Based on cop-turned-author Joseph Wambaugh's factual chronicle of a 1979 murder investigation in Pennsylvania, this crime drama originally aired as a television mini-series. The story centers on the murder of Susan Reinert, a local school teacher. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Unrated (Not Rated)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To those from the King of Prussia Area (like myself), there are references and allusions to places (VF park, etc.) and some interesting exaggerated portrayal of characters, some of which I had for teachers (Pat Schnure, Vince Valaitis)
To those not from the area, it is still a sickening psychological drama that will keep you locked to the TV for the full 4+ hours (ended up watching it till 3 in the morning). The outcome is known, but the choppiness of the plot keeps the viewer actively watching, trying to figure out what has happend, and what is about to happen. The end of the movie with the cases ties everything together to leave the viewer highly satisfied. For those who like intellectually stimulating movies, a must-see. For those who are more interested in comedy, thrills, or screams, you'll turn it off in the first 10 minutes.
Dated, by todays standards, but still compelling. First half is interesting, and you are glued to the screen trying to absord the information given by Coyote's character, yet hoping he turns out to be the good guy. Little by little we're given bits and pieces of what happened, but only through Coyote's character, who turns out to be a manipulating deceiver, cold and scary with his Manson like powers over less experienced people.The second half is confusing, and Coyote and Loggia are off screen for nearly forty minutes. In the ending court-room drama, we don't see a flashback or re-inactment of what "supposedly" happened to this female school teacher and her two children. I guess both Coyote's character, Bill Bradfield, and Loggia as Dr. Smith did commit the crime. But, we as viewers don't feel or see any concrete evidence, and this leaves something to be desired. Based on a true story that took place in 1979 in Pennsylvania, and a case that lasted seven years. Just...
Coyote and Loggia are utterly compelling in their roles. One watches a nauseating conspiracy emerge tortuously and impossibly between these two apparently (largely)unconnected weirdos. The horror, when it appears, is all the more convincing for having been rendered implausible before.
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