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|Seventies & Eighties Made-For-TV Movies - O|
OFF THE MINNESOTA STRIP 1980 105 min. Mare Winningham, Hal Holbrook, Michael Learned, Ben Marley, James Murtaugh, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Richard Venture. Directed by Lamont Johnson. A teenage runaway returns to her midwest home after being a prostitute in N.Y.C. and tries to regain her innocence but cannot break through to her parents. Sordid tale brightened by Winningham's performance. Script by David Chase. Above average. O'HARA: U.S. TREASURY 1971 100 min. David Janssen, William Conrad, Lana Wood, Jerome Thor, Gary Crosby, Charles McGraw. Directed by Jack Webb. Standard, unimaginative Jack Webb production portraying the efficiency of government agents cracking down on a narcotics smuggling ring. Adequate performances, fair action every second. Average; pilot for the TV series. OHMS 1980 100 min. Ralph Waite, David Birney, Talia Balsam, Dixie Carter, Cameron Mitchell, Leslie Nielsen, Paul Hecht. Directed by Dick Lowry. Farmer Waite and activist Birney battle a power company planning to run a million volt line across local farmlands. Sincere ecology awareness drama becomes too pat and cops out at the end. Average. THE OKLAHOMA CITY DOLLS 1981 100 min. Susan Blakely, Ronee Blakley, Eddie Albert, Sarah Cunningham, Judyann Elder, Jack Ging, Joan Goodfellow, Robert Hooks, Art Lund, David Huddleston, Lynne Moody, Waylon Jennings. Directed by E.W. Swackhammer. Female factory workers battle for their rights by forming a football team, with Blakely leading the rebellion and Albert as the girls' down-on-his-luck coach. Average. THE OLD MAN WHO CRIED WOLF 1970 73 min. Edward G. Robinson, Martin Balsam, Diane Baker, Percy Rodrigues, Ruth Roman, Sam Jaffe, Edward Asner. Directed by Walter Grauman. Emile Pulska (Robinson) can't even convince his own family that his good friend Stillman (Jaffe) died of wounds from an assault, not from natural causes. Unconvincing drama, despite good performances. Average. OLIVER TWIST 1982 100 min. George C. Scott, Tim Curry, Michael Hordern, Timothy West, Eileen Atkins, Cherie Lunghi, Richard Charles, Lysette Anthony. Directed by Clive Donner. A full-bodied Fagin by George C. paces this umpteenth version of the Dickens classic, from James Goldman's script. Above average. ONCE UPON A DEAD MAN 1971 100 min. Rock Hudson, Susan St. James, Jack Albertson, Rene Auberjonois, Kurt Kasnar, Jonathan Harris. Directed by Leonard Stern. A stolen sarcophagus precipitates a San Francisco police commisioner's involvement in the case. Standard, homespun police comedy drama. Average; pilot for the McMILLAN AND WIFE TV series. ONCE UPON A FAMILY 1980 100 min. Barry Bostwick, Maureen Anderman, Lee Chamberlin, Nancy Marchand, Lara Parker, John Pleashette, Marcia Strassman, Elizabeth Wilson. Directed by Richard Michaels. When Mommy walks, Daddy struggles to succeed as a single parent in this TV carbon of KRAMER VS. KRAMER, plagued by pedestrian acting and writing. Average. ONCE UPON A SPY 1980 100 min. Ted Danson, Mary Louise Weller, Christopher Lee, Eleanor Parker, Leonard Stone, Terry Lester. Directed by Ivan Nagy. Parker's a secret agent who lures reluctant computer genius Danson into superspydom. Jimmy Sangster's script is entertaining enough, as is the villainous Lee's army of georgeous blonde killers. Average. ONE COOKS, THE OTHER DOESN"T 1983 100 min. Suzanne Pleshette, Joseph Balogna, Rosanna Arquette, Oliver Clark, Evan Richards, Carl Franklin. Directed by Richard Michaels. Cutesy comedy revolving around a financially strapped realtor, his ex-wife and son, and his child-bride, all of whom are forced to share the same house. Average. ONE IN A MILLION: THE RON LeFLORE STORY 1978 100 min. LeVar Burton, Madge Sinclair, Paul Benjamin, James Luisi, Billy Martin, Zakes Mokae. Directed by William A. Graham. Well-acted story of the major league baseball player, from his days as a street-corner punk to his conviction for armed robbery and his one-in-a-million chance to make good on the outside. Adapted by Stanford Whitmore from LeFlore's autobiography, BREAKOUT. Inspiring and above average. ONE OF MY WIVES IS MISSING 1976 100 min. Jack Klugman, Elizabeth Ashley, James Franciscus, Joel Fabiani, Ruth McDevitt, Milton Seltzer. Directed by Glenn Jordan. A small-town cop faces a baffling case when a rich vacationer's wife disappears and later turns up, only to be claimed an imposter. Good suspense drama and good Klugman, as usual. Above average. ONE OF OUR OWN 1975 100 min. George Peppard, William Daniels, Louise Sorel, Strother Martin, Oscar Homolka, Zohra Lampert. Directed by Richard Sarafian. Chief neurosurgeon Peppard faces a familar series of crises as a hospital administrator and predictably resolves all outstanding situations. He later continued his character on the brief DOCTORS' HOSPITAL series. Average. ONE SHOE MAKES IT MURDER 1982 100 min. Robert Mitchum, Angie Dickinson, Mel Ferrer, Jose Perez, John Harkins, Howard Hesseman, Catherine Shirriff, Asher Brauner. Directed by William Hale. Mitchum made his belated TV acting debut as a has-been private eye who becomes enmeshed in the disappearance of gambling czar Ferrer's roving wife. Felix Culver adapted the script from Eric Bercovici's novel SO LITTLE CAUSE FOR CAROLINE, but failed to give it that extra edge for Mitchum to hone. Average. OPERATION PETTICOAT 1977 100 min. John Astin, Richard Gilliland, Jackie Cooper, Yvonne Wilder, Richard Brestoff, Jamie Lee Curtis. Directed by John Astin. Here's the pink sub and the WW2 nurses reluctantly aboard in a silly rehash of the fondly remembered Cary Grant-Tony Curtis movie. Of single interest: one of the friendly nurses is Curtis' daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in her pre-HALLOWEEN days. Pilot for the TV series. Average.
THE ORDEAL OF BILL CARNEY 1981 100 min. Ray Sharkey, Richard Crenna, Betty Buckley, Ana Alicia, Jeremy Licht, Vincent Baggetta, Martin Milner, Tony Dow. Directed by Jerry London. Handicapped crusading lawyer Crenna and quadraplegic Sharkey wage a landmark court battle for custody of the latter's children. Average. THE ORDEAL OF DR. MUDD 1980 143 min. Dennis Weaver, Susan Sullivan, Richard Dysart, Michael McGuire, Nigel Davenport, Arthur Hill. Directed by Paul Wendkos. Overlong drama about Dr. Samuel Mudd, who unwittingly aided John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln's assassination and was sent to prison for conspiracy (a story filmed before as PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND and HELLGATE). Weaver's earnest, carefully shaded performance as Mudd makes the viewing worthwhile. Above average. THE ORDEAL OF PATTY HEARST 1979 150 min. Dennis Weaver, Lisa Eilbacher, David Haskell, Stephen Elliott, Felton Perry. Directed by Paul Wendkos. Self-named headline story is recreated through the eyes of an FBI agent who turned this bizarre kidnap case into his eve-of-retirement crusade. Average. THE OREGON TRAIL 1976 110 min. Rod Taylor, Blair Brown, David Huddleston, Linda Purl, Andrew Stevens, G.D. Spradlin, Douglas V. Fowley. Directed by Boris Sagal. A pioneer family pulls up stakes and heads West for a new life. A solid outdoor drama blessed with the usual strong performance by Taylor, who also starred in the subsequent series. Average. THE OTHER MAN 1970 99 min. Joan Hackett, Roy Thinnes, Tammy Grimes, Arthur Hill, Virginia Gregg, Rodolfo Hoyos. Directed by Richard Colla. A husband's disinterest propels his wife into a clandestine affair with a stranger, attempted murder the outcome. Fairly tense situation at the film's climax, but overindulgent direction and script detract. Average. THE OTHER SIDE OF HELL 1978 150 min. Alan Arkin, Roger E. Mosley, Morgan Woodward, Seamon Glass. Directed by Jan Kadar. Harrowing tale of a man's fight to get out of a mental institution, made even more depressing by Arkin's overly intense acting style. Average. THE OTHER VICTIM 1981 96 min. William Devane, Jennifer O'Neill, James Blendick, Charles Hallahan, Todd Susman, Mary McDonough, John Crawford, Bruce Kirby, Sr., Janet MacLachlan. Directed by Noel Black. A construction foreman's life and feelings are profoundly altered after his wife's rape at knife-point. Highlighted by another of Devane's patented performances of rage. Script by Richard Deroy. Above average. THE OTHER WOMAN 1983 100 min. Hal Linden, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Madolyn Smith, Warren Berlinger, Janis Paige, Joe Regalbuto, Nita Talbot, Alley Mills. Directed by Melville Shavelson. In this real sparkler written by Anne Meara and producer Lila Garrett, widower Linden marries a girl half his age whom he met at his wife's funeral, and then falls for Meara, an ebullient grandmother of his own generation. Above average. OUR FAMILY BUSINESS 1981 74 min. Sam Wanamaker, Vera Miles, Ray Milland, Ted Danson, Deborah Carney, Ayn Ruyman, Chip Mayer, James Luisi. Directed by Robert Collins. A real off-the-wall pilot for a proposed series dealing with the Mafia and the difficulties of staying alive within the Syndicate. The big question, undetermined by Lane Slate's teleplay, remains: Where would this one go after an episode or two? One asset in addition to the acting of the veteran leads (including Milland, curiously cast as a capo) is Reynaldo Villalobos' camerawork, several notches above TV standards. Average. OUR MAN FLINT: DEAD ON TARGET 1976 78 min. Ray Danton, Sharon Acker, Lawrence Dane, Donnelly Rhodes, Linda Sorenson, Susan Sullivan. Directed by Joseph L. Scanlon. Derek Flint assigned to the rescue of a kidnapped oil executive. Another unsuccessful pilot. Below average. OUTSIDE CHANCE 1978 100 min. Yvette Mimieux, Royce D. Applegate, Dick Armstrong, Beverly Atkinson, Susan Batson. Directed by Michael Miller. This unusual misfire begins as a precis-rehash of the same director's JACKSON COUNTY JAIL (also starring Mimieux) -- then goes off in new directions, getting as "lurid" as TV standards will allow. Below average. THE OUTSIDER 1967 98 min. Darren McGavin, Anna Hagan, Edmond O'Brien, Sean Garrison, Shirley Knight, Nancy Malone, Ann Sothern, Audrey Totter, Ossie Davis, Joseph Wiseman. Directed by Michael Ritchie. Unusual private eye whodunit with McGavin featured as David Ross, ex-con, hired by a theatrical manager who suspects one of his employees of embezzlement. Good performances. Average; pilot for the series. THE OVER-THE-HILL GANG 1969 73 min. Walter Brennan, Pat O'Brien, Edgar Buchanan, Andy Devine, Jack Elam, Gypsy Rose Lee, Kris Nelson, Rick Nelson. Directed by Jean Yarbrough. Fair Western comedy detailing the attempts of retired Texas Rangers to clean up a corrupt town, first using old skills, then "strategy." Fun mainly for the veteran cast. Average. THE OVER-THE-HILL GANG RIDES AGAIN 1970 73 min. Walter Brennan, Fred Astaire, Edgar Buchanan, Andy Devine, Chill Wills, Lana Wood. Directed by George McCowan. Coming to the aid of an old-time-friend-turned-drunk, retired Texas Rangers find they've been made deputies of Waco. A standout performance by Astaire in an otherwise mediocre comedy-Western. Average. OVERBOARD 1978 100 min. Angie Dickinson, Cliff Robertson, Andrew Duggan, Stephen Elliott, Skip Homeier, Lewis VanBergen, Michael Strong. Directed by John Newland. A bored wife falls overboard while sailboating off Tahiti with her disinterested husband, and bobs around for nearly two hours reliving their marriage in flashback. Average. OWEN MARSHALL, COUNSELLOR AT LAW 1971 100 min. Arthur Hill, Vera Miles, Joseph Campanella, Dana Wynter, William Shatner, Bruce Davison. Directed by Buzz Kulik. A hippie is accused of murdering a socialite wife; the case becomes crucial to a recently widowed lawyer (Hill) as a hate campaign simmers in the background. One-dimensional characters in this boring pilot for a TV series. Below average. Retitled A PATTERN OF MORALITY.
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