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|Seventies & Eighties Made-For-TV Movies - S|
S*H*E 1980 100 min. Omar Sharif, Cornelia Sharpe, Anita Ekberg, Robert Lansing, Fabio Testi, Isabella Rye. Directed by Robert Lewis. James Bondish derring-do involving a woman superspy who crosses swords with the suave playboy head of an international crime ring. (S*H*E stands for Security Hazards Expert.) Script by Bond veteran Richard Maibaum. Average. THE SACKETTS 1979 200 min. Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, Jeff Osterhage, Glenn Ford, Ben Johnson, Gilbert Roland, Ruth Roman, Jack Elam, Mercedes McCambridge. Directed by Robert Totten. Rambling sagebrush saga taken from two Louis L'Amour novels following the fortunes of the three Sackett Brothers in the post-Civil War west. Average. Followed by THE SHADOW RIDERS. SADAT 1983 200 min. Louis Gossett, Jr., Madolyn Smith, John Rhys-Davies, Jeremy Kemp, Anne Heywood, Paul L. Smith, Jeffrey Tambor, Barry Morse, Nehemiah Persoff. Directed by Richard Michaels. An imaginatively cast Gossett gives a curiously subdued performance, and Lionel Chetwynd's script merely skims Anwar Sadat's carer in this skin-deep portrait of the Egyptian leader. Originally shown in two parts. Average. SALVAGE 1979 100 min. Andy Griffith, Joel Higgins, Trish Stewart, J. Jay Saunders, Richard Jaeckel. Directed by Lee Philips. An amiable pilot to the short-lived series in which a hotshot junkman goes into the moonshot business for himself with two young companions to recover a fortune in space junk. Average. SAM HILL: WHO KILLED MR. FOSTER? 1971 100 min. Ernest Borgnine, Sam Jaffe, J.D. Cannon, Judy Geeson, Will Geer, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens, John McGiver, Jay C. Flippen. Directed by Fielder Cook. A pending town election jeopardizes the security of a cynical Western marshall. Uneventful situations, boring dialogue; even the somewhat unusual casting doesn't enliven the proceedings. A rare misfire from the producing/writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link. Below average. Also known as WHO KILLERD THE MYSTERIOUS MR. FOSTER? SAMSON AND DELILAH 1984 100 min. Antony Hamilton, Belinda Bauer, Max von Sydow, Stephen Mact, Maria Schell, Jose Ferrer, Victor Mature. Directed by Lee Philips. New rendition of the original man of steel and the woman who gave him a clipping; the offbeat touch here is having the original Samson, Mature (in his TV acting debut), playing Samson's father. Average. SAMURAI 1979 78 min. Joe Penny, Dana Elcar, Beulah Quo, James Shigeta, Charles Coiffi, Geoffrey Lewis. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Incredible series hopeful about an eager beaver San Francisco assistant DA who moonlights as a samurai swordsman to uphold justice! Must be seen to be disbelieved, or better yet, forget it. Below average. SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 1970 100 min. Van Johnson, Pernell Roberts, Clu Gulager, Beth Brickell, Tab Hunter, Nancy Malone, David Hartman, Jill Donahue. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. Fair suspense in an otherwise typical day-in-the-life portrayal of a major transportation center, centering around the manager and security chief. Uneven characterizations and dialogue, but the pace holds interest. Lloyd Bridges replaced Roberts in the subsequent series. Average. THE SAN PEDRO BUMS 1977 78 min. Christopher Murney, Jeff Druce, John Mark Robinson, Stuart Pankin, Darryl McCullogh, Bill Lucking. Barry Shear. Comedy adventure of five knockabouts, living on an old fishing boat, who try to collar a gang of waterfront toughs. A real bummer that somehow became a series. Below average. SANCTUARY OF FEAR 1979 100 min. Bernard Hughes, Kay Lenz, Michael McGuire, Fred Gwynne, Elizabeth Wilson, George Hearn. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. Disappointing pilot to a proposed series based on G.K. Chesterson's FATHER BROWN, the English parish priest (here transplanted to N.Y.C.) and an amateur sleuth, played so powerfully by Alec Guinness in 1954. Average. Retitled GIRL IN THE PARK. SANDCASTLES 1972 74 min. Herschel Bernardi, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bonnie Bedelia, Mariette Hartley, Gary Crosby. Directed by Ted Post. Love story of a young female musician and the spirit of a young man returning to clear his name. Thanks to the somber mood and offbeat point of view, not as unbearable as expected. Taped movie, not filmed. Average. SARGE 1970 100 min. George Kennedy, Diane Baker, Ricardo Montalban, Nico Minardos, Harold Sakata, Henry Wilcoxon. Directed by Richard Colla. A detective on the police department decides he can do more as a priest, works the same district as he did as a cop. Melodramatic to the hilt, Kennedy saves the film with an excellent performance. Average; pilot for the series. Alternate titles: SARGE: THE BADGE OR THE CROSS, THE BADGE OR THE CROSS. SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS 1973 74 min. Pamela Franklin, Kate Jackson, Jo Van Fleet, Roy Thinnes, Jamie Smith Jackson, Lloyd Bochner, Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor (Ladd). Directed by David Lowell Rich. What's behind a spate of suicides at a fashionable girls' school? A hard-nosed but vulnerable young woman (Franklin) passes herself off as a student to get the answer in this wide-eyed, inconsequential thriller. Below average. SATAN'S TRIANGLE 1974 78 min. Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Alejandro Rey, Jim Davis, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad. Directed by Sutton Roley. Novak, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and her two would-be survivors have a devilish time after trespassing in the Bermuda Triangle. Below average. SAVAGE 1973 74 min. Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Will Geer, Paul Richards, Susan Howard, Dabney Coleman, Pat Harrington. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Investigative reporters find a skeleton in the closet of a Supreme Court nominee. This was a pilot for a prospective Landau-Bain series, and, notably, Spielberg's last TV-movie. Average. THE SAVAGE BEES 1976 99 min. Ben Johnson, Michael Parks, Horst Buchholz, Gretchen Corbett, Paul Hecht, James Best. Directed by Bruce Geller. Thriller involving a plague of African killer bees descending on New Orleans at Mardi Gras. Neat little neo-cultist chiller written by Guerdon Trueblood. Above average. Sequel: TERROR OUT OF THE SKY. SAVAGES 1974 78 min. Andy Griffith, Sam Bottoms, Noah Beery, James Best, Randy Boone, Jim Antonio. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Cat-and-mouse thriller with Griffith as a sadistic hunter relentlessly pursuing his defenseless young gude in the desert. THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME played out among the cacti, but still intriguing. Above average. SAY GOODBYE, MAGGIE COLE 1972 73 min. Susan Hayward, Darren McGavin, Michael Constantine, Nichelle Nichols, Dane Clark, Beverly Garland. Directed by Jud Taylor. After her husband's death, a research doctor returns to general practice in a Chicago slum area. Impressive performances by Hayward (in her last role) and McGavin in a touching, realistic drama by Sandor Stern. Above average. SCALPLOCK 1966 100 min. Dale Robertson, Diana Hyland, Lloyd Bochner, Robert Random, Sandra Smith. Directed by James Goldstone. Tired Western features Robertson as a gambler who wins ownership of the railroad. Usual complications, stereotyped characters; even the production looks rushed. Below average. Pilot for the IRON HORSE TV series. SCARED STRAIGHT: ANOTHER STORY 1980 100 min. Cliff DeYoung, Stan Shaw, Terri Nunn, Randy Brooks, Tony Burton, Linden Chiles, Eric Laneuville. Directed by Richard Michaels. Fictional story based on the explosive TV documentary about the use of prison encounter groups to curb crimes among youths. Harsh, realistic, and quite frank, with adult language. Above average. THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK 1983 155 min. Gregory Peck, Chrisopher Plummer, John Gielgud, Raf Vallone, Barbara Bouchet, Olga Karlatos, Bill Berger, Edmund Purdom. Directed by Jerry London. Peck (in his first dramatic starring role on TV) and Plummer play a real-life cat-and-mouse game as, respectively, a Vatican official who clandestinely harbored allied POW escapees throughout German-occupied Rome and the Nazi officer trying to catch him red-handed. Gielgud is Pope Pius XII in this well-made thriller, adapted by David Butler from J.P. Gallagher's book THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL OF THE VATICAN. Above average. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL 1982 150 min. Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers, Eleanor David, Malcolm Jamieson. Directed by Clive Donner. Lavish filming (the seventh) of Baroness Orczy's historical adventure classic, reeks with class, derring-do and intrigue, as well as spirited performances by all involved. William Bast's entertaining adaptation of two of the Baroness's novels, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and ELDORADO, deserves special mention. Above average. THE SCARLETT O'HARA WAR 1980 105 min. Tony Curtis, Sharon Gless, Harold Gould, Bill Macy, George Furth, Edward Winter, Barrie Youngfellow, Clive Revill, Carrie Nye, Morgan Brittany. Directed by John Erman. Curtis jauntily plays David O. Selznick in his epic search for a Scarlett O'Hara for GONE WITH THE WIND. Taken from Garson Kanin's MOVIOLA, it's packed with portrayals of film personalities of the '30s -- and fun to boot. Above average. THE SCORPIO LETTERS 1967 98 min. Alex Cord, Shirley Eaton, Laurence Naismith, Oscar Beregi, Lester Matthews. Directed by Richard Thorpe. An American hired by the British government and a beautiful spy work together to track down the mysterious head of a blackmail ring, known only by his code name. Excellent suspense in an above-average spy-thriller from Victor Canning's novel. Above average. SCOTT FREE 1976 78 min. Michael Brandon, Susan Saint James, Stepen Nathan, Robert Loggia, Ken Swofford, Micheal Lerner. Directed by William Ward. Glib hustler Brandon gets involved with Indians, the Mafia and the Feds over a piece of land he won in a poker game. Offbeat pilot for a series that never was. Average. SCOUT'S HONOR 1980 96 min. Gary Coleman, Katherine Helmond, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Harry Morgan, Pat O'Brien, Meeno Peluce, Angela Cartwright, Lauren Chapin, Jay North, Paul Peterson. Directed by Henry Levin. An orphan dreams of becoming a cub scout in this final film by veteran director Henry Levin, who died on the last day of production. Cutesy Coleman holds his own among the film veterans and now-grown former child stars. Average. SCREAM, PRETTY PEGGY 1973 78 min. Bette Davis, Ted Bessell, Sian Barbara Allen, Charles Drake, Allan Arbus, Tovah Feldshuh, Jessica Rains. Directed by Gordon Hessler. Thriller about a college coed who takes a housekeeper job in the mansion of a deranged sculptor and his strange mother supposedly share with his insane sister. A horror tale with a touch or two of PSYCHO with Bette having a fine old time. Average. THE SCREAMING WOMAN 1972 73 min. Olivia de Havilland, Ed Nelson, Joseph Cotten, Walter Pidgeon, Laraine Stephens, Alexandra Hay. Directed by Jack Smight. Wide-eyed thriller has a recently institutionalized woman trying to convince her family and neighbors that she hears a voice coming from the ground. The script can't maintain credibility. Based on a Ray Bradbury story. Below average. SCRUPLES 1981 100 min. Shelley Smith, Priscilla Barnes, Dirk Benedict, James Darren, Vonetta McGee, Laraine Stephens, Robert Peirce, Roy Thinnes, Jessica Walter, Brett Halsey. Directed by Robert Day. Lust, greed and glitter surround a woman plunged (in Judith Krantz' best-seller as well as in the miniseries previously made from the book) into a life of corporate intrigue after inheriting a vast conglomerate. Slick soap opera. Average. SECOND CHANCE 1971 74 min. Brian Keith, Elizabeth Ashley, Juliet Prowse, Roosevelt Grier, Pat Carroll, William Windom. Directed by Peter Tewksbury. A stockbroker drops out, buys a ghost town in Nevada, and converts it into a haven for people who never had a chance in life. Passible mixture of comedy and drama; the cast far better than the material. Average. SECOND SIGHT: A LOVE STORY 1984 100 min. Elizabeth Montgomery, Barry Newman, Nicholas Pryor, Michael Horton, Ben Marley, Richard Romanus. Directed by John Kortiy. Actually, two love stories -- one of a blind woman and her dog, the other with the man who breaks down her resistance to emotional involvements. Another in Montgomery's gallery of very special portraits. Script by Dennis Turner from Susan Miller's adaptation of Sheila Hocken's EMMA AND I (Emma's the dog). Above average. THE SECRET LIFE OF JOHN CHAPMAN 1976 78 min. Ralph Waite, Susan Anspach, Pat Hingle, Elaine Heilveil, Brad Davis, Maury Cooper. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Contemporary drama of a college president who takes a sabbatical to become a ditch-digger and short-order cook. Earnest adaptation of John Chapman's book, BLUE COLLAR JOURNAL, with Waite wonderful as Chapman. Above average. THE SECRET NIGHT CALLER 1975 78 min. Robert Reed, Hope Lange, Sylvia Sidney, Michael Constantine, Robin Mattson, Elaine Giftos. Directed by Jerry Jameson. Reed is an IRS agent with a compulsion to make obscene phone calls, to the distress of his wife and family. Competent actors trapped in a tawdry drama. Below average. THE SECRET WAR OF JACKIE'S GIRLS 1980 100 min. Mariette Hartley, Lee Purcell, Anna Dusenberry, Tracy Brooks Swope, Dee Wallace, Caroline Smith, John Reilly, Sheila MacRae, Ben Murphy. Directed by Gordon Hessler. A routine TV pilot about a group of female fliers in WW2 who perform secret missions behind enemy lines. Average. SECRETS 1977 100 min. Susan Blakely, Roy Thinnes, Joanne Linville, John Randolph, Melody Thomas, Anthony Eisley, Andrew Stevens. Directed by Paul Wendkos. Silly drama about an unhappily married young woman who, following the death of her repressive mother, becomes a nymphomaniac while looking for the bluebird of happiness. Below average. SECRETS OF MOTHER AND DAUGHTER 1983 100 min. Katherine Ross, Linda Hamilton, Michael Nouri, Bibi Besch, Joanna Barnes, Mary Beth Evans. Directed by Gabrielle Beaumont. The primary secret is that they're both bedding the same hunk. Another is that they're trying to elevate this to a standard afternoon's soap level. Below average. SECRETS OF THREE HUNGRY WIVES 1978 97 min. Jessica Walter, Gretchen Corbett, Eve Plumb, Heather MacRae, James Franciscus, Craig Stevens. Directed by Gordon Hessler. A sleazy melodrama that asks the nagging question: Who killed handsome zillionaire Franciscus (who's been having affairs with three bored socialites)? Below average. THE SEDUCTION OF GINA 1984 100 min. Valerie Bertinelli, Michael Brandon, Frederic Lehne, Ed Lauter, John Harkins, Dinah Manoff. Directed by Jerrold Freeman. A wealthy young bride, bored by her medical intern hubby's lack of attention, becomes a compulsive gambler. That's the "seduction" of the exploitative title. Average. THE SEDUCTION OF MISS LEONA 1980 100 min. Lynn Redgrave, Anthony Zerbe, Conchata Ferrell, Elizabeth Cheshire, Brian Dennehy, Garn Stephens. Directed by Joseph Hardy. An intelligent romantic drama about the involvement between a reclusive college teacher and a married maintenance man who has been repairing her house. Author Dan Wakefield adapted Elizabeth Gundy's novel BLISS. Above average. SEE HOW SHE RUNS 1978 100 min. Joanne Woodward, John Considine, Lissy Newman, Mary Beth Manning, Barnard Hughes. Directed by Richard T. Heffron. A breath-of-fresh-air drama about a middle-aged housewife's decision to express herself by entering the grueling 26-mile Boston Marathon. Woodward won an Emmy for her performance (and her run). One of her daughters is played by real-life daughter Lissy Newman in her acting debut. Above average. SEE HOW THEY RUN 1965 100 min. John Forsythe, Senta Berger, Jane Wyatt, Franchot Tone, Leslie Nielsen, Pamela Franklin, George Kennedy. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Pretty fair chase-drama involving three orphans journeying to America, not knowing that they carry crucial evidence exposing an international organization and that the murderers of their father pursue them. Good performances and action, obscuring inadequate motivation and believability. Based on Michael Blankfort's novel THE WIDOW MAKERS. Average. SEE THE MAN RUN 1971 73 min. Robert Culp, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, June Allyson, Charles Cioffi, Robert Lipton. Directed by Corey Allen. A down-and-out actor and his wife devise a foolproof extortion scheme, but instead find themselves in the middle of a two-way chase. Fair performances, but the dialogue reeks and the direction is far too sloppy. Average. THE SEEDING OF SARAH BURNS 1979 100 min. Kay Lenz, Martin Balsam, Cliff DeYoung, Cassie Yates, Charles Siebert. Directed by Sandor Stern. So-so drama of a young woman who acts as a baby factory and then has second thoughts about giving up the child to the couple who paid her. Average. SEIZURE: THE STORY OF KATHY MORRIS 1980 103 min. Leonard Nimoy, Penelope Milford, Christopher Allport, Frecric Lehne, Linda G. Miller. Directed by Gerald I. Isenberg. Pedestrian recounting of the real-life singer's struggle to recover from a coma after undergoing brain surgery. Average. SENIOR TRIP 1981 100 min. Scott Baio, Fay Grant, Randy Brooks, Peter Coffield, Jane Hoffman, Jeffrey Marcus. Directed by Kenneth Johnson. A spirited class of high-schoolers come out out of the midwest to celebrate their graduation with a trip to the Big Apple, where they fiind adventure, romance, and Mickey Rooney (playing himself). Average. SENIOR YEAR 1974 78 min. Gary Frank, Glynnis O'Connor, Barry Livingston, Debralee Scott, Scott Colomby, Lionel Johnston, Dana Elcar. Directed by Richard Donner. A blend of nostalgia and drama, tracing the lives of several high school seniors in the '50s. A straight version of HAPPY DAYS earnestly acted. Became the short-lived series SONS AND DAUGHTERS. Average. A SENSITIVE PASSIONATE MAN 1977 100 min. Angie Dickinson, David Janssen, Mariclare Costello, Richard Venture, Rhodes Reason. Directed by John Newland. A sacked aerospace engineer turns into a psychotic, self-destructive drunk. A pretentious weeper in which the stars try valiantly to make something out of the dumb dialogue. Below average. SEPTEMBER GUN 1983 100 min. Robert Preston, Patty Duke Astin, Geoffrey Lewis, Sally Kellerman, David Knell, Jacques Aubuchon, Christopher Lloyd. Directed by Don Taylor. This distant cousin to LILIES OF THE FIELD, relocated to the Old West, finds an aging gunfighter hired to help a dedicated nun care for a brood of abandoned Apache kids. Preston's a joy, as usual, as the salty old cowpoke. Average. SERPICO: THE DEADLY GAME 1976 100 min. David Birney, Allen Garfield, Burt Young, Lane Bradbury, Walter McGinn, Tom Atkins. Directed by Robert Collins. Birney takes over Al Pacino's role for this TV movie about N.Y.C. undercover cop Frank Serpico, and his battle against corruption in and out of the department. The subsequent series also starred Birney. Average. Retitled THE DEADLY GAME. SESSIONS 1983 100 min. Veronica Hamel, Jeffrey DeMunn, Jill Eikenberry, David Marshall Grant, Deborah Hedwall, George Coe, Henderson Forsythe. Directed by Richard Pearce. A high-priced call girl begins to question the many facets of her life. If you can't identify with that, the stunning Hamel, in her first starring role after HILL STREET BLUES prominence, should hold your attention. Average. SET THIS TOWN ON FIRE 1973 100 min. Carl Betz, Chuck Connors, Charles Robinson, Lynda Day, James Westerfield, Jeff Corey, Paul Fix, Nancy Malone. Directed David Lowell Rich. Connors has served time on a manslaughter conviction -- but now he's back in town running for mayor, as the local drunk has confessed to the original crime. Good drama with a nice small-town atmosphere, interesting subplots. Filmed in 1969. Above average. Retitled THE PROFANE COMEDY. SEVEN IN DARKNESS 1969 75 min. Dina Merrill, Barry Nelson, Sean Garrison, Milton Berle, Arthur O'Connell, Alejandro Rey, Lesley Ann Warren. Directed by Michael Caffey. A commercial flight carrying a group on their way to a convention for the blind crashes on a mountain; they must find their way down to the nearest village. Standard melodrama with a barely interesting assortment of stereotyped characters, adequate performances, dull direction. Average. SEX AND THE MARRIED WOMAN 1977 100 min. Barry Newman, Joanna Pettet, Keenan Wynn, Dick Gautier, Jayne Meadows, Nita Talbot, Chuck McCann, F. Murray Abraham. Directed by Jack Arnold. A listless comedy of how success can ruin a good marriage, with a free-spirited husband becoming jealous of his wife's sudden fame after she writes a book on the sex habits of her friends. Kooky cameos spark it minimally. Below average. SEX AND THE SINGLE PARENT 1979 96 min. Susan St. James, Mike Farrell, Dori Brenner, Warren Berlinger, Julie Sommars, Barbara Rhodes. Directed by Jackie Cooper. Sitcom approach to the plight of two divorcees whose newly realized independence and burgeoning social life is complicated by their respective children. Average. THE SEX SYMBOL 1974 74 min. Connie Stevens, Shelley Winters, Don Murray, Jack Carter, James Olson, Nehemiah Persoff, William Castle. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Alvah Bessie adapted his 1966 novel, THE SYMBOL, about a fictitious movie queen of the '40s and '50s, but images of Marilyn Monroe come through in every frame. Initially, a real or imagined libel suit threatened to keep this from ever being shown, and what got on the air after severe editing was only a fraction of the exploitive, nudity-spiced film eventually shown theatrically overseas. Average. THE SHADOW BOX 1980 100 min. Joanne Woodward, Christopher Plummer, Valerie Harper, James Broderick, Sylvia Sidney, Melinda Dillon, Ben Masters, Curtiss Marlowe, John Considine. Directed by Paul Newman. Playwright Michael Cristofer adapted his Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play about three terminally ill patients and their families during one day at an experimental rustic retreat in California. A powerful and insightful story, well served by this stellar cast. Above average. A SHADOW IN THE STREETS 1975 78 min. Tony LoBianco, Sheree North, Dana Andrews, Ed Lauter, Jesse Welles, Dick Balduzzi. Directed by Richard Donner. A paroled ex-con becomes a parole officer in an attempt at rehabilitation. LoBianco's gutsy acting style and the offbeat premise make this one. Written by John D.F. Black. Above average. SHADOW ON THE LAND 1968 97 min. Jackie Cooper, John Forsythe, Gene Hackman, Carol Lynley, Marc Strange, Janice Rule. Directed by Richard C. Sarafian. America is under the rule of a ruthless dictator; two men lead an underground group hoping to restore democracy. Given the obvious limits of TV, this intriguing situation doesn't get very far; the cast is more interesting than Nedrick Young's script. Below average. SHADOW OVER ELVERON 1968 100 min. James Franciscus, Shirley Knight, Leslie Nielsen, Franchot Tone, James Dunn, Don Ameche. Directed by James Goldstone. Small-town corruption disgusts a young physician who wants to set up practice there; a whitewash murder trial becomes the final straw. Most of the dialogue and situations OK, performances ditto, but the film as a whole too insistent. Average. THE SHADOW RIDERS 1982 100 min. Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Ben Johnson, Katharine Ross, Geoffrey Lewis, Jeffrey Osterhage, Gene Evans, Harry Carey, Jr., Jane Greer, Dominique Dunne. Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. An engrossing Louis L'Amour Western about two brothers' post-Civil War search for their family, kidnapped by Rebel guerrillas during the war. Most of the same players had previously appeared in L'Amour's THE SACKETTS. Above average. SHARK KILL 1976 78 min. Richard Yniguez, Phillip Clark, David Huddleston, Jennifer Warren, Elizabeth Gill, Victor Campos. Directed by William A. Graham. Thriller in the JAWS school pits two men, motivated by vengeance and a $10,000 bounty, against a great white shark. Great undewather but not-so-hot on land. Average. SHE CRIED MURDER 1973 73 min. Telly Savalas, Lynda Day George, Mike Farrell, Kate Reid, Jeff Toner, Stu Gillard. Directed by Herschel Daugherty. A young mother witnesses a subway murder, finds herself in a bind when she recognized on of the two police inspectors answering her phone call as the murderer. Nonexistent as a psychological drama; forgettable as a chase thriller. Below average. SHE WAITS 1971 74 min. Patty Duke, David McCallum, Lew Ayres, Beulah Bondi, Dorothy McGuire, James Callahan, Nelson Olmstead. Directed by Delbert Mann. Straightforward but ultimately boring thriller featuring Duke as an unbalanced young bride possessed by the spirit of her husband's first wife. Game attempt at hypo-ing the story via direction, but you've seen this one before. Average. SHE'S IN THE ARMY NOW 1981 100 min. Kathleen Quinlan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Susan Blancard, Melanie Griffith, Julie Carmen, Janet MacLachlan, Dale Robinette, Robert Pierce, Damita Jo Freeman. Directed by Hy Averback. Pilot in the PRIVATE BENJAMIN mold about the comic rigors and romantic run-ins of five young women recruits during basic training. Average. SHELL GAME 1975 78 min. John Davidson, Tommy Atkins, Marie O'Brien, Robert Sampson, Signe Hasso, Jack Kehoe. Directed by Glenn Jordan. Cross breed the old Robin Hood story with THE STING and you get a saga of a resourceful ex-con out to fleece the crooked head of a charity fund. Below average. THE SHERIFF 1971 73 min. Ossie Davis, Kaz Garas, Kyle Johnson, Ruby Dee, Moses Gunn, Brenda Sykes, Lynda Day (George), John Marley, Ross Martin. Directed by David Lowell Rich. An unimaginitive title obscures this solid drama dealing with a controversial rape case that tears a California town apart. Strong performances, uneven script by Arnold Perl; the story's resolution is the only major liability. Average. SHERLOCK HOLMES IN NEW YORK 1976 100 min. Roger Moore, John Huston, Patrick Macnee, Gig Young, Charlotte Rampling, David Huddleston, Signe Hasso, Leon Ames, Jackie Coogan. Directed by Boris Sagal. A stylish Holmes original by Alvin Sapinsley that has the sleuth rushing to America after learning that Moriarty has imperiled the world's gold supply and is threatening Holmes' long-time love, Iren Adler. Period valentine for the Baker Street Irregulars and others who seek just plain entertainment. Above average. SHIRTS/SKINS 1973 74 min. Bill Bixby, Doug McClurde, Leonard Frey, Rene Auberjonois, McLean Stevenson, Robert Walden, Loretta Swit, Audrey Christie. Directed by WIlliam Graham. Six young professoinals cook up a contest to settle a basketball argument which snowballs, due to day-to-day pressure and the group's own inter-rivalries, into a near-tragic situation. Excellent performances by a well-picked cast make the film believeable. Above average. SHOGUN 1981 125 min. Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, Frankie Sakai, Yuri Meguro, John Rhys-Davies, Michael Hordern, Orson Welles (narrator). Directed by Jerry London. A colorful, Emmy-winning saga from James Clavell's best-seller about a shipwrecked British sailor in feudal Japan, taken under the wing of a powerful warlord to become the first Western samurai warrior. The flavor of this 10-hour miniseries from which this was chopped down (at least five subplots bit the dust and subtitles were added) remains intact, although it often plays like a movie trailer. (The version, with graphic violence and nudity added, initially was edited specifically for home video.) Above average. SHOOTOUT IN A ONE-DOG TOWN 1974 78 min. Richard Crenna, Richard Egan, Stefanie Powers, Jack Elam, Arthur O'Connell, Michael Ansara, Michael Anderson, Jr., Dub Taylor. Directed by Burt Kennedy. Frontier banker Crenna is pitted against gangleader Egan and his boys out to steal $200,000 in the vault. Despite the title and director, not a comedy; written by Larry Cohen. Average. SHORT WALK TO DAYLIGHT 1972 73 min. James Brolin, Don Mitchell, James McEachin, Abbey Lincoln, Brooke Bundy, Lazaro Perez. Directed by Barry Shear. A violent earthquake derails an early morning subway in Manhattan; passengers must grope their way to safety, experience every conceivable hardship. The script piles situation upon situation, strives too hard for documentary effects; otherwise, performances OK. Average. SIDE BY SIDE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE OSMOND FAMILY 1982 100 min. Marie Osmond, Joseph Bottoms, Shane Chournos, David Eaves, Todd Dutson, Vinc Massa, Shane Wallace. Directed by Russ Mayberry. A mom-and-pop movie, literally about Mom and Pop Osmond and their brood, produced by the Osmonds, and starring Marie as their mother. Average. SIDE SHOW 1981 100 min. Lance Kerwin, Connie Stevens, Tony Franciosa, William Windom, Red Buttons, Barbara Rhoades, Calvin Levels, Albert Paulsen, Jerry Maren, Patty Maloney. Directed by William Conrad. Kerwin is a 16-year-old big top puppeteer who has joined the circus and lost his innocence. The milieu is well captured, but the characters are stock and the teleplay contrived. The songs were written by director Conrad, who also provides the voice of the ringmaster. Average. SIDEKICKS 1974 78 min. Larry Hagman, Lou Gossett, Blythe Danner, Jack Elam, Harry Morgan, Gene Evans, Noah Beery, Denver Pyle. Directed by Burt Kennedy. Western satire about two inept con men on the sagebrush trail trying to collect an outlaw bounty. Busted pilot loosely adapted from SKIN GAME with Gossett reprising his role of a college graduate posing as a Civil War slave and Hagman as his pal who continually "sells" him. Average. SIDNEY SHORR: A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND 1981 100 min. Tony Randall, Lorna Patterson, David Huffman, Kaleena Kiff, Ann Weldon, John Lupton. Directed by Russ Mayberry. Bittersweet comedy about a middle-aged NYC bachelor who takes in a young actress, who then has a child out of wedlock. The honest script by Oliver Hailey raised a tempest in a teapot over the homosexuality of the lead character. Notably superior to the subsequent LOVE, SIDNEY series (where the gay angle was whitewashed). Above average. SIEGE 1978 100 min. Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney, Dorian Harewood, James Sutorius. Directed by Richard Pearce. A tough senior citizen takes a stand against the gang that's been terrorizing the community. Balsam towers as the one-man vigilante army in this well-written drama by Conrad Bromberg. Above average. THE SILENCE 1975 78 min. Richard Thomas, Cliff Gorman, George Hearn, Percy Granger, James Mitchell, John Kellogg. Directed by Joseph Hardy. West Point cadet James Pelosi (Thomas) relives for writer Stanley Greenburg (Gorman) his true-life experiences of being subjected to total exile when accused of cheating. Mechanical performances by Thomas and Gorman (everyone else is reduced to a walk-on) make this one a bore. Average. THE SILENT GUN 1969 75 min. Lloyd Bridges, John Beck, Ed Begley, Edd Byrnes, Pernell Roberts, Susan Howard. Directed by Michael Caffey. After vowing never to use his gun again, a famed shooter puts himself to the test and rides into a town war between Boss Banner (Roberts) and pioneer settler Cole (Begley). A sad waste of talent via a ludicrous script, boring direction. Average. SILENT NIGHT, LONELY NIGHT 1969 98 min. Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Carrie Snodgrass, Robert Lipton, Lynn Carlin, Cloris Leachman, Jeff Bridges. Directed by Daniel Petrie. A chance meeting that turns to romance for two tired, lonely middle-agers (Bridges and Jones). The script -- not so-so direction -- is the culprit here in that melodrama stops far short of credibility. Based on the Robert Anderson play. Average. SILENT VICTORY: THE KITTY O'NEIL STORY 1979 100 min. Stockard Channing, James Farentino, Colleen Dewhurst, Edward Albert, Brian Dennehy. Directed by Lou Antonio. The real-life account of a deaf girl's victory over her handicap to become a top stuntwoman in Hollywood. Script by Steven Gethers. Above average. THE SINS OF DORIAN GRAY 1983 100 min. Anthony Perkins, Joseph Bottoms, Belinda Bauer, Olga Karlatos, Michael Ironside, Caroline Yeager. Directed by Tony Maylam. Dorian's in skirts this time, watching her portrait age in this '80s update of Oscar Wilde's macabre tale. One of the infrequent live-action films from the Rankin/Bass cartoon people. Below average. SINS OF THE PAST 1984 100 min. Barbara Carrera, Kim Cattrall, Debby Boone, Tracy Reed, Kirsty Alley, Anthony Geary. Directed by Peter H. Hunt. A group of call girls who had gotten out of the profession fifteen years earlier (following the murder of one of their cohorts) are reunited when the killer is sprung and vows further vengeance. The single element of surprise here is Boone among the hookers. Below average.
SISTER, SISTER 1982 100 min. Diahann Carroll, Rosalind Cash, Irene Cara, Paul Winfield, Dick Anthony Williams, Robert Hooks, Christopher St. John, Diana Douglas, Albert Powell. Rewarding drama, written by Maya Angelou, about the uneasy reunion of three sisters that opens up old family wounds. Filmed several years before its initial network showing. Average. THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN 1973 73 min. Lee Majors, Darren McGavin, Martin Balsam, Barbara Anderson, Charles Knox Robinson. Directed by Richard Irving. A test pilot crash-lands, the government steps in and has him confined to the hospital where new techniques enable his body to be rebuilt. Result: superhuman strength, whereupon the government convinces the pilot to undertake a secret mission. Pilot for the hit series. Average. SIZZLE 1981 100 min. Loni Anderson, John Forsythe, Michael Goodwin, Leslie Uggams, Roy Thinnes, Richard Lynch, Phillis Davis. Directed by Don Medford. A small-town tootsie goes to Prohibition Era Chicago and gets mixed up with mobsters. Roaring '20s melodrama is slick but certainly doesn't live up to its title. Average. SKAG 1980 150 min. Karl Malden, Piper Laurie, Craig Wasson, Peter Gallagher, Leslie Ackerman, Kathryn Holcomb, George Voskovec. Directed by Frank Perry. Malden's powerhouse performance as a veteran steelworker felled by a serious stroke carries this blue-collar drama (written by Abby Mann) that spun off a series. Above average. SKEEZER 1982 100 min. Karen Valentine, Dee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Madriclare Costello, Leighton Greer, Justin Lord, Jeremy Licht. Directed by Peter Hunt. Karen works with a therapeutic dog in a home for emotionally disturbed children. A surprisingly good family show that manages to rise above its pat premise, adapted by Robert Hamilton from the book SKEEZER, DOG WITH A MISSION by Elizabeth Yates. Above average. SKI LIFT TO DEATH 1978 100 min. Deborah Raffin, Charles Frank, Howard Duff, Don Galloway, Don Johnson, Clu Gulager, Gail Strickland, Veronical Hamel. Directed by Wiliam Wiard. A formula suspense thriller set in a ski resort -- end even skiiing star Suzy Chaffee is dragged in to give it some dazzle. Average. SKOKIE 1978 125 min. Danny Kaye, John Rubenstein, Carl Reiner, Kim Hunter, Eli Wallach, Lee Strasberg, Brian Dennehy, Ed Flanders, George Dzundza, James Sutorius, Ruth Nelson. Directed by Herbert Wise. Powerful dramatization by Ernest Kinoy depicting how the citizens of Skokie, Ill., became embroiled in a bitter controversy while trying to prevent street demonstrations by neo-Nazis in 1977. Danny Kaye gives a searing performance as a concentration camp survivor in his TV dramatic debut. Above average. SKY HEIST 1975 100 min. Don Meredith, Joseph Campanella, Stefanie Powers, Frank Gorshin, Shelley Fabares, Larry Wilcox. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. A police helicopter is hijacked as part of a scheme to make off with $10 million in gold bullion. Meredith heads a team of air-borne cops in pursuit of the perpetrators. Average. THE SKY'S NO LIMIT 1984 100 min. Sharon Gless, Dee Wallace, Anne Archer, David Ackroyd, Barnard Hughes. Directed by David Lowell Rich. The lives and loves of three women astronauts, each striving to be the first in space, written, the producers swear, before Sally Ride rode. Average. SKYWARD 1980 100 min. Bette Davis, Howard Hesseman, Suzy Gilstrap, Ben Marley, Clu Gulager, Marion Ross, Lisa Whelchel, Jana Hall. Directed by Ron Howard. An inspiring story (written by director Ron Howard's HAPPY DAYS pal and production partner Anson Williams, with a teleplay by Nancy Sackett) about how former stunt pilot Davis and airport watchman Hesseman help a teenaged paraplegic (real-life wheelchair-bound Gilstrap) learn to fly a plane. Above average. SKYWAY TO DEATH 1974 78 min. Ross Martin, Stefanie Powers, Bobby Sherman, Nancy Malone, John Astin, Joseph Campanella, Tige Andrews. Directed by Gordon Hessler. A group of vacationers trapped in a cable car 800 feet up between mountain breaks; the rescue attempt is hindered by an approaching windstorm. Written to formula, and acted that way as well. Average. A SMALL KILLING 1981 100 min. Edward Asner, Jean Simmons, Sylvia Sidney, Andrew Prine, J. Pat O'Malley, Mary Jackson. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. An undercover cop posing as a wino teams up with a woman college professor masquerading as a bag lady, they trail a drug kingpin's hit man and end up falling in love. Based on Richard Barth's book THE RAG BAG CLAN. Average. SMASH-UP ON INTERSTATE 5 1976 100 min. Robert Conrad, Sian Barbara Allen, Buddy Ebsen, David Groh, Scott Jacoby, Sue Lyon, Vera Miles, Donna Mills, Terry Moore, Harriet Nelson, David Nelson, Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. Familiar multi-character drama with a twist. They're involved in a spectacular 39-car crash on a California freeway. Performances understandably pale beside the graphic smash-up scenes which -- surprise! -- turn up at the beginning of the movie. Average. SMILE, JENNY, YOU'RE DEAD 1974 100 min. David Janssen, John Anderson, Howard da Silva, Martin Gabel, Clu Gulager, Zalman King, Jodie Foster, Andrea Marcovicci. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. A well-plotted mystery in which private eye Janssen looks into the murder of a friend's son-in-law and gets emotionally involved with his daughter, the prime suspect. Pilot for Janssen's HARRY O series. Above average. SMILE WHEN YOU SAY "I DO" 1973 74 min. Direced by Allen Funt. An extension of the CANDID CAMERA series, with creator Funt examining the battle of the sexes. Average. THE SMUGGLERS 1968 97 min. Shirley Booth, Carol Lynley, Gayle Hunnicutt, Michael J. Pollard, Kurt Kasznar, David Opatoshu. Directed by Norman Lloyd. Uneven mixture of wry humor and suspense in a prettily packaged story of American tourists used in a smuggling scheme. Entertaining cast, good location work, but the abrupt resolution hurts the film. Average. SNATCHED 1973 73 min. Howard Duff, Leslie Nielsen, Sheree North, Barbara Parkins, Robert Reed, John Saxon, Tisha Sterling. Directed by Sutton Roley. An unusual kidnapping plot is complicated by one of three husbands refusing to pay ransom and a race against time to resupply one wife with insulin. A good cast walks through the threadbare characters effortlessly; otherwise stale action. Average. THE SNOOP SISTERS 1972 100 min. Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick, Charlie Callas, Jill Clayburh, Art Carney, Paulette Goddard, Ed Flanders, Fritz Weaver, Craig Stevens, Kurt Kasznar, Kent Smith, Bill Dana. Directed by Leonard Stern. Good comedy features two mystery writers turned private eyes investigating the murder of a movie star (Goddard), foiling their nephew's attempts to retire them. Enjoyable pilot for later series. Above average. Retitled FEMALE INSTINCT. SNOWBEAST 1977 100 min. Bo Svenson, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Logan, Clint Walker, Sylvia Sidney. Directed by Herb Wallerstein. A killer beast terrorizes a ski resort during the winter carnival. Dumb mystery with a slaloming creature and several straight-faced characters. Below average. THE SOLITARY MAN 1979 100 min. Earl Holliman, Carrie Snodgress, Nicolas Coster, Lara Parker, Dorrie Kavanaugh. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. A well-intentioned but somber study of the breakup of a family -- from the man's point of view. It predated by several months the more solid KRAMER VS. KRAMER. Average. SOME KIND OF MIRACLE 1979 100 min. David Dukes, Andrea Marcovicci, Michael C. Gwynne, Art Hindle, Dick Anthony Williams, Nancy Marchand, Stephen Elliott. Directed by Jerrold Freedman. The trials and tribulations (mostly sexual) of a happy couple after one is permanently paralyzed in a surfing accident. Average. SOMEONE AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS 1973 74 min. Donna Mills, Judy Carne, Francis Wallis, Aletha Charlton, Scott Forbes. Directed by John Sichel. Two American girls get the creeps when they move into a strange Victorian boarding house in London. Familiar stuff, passably done. British production; average. SOMETHING EVIL 1972 73 min. Sandy Dennis, Darren McGavin, Ralph Bellamy, Jeff Corey, Johnnie Whitaker, John Rubenstein. Directed by Steven Spielberg. The Worden family buys an old house in Pennsylvania, unaware of a lurking evil presence. Horror aspect handled matter-of-factly, excellent performances. Above average. SOMETHING FOR A LONELY MAN 1968 98 min. Dan Blocker, Susan Clark, John Dehner, Warren Oates, Paul Peterson, Don Stroud. Directed by Don Taylor. A blacksmith outcast of Arcana (Blocker) believes he finally has the opportunity to bring industry to his town when a locomotive derails nearby, is aided by one woman who believes in him. Good character study salvages a backlot Western. Above average. SOMETHING FOR JOEY 1977 100 min. Geraldine Page, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Marc Singer, Jeff Lynas, Linda Kelsey, Steven Guttenberg, Paul Picerni. Directed by Lou Antonio. The true-life story of the relationship between Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti and his younger brother, Joey, stricken with leukemia. A sensitive tearjerker that never gets maudlin. Above average. SOMETHING SO RIGHT 1982 100 min. Ricky Schroder, Patty Duke Astin, James Farentino, Neva Patterson, Fred Dryer, Annie Potts, Carole Cook, Dick Anthony Williams. Directed by Lou Antonio. Heartwarmer about a divorcee who finds a Big Brother for her troubled son and gets more than she bargained for. The pleasant surprise here is a change-of-image Farentino, as a paunchy, balding, middle-aged Joe. Written by Shelley List and Jonathan Estrin. Above average. SOPHIA LOREN: HER OWN STORY 1980 150 min. Sophia Loren, John Gavin, Rip Torn, Armand Assante, Theresa Saldana, R. Cucciolla, Edmund Purdom. Directed by Mel Stuart. Sophia's life from her girlhood in Naples to international film stardom and finally motherhood. Unique in its casting of the star not only as herself but as her mother (she's better in the latter role!) and the bizarre miscasting of Gavin as Cary Grant, Torn as Carlo Ponti, and Purdom as Vittorio De Sica. Joanna Crawford wrote the teleplay from the A.E. Hotchner biography, but made it far too long for a less-than-compelling life. Average. THE SOPHISTICATED GENTS 1981 200 min. Bernie Casey, Rosey Grier, Robert Hooks, Ron O'Neal, Thalmus Rasulala, Raymond St. Jacques, Melvin Van Peebles, Dick Anthony Williams, Paul Winfield, Albert Hall, Beah Richards, Janet MacLachlan, Joanna Miles, Denise Nicolas, Marlene Warfield, Harry Guardino. Directed by Harry Falk. A terrific if overlong multi-character drama focusing on events at the reunion of nine members of a black athletic-social club. Van Peebles wrote the teleplay from John A. Williams' book THE JUNIOR BACHELOR SOCIETY and included a pivotal role for himself as a pimp wanted for murder. Above average. THE SOUND OF ANGER 1968 100 min. James Farentino, Guy Stockwell, Burl Ives, David Macklin, Lynda Day, Charles Aidman, Collin Wilcox. Directed by Michael Ritchie. Brother lawyers drawn into a murder case; the sister of one of the accused reveals that a high-priced lawyer (Ives) is hired to defend only one defendant. Uneven performances, lame script; the only interesting character is Ives. Pilot to THE LAWYERS segment of THE BOLD ONES. Below average. SPARKLING CYANIDE 1983 100 min. Anthony Andrews, Deborah Raffin, Harry Morgan, Pamela Bellwood, Nancy Marchand, Josef Sommer, David Huffman, Christine Belford. Directed by Robert Lewis. The deadly brew loses some of its Agatha Christie zing in this Americanization of her whodunit about an Englishman (Andrews, in modern threads for a change) stumbling onto a murder among the upper crust of Pasadena. Filmed back-to-back with A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY by the same production team. Average. SPECIAL BULLETIN 1983 105 min. Ed Flanders, Kathryn Walker, Roxanne Hart, Christopher Allport, Rosalind Cash, David Clennon, David Rasche. Directed by Edward Zwick. A shattering TV experience, presented on tape as a simulated television newscast, about the threatened nuclear destruction of Charleston, S.C. by a quintet of war protesters who demand the dismantling of America's arsenal of warheads; an interesting subplot examines how the media react in the face of such incidents. A multi-Emmy winner written by Zwick and Marshall Herkovitz. Way above average. SPECIAL OLYMPICS 1978 100 min. Charles Durning, Philip Brown, George Parry, Irene Tedrow, Mare Winningham, Herb Edelman, Debra Winger. Directed by Lee Philips. Heartwarmer by John Sacret Young about a widower's struggle to hold together his family of three teenagers, one mentally retarded, finding self-fulfillment in his love of sports. Above average. Also known as A SPECIAL KIND OF LOVE. THE SPECIALISTS 1975 78 min. Robert York, Maureen Reagan, Jack Hogan, Jed Allen, Alfred Ryder, Harry Townes. Directed by Richard Quine. Drama based on the doings of the U.S. Public Health Department, with two dogged dog-and-cat team doctors trying to thwart possible epidemics. Familar hospital-style plot complications in this pilot for an unsold series called VECTOR. Average. SPECTRE 1977 100 min. Robert Culp, Gig Young, John Hurt, Gordon Jackson, Ann Bell, James Villiers, Majel Barrett. Directed by Clive Donner. A classy demonology exercise by Gene Roddenberry involving a flamboyant criminologist and his associate, an alcoholic doctor, who investigate devlish doings in a PLAYBOY-type English abbey. The unusually lavish production helps hurdle the foolishness. Average. SPRAGGUE 1984 78 min. Michael Nouri, Glynis Johns, James Cromwell, Mark Herrier, Patrick O'Neal, Andrea Marcovicci. Directed by Larry Elikann. Sleuthing Boston professor and his ditsy Back Bay aunt set out to trap a murderous doctor in this pedestrian series pilot. Average. THE SPY KILLER 1969 74 min. Robert Horton, Sebastian Cabot, Jill St. John, Barbara Shelley, Lee Montague, Kenneth Warren. Directed by Roy (Ward) Baker. The former wife of a spy-turned-private-eye is part of a plot to force the agent back into service. His objective: a little black book with a list of agents. Overly confused drama, seemingly cynical of government secret services, but the overall point of view is hazy and the dialogue sometimes awful. British-made. Sequel: FOREIGN EXCHANGE. Average. SST - DEATH FLIGHT 1977 93 min. Barbara Anderson, Bert Convy, Peter Graves, Lorne Greene, Season Hubley, Tina Louise, George Maharis, Burgess Meredith, Doug McClure, Martin Milner, Brock Peters, Robert Reed, Susan Strasberg. Directed by David Lowell Rich. Terror aloft with a traditional celebrity-studded passenger list. Sabotage aboard the inaugural flight of America's first SST turns it into a nightmare. Sounds familiar -- and looks it. Average. Retitled SST -- DISASTER IN THE SKY. STALK THE WILD CHILD 1976 78 min. David Janssen, Trish Van Devere, Benjamin Bottoms, Joseph Bottoms, Jame Smith Jackson, Allan Arbus. Directed by William Hale. Behavioral psychologist Janssen attempts to civilize a youth raised by wild dogs. Well-intentioned but plodding Americanization of Truffaut's THE WILD CHILD spun off a brief series, LUCAN. Below average. STAND BY YOUR MAN 1981 100 min. Annette O'Toole, Tim McIntire, Cooper Huckabee, James Hampton, Helen Page Camp. Directed by Jerry Jameson. The TV-movie answer to COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER, dramatizing the career of country singer Tammy Wynette from her impoverished childhood to stardom and her relationship to singing partner and occasional husband George Jones. Lackluster script by the prolific John Gay, based on Wynette's autobiography. Average. STANDING TALL 1978 100 min. Robert Forster, Linda Evans, Will Sampson, L.Q. Jones, Chuck Connors, Robert Donner. Directed by Harvey Hart. Depression-era Western pitting a small-time half-breed cattle rancher against a ruthless land baron. The time period might change, but the formula remains the same. Average. THE STAR-MAKER 1981 200 min. Rock Hudson, Suzanne Pleshette, Melanie Griffith, Teri Copley, April Clough, Cathie Shirriff, Brenda Vaccaro, Ed McMahon, Titos Vandis. Directed by Lou Antonio. A big-time movie director and his succession of starlet discoveries. A pedestrian treatment of a quickly made "casting couch" drama written by William Bast. Average. STARFLIGHT: THE PLANE THAT COULDN'T LAND 1983 155 min. Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George Di Cenzo, Tess Harper, Terry Kiser, Michael Sacks, Robert Webber. Directed by Jerry Jameson. It's white-knuckles time as a futuristic airliner is accidentally hurled into outer space on its maiden flight. Even the special effects of John Dykstra can't mask a pedestrian and overlong B-movie plot. Also called STARFLIGHT ONE. Average. STARSKY AND HUTCH 1975 78 min. David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, Antonio Fargas, Michael Lerner, Richard Ward, Gilbert Green, Michael Conrad. Directed by Barry Shear. A tough pair of undercover cops investigate a double homicide and discover they are the intended victims. OK pilot to the hit TV series. Average. STEEL COWBOY 1978 100 min. James Brolin, Rip Torn, Strother Martin, Jennifer Warren, Melanie Griffith, Julie Cobb. Directed by Harvey Laidman. A good-old-buddy adventure flick about an independent trucker who puts his marriage on the line to save his rig by hauling stolen cattle. Average. A STEP OUT OF LINE 1970 100 min. Vic Morrow, Peter Falk, Peter Lawford, Jo Ann Pflug, Tom Bosley, Lynn Carlin. Directed by Bernard McEveety. Korean War vets, all in financial straits, decide at a reunion party to pull a bank robbery. Good performances enliven an otherwise standard script, predictable outcome. Average. STICKIN' TOGETHER 1978 78 min. Clu Gulager, Sean Roche, Sean Marshall, Lori Walsh, Randi Kiger, Keith Mitchell. Directed by Jerry Thorpe. Cutesy family tale of a bunch of orphans who find a surrogate uncle in a Hawaiian beach bum. This was the pilot to the short-run series THE MACKENZIES OF PARADISE COVE. Average. STILL THE BEAVER 1983 100 min. Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers, Ken Osmond, Richard Deacon, Ed Begley, Jr., Joanna Gleason, Diane Brewster. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. TV's legendary Cleaver family minus the late Hugh Beaumont returns after two decades, reuniting Wally and Beaver with their pals, now grown up, in a so-so pilot which resurrected (albeit on cable) the fondly recalled series LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. Average. STONE 1979 100 min. Dennis Weaver, Pat Hingle, Roy Thinnes, Vic Morrow, Hariette Hartley, Steve Allen. Directed by Corey Allen. Literate cop show pitting a veteran detective-moonlighting-as-novelist (a thinly disguised Joseph Wambaugh) against his hard-nosed superior who's trying to get him off the force. Pilot to the brief series. Average. STONESTREET: WHO KILLED THE CENTERFOLD MODEL? 1977 78 min. Barbara Eden, Joseph Mascolo, Joan Hackett, Richard Basehart, Louise Latham, Sally Kirkland. Directed by Russ Mayberry. Private eye Eden on a missing-person case that involves blackmail, homicide and the porno rackets. Competent pilot movie for a POLICE WOMAN-style series. Average. THE STORY OF DAVID 1976 250 min. Timothy Bottoms, Anthony Quayle, Keith Mitchell, Jane Seymour, Susan Hampshire. Directed by Alex Segal, David Lowell Rich. A vivid Biblical drama, scripted by Ernest Kinoy, with two hours devoted to the Old Testament boy who slew Goliath, and two given over to the now-King David's involvement with Bathsheba. Told with reverence, acted with sincerity, produced with authenticity. Above average. THE STORY OF JACOB AND JOSEPH 1974 100 min. Keith Mitchell, Tony LoBianco, Colleen Dewhurst, Herchel Bernardi, Harry Andrews, Julian Glover. Directed by Michael Cacoyannis. Two-part Biblical movie. First the tale of Jacob (Mitchell) and Esau (Glover) and the fight over their birthright. Second, the adventures of Joseph (LoBianco) and his brothers who sold him into slavery. Alan Bates narrates these impressively acted stories, written by Ernest Kinoy and reverently approached by director Cacoyannis. Above average. THE STORY OF PRETTY BOY FLOYD 1974 78 min. Martin Sheen, Kim Darby, Michael Parks, Ellen Corby, Joseph Estevez, Bill Vint, Abe Vigoda, Steven Keats, Ford Rainey. Directed by Clyde Ware. Sheen gives a nicely-shaded portrait of the Depression-era farmboy who became an infamous bank robber and killer. Picturesque, violent, and surprisingly literate. Scripted by Ware. Above average; also known as PRETTY BOY FLOYD. THE STORYTELLER 1977 100 min. Martin Balsam, Patty Duke Astin, James Daly, Doris Roberts, David Spielberg, Rose Gregorio. Directed by Robert Markowitz. A veteran writer is troubled by charges his TV play motivated a teen-ager to set his school on fire and die in the blaze. Balsam's fine performance fails to save this disappointing study of the effect of TV violence on children. Written by Richard Levinson and William Link. Average. THE STRANGE AND DEADLY OCCURRENCE 1974 78 min. Robert Stack, Vera Miles, L.Q. Jones, Herb Edelman, Dena Dietrich, Margaret Willock. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. A family is terrorized by a mysterious force in their newly purchased country home. An occult tale with standard thrills at predictable intevals. Average. STRANGE HOMECOMING 1974 78 min. Robert Culp, Glen Campbell, Barbara Anderson, Whitney Blake, John Crawford, Leif Garrett, Tara Talboy, Gerrit Graham. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Murderer-on-the-lam Culp returns home after 18 years and moves in with the family of his small-town sheriff brother (Campbell, in his TV-movie debut). Culp injects what life he can into a limp story. Below average. THE STRANGER 1973 100 min. Glenn Corbett, Cameron Mitchell, Sharon Acker, Lew Ayres, George Coulouris, Dean Jagger, Tim O'Connor. Directed by Lee H. Katzon. Unsatisfying sci-fi thriller of the "doppelganger" school. Astronaut Corbett crashes on Earth's twin planet and frantically tries to find his way "home" when his hosts try to exterminate him. Average. THE STRANGER AT JEFFERSON HIGH 1979 100 min. Stewart Peterson, Philip Brown, Dana Kimmell, Jeff Chamberlain, Lachelle Price, Shannon Farnon. Directed by Lyman Dayton. A fatherless teenager becomes the household breadwinner after his mom becomes a sudden widow, moves his family from his Wyoming farm to L.A., and enters the world of drag racing, teen pranks, and young love. Written by sometimes director Keith Merrill, this originally was to have been a theatrical movie called RIVALS. Average. STRANGER IN OUR HOUSE 1978 100 min. Linda Blair, Lee Purcell, Jeremy Slate, Carol Lawrence, Macdonald Carey, Jeff McCracken, Jeff East. Directed by Wes Craven. A teenage witchcraft thriller with the always put-upon Linda Blair in constant peril. Based on Lois Duncan's novel SUMMER OF FEAR. Average. STRANGER ON THE RUN 1967 97 min. Henry Fonda, Michael Parks, Anne Baxter, Dan Duryea, Sal Mineo, Lloyd Bochner, Michael Burns, Tom Reese, Bernie Hamilton, Zalman King. Directed by Don Seigel. A solidly-conceived, well-executed chase thriller features Fonda as a drifter in Banner, New Mexico, trying to deliver a message to the sister of a prison friend, accused of murder, chased by railroad police into the desert. Great entertainment with something to say; written by Reginald Rose. Above average. THE STRANGER WHO LOOKS LIKE ME 1974 78 min. Beau Bridges, Meredith Baxter, Whitney Blake, Walter Brooke, Neva Patterson, Mary Murphy, Ford Rainey. Directed by Larry Peerce. Adoptees Bridges and Baxter pursue frustrating searches for their natural parents. OK examination of a growing contemporary phenomenon. Baxter and real mother Blake have a few nice scenes together. Script by Gerald DiPego. Above average. STRANGERS IN 7A 1972 73 min. Andy Griffith, Ida Lupino, Michael Brandon, James Watson Jr., Suzanne Hilder, Tim McIntire. Direced by Paul Wendkos. A bar-girl is used as a lure to get the use of a middle-aged superintendent's apartment for robbery. Good tension toward the end, plus an unusual sympathetic script to the victim's point of view. Above average. STRANGERS: THE STORY OF A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER 1979 100 min. Bette Davis, Gena Rowlands, Ford Rainey, Donald Moffat, Royal Dano. Directed by Milton Katselas. Davis at her latter-day best (winning an Emmy Award) and matched scene for scene by Rowlands in this drama bout a lonely widow's resentment over her estranged daughter's unexpected homecoming after twenty years. Written by Michael DeGuzman. Also known simply as STRANGERS. Above average. STREET KILLING 1976 78 min. Andy Griffith, Bradford Dillman, Harry Guardino, Robert Loggia, Don Gordon, Adam Wade. Directed by Harvey Hart. Crime drama has Griffith as a N.Y.C. prosecuting attorney seeking to prove that a mugging-murder was ordered by the Mafia. Run-of-the-mill pilot for Griffith, cast against type. Average. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1984 124 min. Ann-Margret, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Rafael Campos, Erica Yohn. Directed by John Erman. A terrific performance by Ann-Margret as Blanche makes this version stand proud beside its classic predecessor. Above average. THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO 1972 98 min. Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Robert Wagner, Kim Darby, Andrew Duggan, John Rubinstein, Tom Bosley, Edward Andrews, Mako. Directed by Walter Grauman. Moody atmosphere reminiscent of PETER GUNN in a sinister police whodunit as Detectives Stone and Keller (Malden & Douglas) piece together the last days in the life of a young woman. The explanation, both devious and acceptable, is a real tour de force. Adapted by Ed Hume from Carolyn Weston's POOR, POOR OPHELIA. Above average; pilot for the hit series. STRIKE FORCE 1975 78 min. Cliff Gorman, Donald Blakely, Richard Gere, Edward Grover, Joe Spinell. Directed by Harry Shear. A N.Y.C. detective, Federal agent, and a state trooper team up to crack a narcotics ring. Mildly interesting for an early appearance by Gere; otherwise, just another busted cop show pilot (but unrelated to the later same-titled series with Robert Stack). Average. STUNT SEVEN 1979 100 min. Christopher Connelly, Christopher Lloyd, Bill Macy, Peter Haskell, Elke Sommer, Patrick Macnee. Directed by John Peyser. Pilot for a never-made-it series about an intrepid team of stunt experts who battle for law and order. Average. STUNTS UNLIMITED 1980 78 min. Glenn Corbett, Susanna Dalton, Sam Jones, Chip (Christopher) Mayer, Alejandro Rey. Directed by Hal Needham. Former US intelligence agent Corbett recruits three Hollywood stunt performers to help recover a stolen laser gun in this formula pilot to a prospective series. A skimpy storyline provides padding between stuntman-turned-director Needham's bag of tricks. Average. SUDDENLY, LOVE 1978 100 min. Cindy Williams, Paul Shenar, Linwood Bomer, Eileen Heckart, Joan Bennett, Lew Ayers, Kurt Kasznar. Directed by Stuart Margolin. A glossy Ross Hunter-produced soap opera involving the unlikely relationship of a plain girl from the ghetto and a socially prominent attorney. It's all updated HELEN TRENT. Average. SUDDENLY SINGLE 1971 73 min. Hal Holbrook, Barbara Rush, Margot Kidder, Agnes Moorehead, Michael Constantine, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman. Directed by Jud Taylor. A fair mix of comedy and drama, marred by a questionable finale: young-ish pharmacist Holbrook, divorced by his wife, tries to make it in the singles world. Average. THE SUICIDE'S WIFE 1979 100 min. Angie Dickinson, Gordon Pinsent, Zohra Lampert, Todd Lookinland, Peter Donat. Directed by John Newland. An undemanding drama about a woman's struggle to rebuild her life after her professor husband takes his. Also known as A NEW LIFE. Average. SUMMER FANTASY 1984 100 min. Julianne Phillips, Ted Shackelford, Michael Gross, Dorothy Lyman, Paul Keena, Danielle von Zerneck. Directed by Noel Nosseck. A curvy teenage coed decides to pass up medical school for fun in the California sun as the first female lifeguard on a beach where all the hunks are. A dumb sun-and-sand flick for bikini watchers. Below average. SUMMER GIRL 1983 100 min. Barry Bostwick, Kim Darby, Martha Scott, Murray Hamilton, Millie Slavin, Diane Franklin. Directed by Robert Michael Lewis. A live-in baby-sitter alienates the kids from mommy and then goes about seducing daddy. The suspense drama is done in by ho-hum acting and a so-so script written by A.J. Crothers from Caroline Crane's novel. Produced by one-time actress Robert Haynes (RETURN TO PARADISE). Below average. A SUMMER WITHOUT BOYS 1973 74 min. Barbara Bain, Kay Lenz, Michael Moriarty. Directed by Jeonnot Szwarc. Entertaining melodrama about a WW2 era triangle affair, from the daughter's (Lenz) point of view; she and her mother are competing for the same young woman. Good performances, average script. THE SUNSHINE PATRIOT 1968 98 min. Cliff Robertson, Dina Merrill, Luther Adler, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Antoinette Bower, Lilia Skala. Directed by Joseph Sargent. An identity switch is the only way a master spy can get out of a sticky situation behind the Iron Curtain and bring a crucial microfilm to his superiors. Fair suspense in a gimmicky spy tale, but the film doesn't take advantage of the basic premise. Look for Donald Sutherland in his first TV-movie. Average. SUPERDOME 1978 100 min. David Janssen, Edie Adams, Ken Howard, Van Johnson, Donna Mills, Jane Wyatt, Peter Haskell, Clifton Davis, Tom Selleck, Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus. Directed by Jerry Jameson. A flyweight thriller that looks like a road-company TWO MINUTE WARNING as a silent killer stalks New Orleans at Super Bowl time, terrifying a stellar roster. Average. SVENGALI 1983 100 min. Peter O'Toole, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Ashley, Larry Joshua, Pamela Blair, Barbara Byrne. Directed by Anthony Harvey. O'Toole's outre performance as a faded musical star who takes young rock singer Foster under his wing makes this new version of the hoary tale watchable. Updated by Frank Cucci from George du Maurier's one-hundred-plus-year-old TRILBY. Average. SWAN SONG 1980 105 min. David Soul, Bo Brundin, Jill Eikenberry, Murray Hamilton, Leonard Mann, Slim Pickens, John van Dreelen. Directed by Jerry London. A once-promising downhill ski-racer aims at a comeback to shake the stigma of being branded as a loser. Predictable drama boosted by breathtaking ski footage. Average. SWEET, SWEET RACHEL 1971 73 min. Alex Dreier, Stefanie Powers, Pat Hingle, Louise Latham, Brenda Scott, Steve Ihnat, John Hillerman. Directed by Sutton Roley. This wide-eyed, out-of-breath "thriller" pits an ESP expert against an unseen presence trying to drive beautiful women crazy. Sloppy direction all but ruins the fascinating premise. Pilot for THE SIXTH SENSE series. Average. THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON 1975 100 min. Martin Milner, Pat Delany, Cameron Mitchell, Michael-James Wixted, Eric Olson, John Vernon. Directed by Harry Harris. The adventure classic distilled by Irwin Allen, the disaster master of movies. It's still worthy of family viewing and somehow had enough thrills to spare for a brief subsequent series. Average. SWITCH 1975 78 min. Robert Wagner, Eddie Albert, Charles Durning, Sharon Gless, Ken Swofford, Charlie Callas, Jaclyn Smith. Directed by Robert Day. Ex-con man Wagner teams up with ex-cop Albert in a private eye agency to prove that a cop rather than a con pulled off a diamond heist. TV's best STING rip-off, owing much to the charm of its two leads, went on to become the hit series. Above average.
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