to help daydreaming housewife Shepherd looking for some innocent romance to spice up her life. A belated, so-so follow-up by writer Frank Tarloff to his very funny A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN. Average. GUILTY OR INNOCENT: THE SAM SHEPPARD MURDER CASE 1975 150 min. George Peppard, Barnard Hughes, Walter McGinn, William Windon, Nina Van Pallandt, Paul Fix, William Dozier, George Murdock, Claudette Nevins, Kathleen Crawford, John Crawford. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. Peppard is the famed Cleveland osteopathic surgeon convicted in 1954 of the murder of his wife, then retried twelve years later. Striking performance by McGinn as F. Lee Bailey, the flamboyant lawyer whose defense in the retrial of Sheppard made him a courtroom superstar. Above average. THE GUN 1974 78 min. Stephen Elliott, Jean Le Bouvier, Wallace Rooney, David Huffman, Pepe Serna, Edith Diaz. Directed by John Badham. The odyssey of an American handgun -- like the legendary overcoat in TALES OF MANHATTAN -- forms this episodic story sketching the lives of its various owners. An absorbing film with no stars, just sterling character actors, a gripping Richard Levinson-William Link script, and taut direction. Above average. A GUN IN THE HOUSE 1981 100 min. Sally Struthers, David Ackroyd, Dick Anthony Williams, Jeffrey Tambor, Allen Rich, Millie Perkins. Directed by Ivan Nagy. A woman is prosecuted for the handgun murder of an intruder in her house. Average. GUYANA TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF JIM JONES 1980 192 min. Powers Boothe, Ned Beatty, Iren Cara, Veronica Cartwright, Rosalind Cash, Brad Dourif, Meg Foster, Diane Ladd, Randy Quaid, Ron O'Neal, Diana Scarwid, Madge Sinclair, LaVar Burton, James Earl Jones, Colleen Dewhurst. Directed by William A. Graham. Gripping recreation of the late '70s tragedy in which more than 900 cult followers of Rev. Jim Jones (played with magnetism by Boothe) committed mass suicide in a jungle clearing. Kudos to Beatty, as Congressman Leo J. Ryan, to Jones, in a riveting cameo as Father Divine, and to the huge cast. Boothe won an Emmy for his performance. Script by Ernest Tidyman. Above average.
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