A Brief History of the Telefilm

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One of the best gifts I received during the holidays was a set of books that I’ve been eager to get my hands on, Michael Karol’s ABC Movie of the Week Companion and David Deal’s Television Fright Films of the 1970’s. I grew up watching and enjoying telefilms and last year I spent a lot of time revisiting some of my favorites. Today telefilms, much like direct-to-video movies, are often looked at with disdain and are considered unworthy of critical evaluation. But they frequently featured talented actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age such as Bette Davis, Ray Milland, Myrna Loy, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Melvin Douglas, Gene Tierney and Walter Brennan and were occasionally directed by noteworthy filmmakers including Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Don Siegel, John Badham, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Curtis Harrington. These small screen films were usually made in just a few short days with very little money but the performances, writing and directing choices periodically elevated the material and many of the best telefilms are still surprisingly effective and entertaining.

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As both Michael Karol and David Deal point out in their books, the telefilm really didn’t come into its own until the mid ‘60s. At the time television audiences were eager to watch major Hollywood movies in the comfort of their own home but the high cost of licensing them for TV made that difficult so the networks attempted to offer up their own entertainment in the form of made-for-TV movies. A few of the early successes that originally aired on NBC included David Lowell Rich’s SEE HOW THEY RUN (1963), Stuart Rosenberg’s FAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME (1966) and Don Siegel’s THE HANGED MAN (1964). Siegel’s highly acclaimed remake of THE KILLERS (1964) was also made for television but the networks thought it was too violent to air and it eventually ended up being shown in theaters. A turning point in telefilm history came in 1969 when a young ABC executive by the name of Barry Diller convinced his struggling network that they could regularly produce their own quality made-for-TV movies by employing various production companies and tapping into the wide pool of available talent in Hollywood. ABC announced their plan on June 24, 1969 with a press release that read, “25 Original 90-minute Movies Made Especially for ABC-TV Comprise the Most Costly Series in Network History.” Barry Diller hoped that the ABC Movie of the Week would be “an excellent opportunity to further expand the scope of network television” but it was a risky move. Was there an untapped audience eager to see made-for-TV films? Would viewers stay home every week just to tune in? The answer to both of those questions was a resounding, yes! Diller’s ingenuity and determination paid off when ABC’s Movie of the Week turned the troubled network into a major ratings competitor.

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When the ABC Movie of the Week debuted on September 23, 1969 the program featured a gripping computerized title sequence and a theme song written by the popular composer Burt Bacharach. The first film they aired was SEVEN IN DARKNESS (1969), a tense adventure thriller about a group of blind plane crash survivors who are forced to fight the elements and overcome their disabilities in order to survive. The film was directed by Michael Caffey who had made a name for himself working on popular television shows such as COMBAT! (1966), IRONSIDE (1967), THE WILD WILD WEST (1967) and HAWAII FIVE-O (1969) and it featured Milton Berle in one of his few dramatic roles along with Arthur O’Connell, Lesley Ann Warren, Barry Nelson, James Griffith, Dina Merrill and Michael Masters. One television critic writing for The Charleston Gazette at the time said, “ABC’s new series of 90-minute movies made for TV begins with a highly melodramatic tale. Although its plane-crash-survivor theme is familiar, the fact that all the survivors are blind people on their way to a convention adds an interesting gimmick to the film. Their efforts crossing dangerous mountain terrain is visually suspenseful, and on-location production is first rate.” I watched the film again recently and I’m not sure what the reviewer meant by ‘on location production’ because the film was clearly shot on Universal’s back lot but in 1969 that probably wasn’t immediately apparent. Otherwise the review is spot on. It is a surprisingly suspenseful debut with an unusual plot twist. Suspenseful productions would become a regular staple of ABC’s Movie of the Week as the series went forward and today many fans of horror films, mysteries and thrillers (like myself!) have fond memories of the series for that reason.

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After the series debut ABC knew they had a hit on their hands and a built in audience that could be employed to test out future programming ideas. The network began using the ABC Movie of the Week to occasionally air TV pilots that would originally run as 90-minute films and would later be reworked into their own 60 or 30 minute shows if the ratings were good. Some of the network’s most popular and beloved television shows first aired as telefilms such as MARCUS WELBY, M.D. (1969), KUNG FU (1972), THE NIGHT STALKER (1972), THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (1973), STARSKY AND HUTCH (1975) and THE LOVE BOAT (1976). One of the most critically acclaimed ABC’s telefilms was the heart wrenching sports drama BRIAN’S SONG (1971), which was directed by Buzz Kulik and starred James Caan as a football player who’s promising career is cut short by terminal cancer. His best friend, played by Billy Dee Williams, helps him through the ordeal and although the film eventually ends with Caan’s death, their inspiring friendship is what makes this telefilm such a memorable and touching achievement. BRIAN’S SONG was so popular that it was eventually released in theaters and won many awards including three Emmy’s and a Peabody. Steven Spielberg’s suspenseful thriller  DUEL (1971), about a man (Dennis Weaver) pursued by a relentless truck driver suffering from a bad case of road rage, was another huge hit for ABC. Spielberg’s telefilm was so popular that it was also released in theaters and received an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing.

DuelDuring this period NBC and CBS continued to run their own successful made-for-TV movies but the popularity of the telefilm eventually began to fizzle out in the mid ‘70s as networks started to air more major Hollywood films. Telefilms also suffered from various production problems and budget restraints that made their output uneven and unpredictable. For every successful telefilm such as BRAIN’S SONG or TRILOGY OF TERROR (1975), there were 10 more undistinguished telefilms that went unnoticed and had very little to offer viewers. In 1976 the ABC Movie of the Week officially came to an end but the network continued to air reruns until the early ‘80s and sporadically produced new telefilms. Today 1969-1974 is often singled out as the Golden Age of the telefilm because during this period many of the best and most notable made-for-TV movies were aired  on television.

Last year I had a lot of fun regularly writing about various spy films in celebration of the 50th anniversary of James Bond. This year I thought I’d take a similar route and throughout 2013 I’ll be devoting a week each month to discussing the merits of one of my favorite made-for-TV movies from the Golden Age of the telefilm. I hope you’ll tune in and stick with me through the commercial breaks!

114 Responses A Brief History of the Telefilm
Posted By Vanwall : January 24, 2013 3:58 pm

I’d recommend 1967′s “The Borgia Stick”, with Inger Stevens and Don Murray – excellent little noirish TV film.

Posted By Vanwall : January 24, 2013 3:58 pm

I’d recommend 1967′s “The Borgia Stick”, with Inger Stevens and Don Murray – excellent little noirish TV film.

Posted By Seamaster : January 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Looking forward to this!

Posted By Seamaster : January 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Looking forward to this!

Posted By Arthur : January 24, 2013 4:20 pm

Great recap of an era and a genre. I remember “See How They Run.” I believe it was the first telefilm.

Posted By Arthur : January 24, 2013 4:20 pm

Great recap of an era and a genre. I remember “See How They Run.” I believe it was the first telefilm.

Posted By Klara : January 24, 2013 4:43 pm

Couldn’t believe it when I read ‘Trilogy of Terror’ in this… I wasn’t even of its existence before a month or so ago when I found it (them) on YouTube.

Posted By Klara : January 24, 2013 4:43 pm

Couldn’t believe it when I read ‘Trilogy of Terror’ in this… I wasn’t even of its existence before a month or so ago when I found it (them) on YouTube.

Posted By Klara : January 24, 2013 5:31 pm

‘Wasn’t aware of its existence’… meant to say ;)

Posted By Klara : January 24, 2013 5:31 pm

‘Wasn’t aware of its existence’… meant to say ;)

Posted By Doug : January 24, 2013 5:54 pm

Darren McGavin in “Night Stalker” made me a fan of supernatural stories. As a kid, seeing Kolchak investigate vampires and headless motorcyclists thrilled me no end. What a great actor in a great show! He reminds me a bit of Robert Preston in that he never seemed to be ‘acting’.
I have two TV Guides from 1957-it was a bit before telefilms, but they do showcase big name stars in TV versions of classic movies in ‘spectaculars’.
(also mentioned:a new Western called Maverick starring some unknown named Garner.)
Thank you, Kimberly-looking forward to more in this series.

Posted By Doug : January 24, 2013 5:54 pm

Darren McGavin in “Night Stalker” made me a fan of supernatural stories. As a kid, seeing Kolchak investigate vampires and headless motorcyclists thrilled me no end. What a great actor in a great show! He reminds me a bit of Robert Preston in that he never seemed to be ‘acting’.
I have two TV Guides from 1957-it was a bit before telefilms, but they do showcase big name stars in TV versions of classic movies in ‘spectaculars’.
(also mentioned:a new Western called Maverick starring some unknown named Garner.)
Thank you, Kimberly-looking forward to more in this series.

Posted By Sergio : January 24, 2013 9:49 pm

K

You did it again. Those TV movies of the week were essentially the equivalent of B movies back in the 70′s. Quickly made and shot genre movie running 75 minutes (without commercials) but many of them are real gems

One of my absolute favorites was The Secret Night Caller in which The Brady Bunch’s Robert Reed plays a family man addicted to making obscene phone calls to women he knows. There’s one scene in the film where he’s at a stop light and a car and a car with a beautiful woman behind the wheel comes up besides him and he fantasizes getting out of the car and making love to her in the front seat.

Here’s a clip from the beginning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhHp53c0fbY

But Spielberg’s Duel is a flat out classic

Posted By Sergio : January 24, 2013 9:49 pm

K

You did it again. Those TV movies of the week were essentially the equivalent of B movies back in the 70′s. Quickly made and shot genre movie running 75 minutes (without commercials) but many of them are real gems

One of my absolute favorites was The Secret Night Caller in which The Brady Bunch’s Robert Reed plays a family man addicted to making obscene phone calls to women he knows. There’s one scene in the film where he’s at a stop light and a car and a car with a beautiful woman behind the wheel comes up besides him and he fantasizes getting out of the car and making love to her in the front seat.

Here’s a clip from the beginning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhHp53c0fbY

But Spielberg’s Duel is a flat out classic

Posted By shadowsandsatin : January 24, 2013 11:32 pm

I bought “Trilogy of Terror” and “Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring” as Christmas presents for myself this year! Loved your post.

Posted By shadowsandsatin : January 24, 2013 11:32 pm

I bought “Trilogy of Terror” and “Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring” as Christmas presents for myself this year! Loved your post.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : January 25, 2013 1:41 am

Thanks for all the feedback! It’s nice to know that there are lots of other folks who appreciate the ‘Golden Age of the Telefilm’ as much as I do. I wish ABC would relaunch the Movie of the Week. I’m sure it would be a success. There are plenty of talented aging actors willing to work as well as young Spielberg-wannabes eager for an opportunity to show the world what they can do.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : January 25, 2013 1:41 am

Thanks for all the feedback! It’s nice to know that there are lots of other folks who appreciate the ‘Golden Age of the Telefilm’ as much as I do. I wish ABC would relaunch the Movie of the Week. I’m sure it would be a success. There are plenty of talented aging actors willing to work as well as young Spielberg-wannabes eager for an opportunity to show the world what they can do.

Posted By ratzkywatzky : January 25, 2013 3:35 am

Very excited to find out about these books, and looking forward to your posts! My favorite was always A Little Game. There was a big debate in my 6th grade class about whether The House That Would Not Die was scarier than Crowhaven Farm. Tribes also caused a sensation among us 6th-graders. Still remember the eerie chant of the title words of LoveHateLove. Somebody should sample that. And there was one with a family that decides to chuck it all and go on the road to see America that really got to me. Sounds now like it was probably a failed pilot. I’m also a big fan of Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring. It truly was a weird kind of golden era.

Posted By ratzkywatzky : January 25, 2013 3:35 am

Very excited to find out about these books, and looking forward to your posts! My favorite was always A Little Game. There was a big debate in my 6th grade class about whether The House That Would Not Die was scarier than Crowhaven Farm. Tribes also caused a sensation among us 6th-graders. Still remember the eerie chant of the title words of LoveHateLove. Somebody should sample that. And there was one with a family that decides to chuck it all and go on the road to see America that really got to me. Sounds now like it was probably a failed pilot. I’m also a big fan of Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring. It truly was a weird kind of golden era.

Posted By Tim Tracy : January 25, 2013 7:48 am

LOVE those ’70s made-for-TV movies! It was great fun seeing all those famous stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood in their later years: Olivia deHavilland in “The Screaming Woman,” Gloria Swanson in “The Deadly Bees,” Eleanor Parker in “Home for the Holidays”…Obviously I could go on and on. Can’t wait for your next post!

Posted By Tim Tracy : January 25, 2013 7:48 am

LOVE those ’70s made-for-TV movies! It was great fun seeing all those famous stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood in their later years: Olivia deHavilland in “The Screaming Woman,” Gloria Swanson in “The Deadly Bees,” Eleanor Parker in “Home for the Holidays”…Obviously I could go on and on. Can’t wait for your next post!

Posted By Stacia : January 25, 2013 9:23 am

We watched the movies of the week all the time, but I don’t remember very many. One of the killer bee movies, I think The Savage Bees, upset the heck out of me when I was very young. I recently re-watched it and was delighted by the camp, which I believe in 1976 wasn’t seen as camp but just everyday living. Ah, the 70s, I do not understand you.

The 1980 Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Jeff Goldblum actually kept me inside from trick or treating. I loved it, and definitely need to see it again.

Posted By Stacia : January 25, 2013 9:23 am

We watched the movies of the week all the time, but I don’t remember very many. One of the killer bee movies, I think The Savage Bees, upset the heck out of me when I was very young. I recently re-watched it and was delighted by the camp, which I believe in 1976 wasn’t seen as camp but just everyday living. Ah, the 70s, I do not understand you.

The 1980 Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Jeff Goldblum actually kept me inside from trick or treating. I loved it, and definitely need to see it again.

Posted By swac44 : January 25, 2013 9:29 am

I have some pretty fond memories of ’70s telefilms, even when they scared me silly, like the Kolchak titles, or Trilogy of Terror, which memorably aired as a repeat on a local channel’s “Midday Matinee” on a snow day, and the next day at school it was all the kids could talk about (ah, the days before cable), doing their impressions of the Zuni fetish doll. Didn’t see Duel until much later (probably the longer cut that was shown in cinemas overseas), but it still stands up, I wonder if the same could be said for another one that scared the bejeebers out of me, Killdozer? Haven’t seen that one since it aired, but I’d sure like to give it another viewing out of curiosity.

One that came late in the cycle was 1981′s This House Possessed with Parker Stevenson in a tale of a house that’s more than just haunted, with a great cast that also includes Joan Bennett, Slim Pickens, plus early roles by David Paymer and Philip Baker Hall. I remember it creeped me out at the time (I was 14), not sure how it stands up now.

And now that it’s been released via Warner Archives (along with many other ’70s telefilms), maybe I’ll finally get around to watching Bad Ronald.

Posted By swac44 : January 25, 2013 9:29 am

I have some pretty fond memories of ’70s telefilms, even when they scared me silly, like the Kolchak titles, or Trilogy of Terror, which memorably aired as a repeat on a local channel’s “Midday Matinee” on a snow day, and the next day at school it was all the kids could talk about (ah, the days before cable), doing their impressions of the Zuni fetish doll. Didn’t see Duel until much later (probably the longer cut that was shown in cinemas overseas), but it still stands up, I wonder if the same could be said for another one that scared the bejeebers out of me, Killdozer? Haven’t seen that one since it aired, but I’d sure like to give it another viewing out of curiosity.

One that came late in the cycle was 1981′s This House Possessed with Parker Stevenson in a tale of a house that’s more than just haunted, with a great cast that also includes Joan Bennett, Slim Pickens, plus early roles by David Paymer and Philip Baker Hall. I remember it creeped me out at the time (I was 14), not sure how it stands up now.

And now that it’s been released via Warner Archives (along with many other ’70s telefilms), maybe I’ll finally get around to watching Bad Ronald.

Posted By celluloidcouture : January 25, 2013 9:39 am

Oooh…I’m going to have to get these books! I grew up in that era, and the Movie of the Week was always a part of my viewing habit.

P~

Posted By celluloidcouture : January 25, 2013 9:39 am

Oooh…I’m going to have to get these books! I grew up in that era, and the Movie of the Week was always a part of my viewing habit.

P~

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 10:53 am

DUEL is one of my fave crazy vehicle flix. Weaver kicks a mighty a** in that story and the truck keepsyou on the edge of your seat till the very end:)!!

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 10:53 am

DUEL is one of my fave crazy vehicle flix. Weaver kicks a mighty a** in that story and the truck keepsyou on the edge of your seat till the very end:)!!

Posted By Tony Dayoub : January 25, 2013 11:47 am

I wasn’t aware that either BRIAN’S SONG or DUEL ever played theatrically. However I remember the pilot telefilms for (the 70s) BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and BUCK ROGERS IN THE 24th CENTURY did debut in theaters due to the popularity at the time of the film which inspired their production, STAR WARS.

Posted By Tony Dayoub : January 25, 2013 11:47 am

I wasn’t aware that either BRIAN’S SONG or DUEL ever played theatrically. However I remember the pilot telefilms for (the 70s) BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and BUCK ROGERS IN THE 24th CENTURY did debut in theaters due to the popularity at the time of the film which inspired their production, STAR WARS.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : January 25, 2013 11:55 am

Oh I loved all of those TV Movie of the Week movies, at least the ones I remember seeing, as I was too little in the late 60′s to see those. I do recall Killdozer and one about killer bees. One starred Robert Conrad, who was a creepy killer of beautiful women. I only saw about 5 minutes of it, but it scared me tremendously! If you could locate that one and write about it I would be very grateful. One of the better ones, a scary one but I think it aired on CBS was called Dark Night of the Scarecrow. That one was an “instantly grabbing your attention” type of movie, and a review of that would be a must! Thanks, and I am really looking forward to your posts!

Posted By jennifromrollamo : January 25, 2013 11:55 am

Oh I loved all of those TV Movie of the Week movies, at least the ones I remember seeing, as I was too little in the late 60′s to see those. I do recall Killdozer and one about killer bees. One starred Robert Conrad, who was a creepy killer of beautiful women. I only saw about 5 minutes of it, but it scared me tremendously! If you could locate that one and write about it I would be very grateful. One of the better ones, a scary one but I think it aired on CBS was called Dark Night of the Scarecrow. That one was an “instantly grabbing your attention” type of movie, and a review of that would be a must! Thanks, and I am really looking forward to your posts!

Posted By Sergio : January 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Yes! I remember Dark Night of the Scarecrow too. Really well done. Another one I remember is Gargoyles with Cornell Wilde in one of his last roles. Really caught me back then though one I can’t remember what network it was on. Either ABC or CBS

Posted By Sergio : January 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Yes! I remember Dark Night of the Scarecrow too. Really well done. Another one I remember is Gargoyles with Cornell Wilde in one of his last roles. Really caught me back then though one I can’t remember what network it was on. Either ABC or CBS

Posted By James : January 25, 2013 12:48 pm

I have a soft spot for Bad Ronald. In the 90s (when I transitioned from the late teenage years to my early 20s), the cable network TBS used to frequently run some of these 70s telefilms, usually late in the evening (early morning) on Friday and Saturday. Bad Ronald was a staple of this programming, and I watched it several times. The Horror at 37,000 Feet, Gargoyles and The Legend of Boggy Creek (not a telefilm) were others that I saw frequently. The idea of someone hiding within the walls of a house, even with a sympathetic explanation, was very unnerving (although I was a nerdy teenager like Scott Jacoby myself). Kim Hunter (a long way from New Orleans) and Dabney Coleman also star in it.

Posted By James : January 25, 2013 12:48 pm

I have a soft spot for Bad Ronald. In the 90s (when I transitioned from the late teenage years to my early 20s), the cable network TBS used to frequently run some of these 70s telefilms, usually late in the evening (early morning) on Friday and Saturday. Bad Ronald was a staple of this programming, and I watched it several times. The Horror at 37,000 Feet, Gargoyles and The Legend of Boggy Creek (not a telefilm) were others that I saw frequently. The idea of someone hiding within the walls of a house, even with a sympathetic explanation, was very unnerving (although I was a nerdy teenager like Scott Jacoby myself). Kim Hunter (a long way from New Orleans) and Dabney Coleman also star in it.

Posted By Susan Doll : January 25, 2013 2:40 pm

What a terrific idea for a series of posts. I also grew up watching telefilms (which I always called made-for-tv films), and many of them were terrific. I always heard that FAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME was the first official telefilm to be aired (as THE KILLERS was not broadcast as you mention above). It tested the waters for the series that followed. I saw it when it aired. I was really young, but I can remember scenes from it. I also saw DUEL and THE NIGHT STALKER when they originally aired. Both scared me to death. I will be looking forward to your posts.

Posted By Susan Doll : January 25, 2013 2:40 pm

What a terrific idea for a series of posts. I also grew up watching telefilms (which I always called made-for-tv films), and many of them were terrific. I always heard that FAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME was the first official telefilm to be aired (as THE KILLERS was not broadcast as you mention above). It tested the waters for the series that followed. I saw it when it aired. I was really young, but I can remember scenes from it. I also saw DUEL and THE NIGHT STALKER when they originally aired. Both scared me to death. I will be looking forward to your posts.

Posted By DevlinCarnate : January 25, 2013 3:10 pm

i’m surprised no one has mentioned The House On Greenapple Road…the opening sequence of the little girl (Eve Plumb of the Brady Bunch) coming into a deserted house splattered with blood has stayed with me to this day,over 40 years later…

Posted By DevlinCarnate : January 25, 2013 3:10 pm

i’m surprised no one has mentioned The House On Greenapple Road…the opening sequence of the little girl (Eve Plumb of the Brady Bunch) coming into a deserted house splattered with blood has stayed with me to this day,over 40 years later…

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : January 25, 2013 3:21 pm

Thanks again for all the great feedback! I enjoy hearing about everyone’s personal experiences with their favorite telefilms. It really was a great time for horror & suspense as well as melodrama on television.

I think the TV format works particularly great for thrillers & melodrama because those types of films (when done well) can leave the audience on the edge of their seat before a commercial break but they’ll always stick around to find out what happens next. In a way the commercial breaks between scenes just add to the suspense or drama, besides giving you a chance to use the bathroom or make some popcorn.

The books I mentioned in my post are well worth picking up if you’re looking for information about various telefilms, trying to track down a particular title, etc. They’re both fun & fast easy reads but I found them really helpful.

At the moment I’m fighting a cold & really groggy so I’m not feeling my best otherwise I’d respond to everyone individually. But you’ve all mentioned some films I remember enjoying a lot and I’ll probably be writing about a few of them.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : January 25, 2013 3:21 pm

Thanks again for all the great feedback! I enjoy hearing about everyone’s personal experiences with their favorite telefilms. It really was a great time for horror & suspense as well as melodrama on television.

I think the TV format works particularly great for thrillers & melodrama because those types of films (when done well) can leave the audience on the edge of their seat before a commercial break but they’ll always stick around to find out what happens next. In a way the commercial breaks between scenes just add to the suspense or drama, besides giving you a chance to use the bathroom or make some popcorn.

The books I mentioned in my post are well worth picking up if you’re looking for information about various telefilms, trying to track down a particular title, etc. They’re both fun & fast easy reads but I found them really helpful.

At the moment I’m fighting a cold & really groggy so I’m not feeling my best otherwise I’d respond to everyone individually. But you’ve all mentioned some films I remember enjoying a lot and I’ll probably be writing about a few of them.

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 4:24 pm

TO: Kimberly Lindbergs
I’m always looking for books on cinema and movies..they’re so informative an entertaining to read:):)!

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 4:24 pm

TO: Kimberly Lindbergs
I’m always looking for books on cinema and movies..they’re so informative an entertaining to read:):)!

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 4:25 pm

Killdozer and Christine were cool 2…and let’s not forget Max Overdrive with that AC/DC s/track to it.

Posted By changeling69 : January 25, 2013 4:25 pm

Killdozer and Christine were cool 2…and let’s not forget Max Overdrive with that AC/DC s/track to it.

Posted By Sergio : January 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Killdozer is available on Universal Home Video’s DVD-on-Demand label Universal Vault through Amazon. Though they work hard keeping people to know about the label:

http://www.amazon.com/Killdozer-Clint-Walker/dp/B008A1TUW0/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1359146524&sr=1-1&keywords=killdozer

Posted By Sergio : January 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Killdozer is available on Universal Home Video’s DVD-on-Demand label Universal Vault through Amazon. Though they work hard keeping people to know about the label:

http://www.amazon.com/Killdozer-Clint-Walker/dp/B008A1TUW0/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1359146524&sr=1-1&keywords=killdozer

Posted By B Piper : January 25, 2013 8:57 pm

One of my favorites: ISN’T IT SHOCKING with Alan Alda, Louise Lassar, and a dynamite cast of Hollywood veterans.

Posted By B Piper : January 25, 2013 8:57 pm

One of my favorites: ISN’T IT SHOCKING with Alan Alda, Louise Lassar, and a dynamite cast of Hollywood veterans.

Posted By Richard M : January 25, 2013 9:22 pm

I watched many of those “Movies of the Week” and enjoyed many of them. I remember that some of them did become weekly series, at least for a while. What I remember most were ABC’s miniseries, such as “Roots”, “Rich Man, Poor Man”, and several minies based on books by Arthur Hailey. I really enjoyed them.

Posted By Richard M : January 25, 2013 9:22 pm

I watched many of those “Movies of the Week” and enjoyed many of them. I remember that some of them did become weekly series, at least for a while. What I remember most were ABC’s miniseries, such as “Roots”, “Rich Man, Poor Man”, and several minies based on books by Arthur Hailey. I really enjoyed them.

Posted By Women of the White House : January 26, 2013 1:55 am

There’s a classic telefilm from the early seventies with Patty Duke I think called “My Sweet Charlie” that’s worth checking out and writing about. She won an Emmy award for it and gave a bizarre acceptance speech.

Posted By Women of the White House : January 26, 2013 1:55 am

There’s a classic telefilm from the early seventies with Patty Duke I think called “My Sweet Charlie” that’s worth checking out and writing about. She won an Emmy award for it and gave a bizarre acceptance speech.

Posted By Pamela Porter : January 26, 2013 9:17 am

Devlin:

I was going to mention “Greenapple”, but I wasn’t sure if it was a MotW. I know it was the “pilot” for Dan August, with Christopher George playing August (in the resulting series, Burt Reynolds was August)

That scene has always stuck with me as well

Posted By Pamela Porter : January 26, 2013 9:17 am

Devlin:

I was going to mention “Greenapple”, but I wasn’t sure if it was a MotW. I know it was the “pilot” for Dan August, with Christopher George playing August (in the resulting series, Burt Reynolds was August)

That scene has always stuck with me as well

Posted By Sergio : January 26, 2013 9:23 am

I’m trying to remember Greenapple. I think I remember seeing it as a young kid. Is that the one where Janet Leigh (I think) stabs a guy in the kitchen and bleeds all over the place while dying or is my memory getting fuzzy in my old age?

Posted By Sergio : January 26, 2013 9:23 am

I’m trying to remember Greenapple. I think I remember seeing it as a young kid. Is that the one where Janet Leigh (I think) stabs a guy in the kitchen and bleeds all over the place while dying or is my memory getting fuzzy in my old age?

Posted By Nina : January 26, 2013 5:00 pm

There was a nifty little one that I remember. Not a horror, but a mystery with a strong dash of feminism. It had an all-female cast including Shelley Fabares, Loretta Swit, Tina Louise and others, called “Friendship, Secrets and Lies”. The women were all sorority sisters in college and when their old sorority house is torn down, the remains of a fetus are discovered. The film becomes a mystery as the women remember their college days and lots of secrets are revealed.

Posted By Nina : January 26, 2013 5:00 pm

There was a nifty little one that I remember. Not a horror, but a mystery with a strong dash of feminism. It had an all-female cast including Shelley Fabares, Loretta Swit, Tina Louise and others, called “Friendship, Secrets and Lies”. The women were all sorority sisters in college and when their old sorority house is torn down, the remains of a fetus are discovered. The film becomes a mystery as the women remember their college days and lots of secrets are revealed.

Posted By Sergio : January 26, 2013 5:23 pm

Damn I remember that one too

Posted By Sergio : January 26, 2013 5:23 pm

Damn I remember that one too

Posted By MedusaMorlock : January 26, 2013 8:18 pm

A lot of these movies turned up in syndication packages that I used to program when I was at Los Angeles indie station KTLA. Such iconic TV talent and slumming movie stars made for a super-entertaining mixture! Because of their short length it wasn’t easy to deal with them in 2-hour time periods and sometimes I’d pair the scary ones with clssic “Twilight Zones” episodes to fill out the slot.

There is another good TV movie book which I think got pilfered when I was at TNT, by Marrill (sp?). Not pilfered by Marrill, but written by him! :-)

It’s good to see that these concise pieces of TV are getting more respect and certainly they’ve always had the love of fans who remember them so well!

Great post on one of my favorite TV subjects, Kimberly!!

Posted By MedusaMorlock : January 26, 2013 8:18 pm

A lot of these movies turned up in syndication packages that I used to program when I was at Los Angeles indie station KTLA. Such iconic TV talent and slumming movie stars made for a super-entertaining mixture! Because of their short length it wasn’t easy to deal with them in 2-hour time periods and sometimes I’d pair the scary ones with clssic “Twilight Zones” episodes to fill out the slot.

There is another good TV movie book which I think got pilfered when I was at TNT, by Marrill (sp?). Not pilfered by Marrill, but written by him! :-)

It’s good to see that these concise pieces of TV are getting more respect and certainly they’ve always had the love of fans who remember them so well!

Great post on one of my favorite TV subjects, Kimberly!!

Posted By Richard B : January 26, 2013 10:06 pm

THE MARCUS-NELSON MURDERS. CBS, was it? It introduced Telly Savalas as Kojak but can’t even be faulted for that.

Posted By Richard B : January 26, 2013 10:06 pm

THE MARCUS-NELSON MURDERS. CBS, was it? It introduced Telly Savalas as Kojak but can’t even be faulted for that.

Posted By oosik75 : January 27, 2013 1:44 am

It’s great to see the ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK brought out as a subject for the blog. Suprisingly I remember some obscure titles that stood out because of plot or performance:

THE BALLAD OF ANDY CROCKER – Lee Majors discharged from the Army and trying to put his life back together. To quote the poet Robert Burns “you can’t go home again”. Never saw that statement better expressed cinematically than in this film.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL – Glenn Ford involved in a Skull and Bones type secret brotherhood. Glenn comes across some unsavory aspects of the brotherhood and struggles through the rest of the film to expose it. Excellent thriller.

WELCOME HOME JOHNNY BRISTOL – Martin Landau as a Vietnam POW returned from the war. After release from the VA hospital, he tries to pick up his life again but nothing that he remembers before he was imprisoned exists. This is a better-than-average psychological thriller with a “Twilight Zone” like ending.

These are a few examples of the films that we probably won’t see again due their not being judged “money making” making material. Too bad!!

Posted By oosik75 : January 27, 2013 1:44 am

It’s great to see the ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK brought out as a subject for the blog. Suprisingly I remember some obscure titles that stood out because of plot or performance:

THE BALLAD OF ANDY CROCKER – Lee Majors discharged from the Army and trying to put his life back together. To quote the poet Robert Burns “you can’t go home again”. Never saw that statement better expressed cinematically than in this film.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL – Glenn Ford involved in a Skull and Bones type secret brotherhood. Glenn comes across some unsavory aspects of the brotherhood and struggles through the rest of the film to expose it. Excellent thriller.

WELCOME HOME JOHNNY BRISTOL – Martin Landau as a Vietnam POW returned from the war. After release from the VA hospital, he tries to pick up his life again but nothing that he remembers before he was imprisoned exists. This is a better-than-average psychological thriller with a “Twilight Zone” like ending.

These are a few examples of the films that we probably won’t see again due their not being judged “money making” making material. Too bad!!

Posted By thomasfhering : January 27, 2013 8:54 am

The ones I remember are:

CATHOLICS: A FABLE (1973). A powerful performance by Trevor Howard. Also starring Martin Sheen, Cyril Cusack, and Andrew Keir.

THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK (1974). Martin Sheen and Ned Beatty.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HELL (1978). Some consider this the best performance of Alan Arkin’s career. 1978 also saw Arkin in THE DEFECTION OF SIMAS KUDIRKA, with Donald Pleasence.

Also fondly remembered are Anthony Perkins in LES MISERABLES (1978) and Richard Chamberlain in THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (1975). Clearly, the golden age of telefilms didn’t end in ’74.

Posted By thomasfhering : January 27, 2013 8:54 am

The ones I remember are:

CATHOLICS: A FABLE (1973). A powerful performance by Trevor Howard. Also starring Martin Sheen, Cyril Cusack, and Andrew Keir.

THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK (1974). Martin Sheen and Ned Beatty.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HELL (1978). Some consider this the best performance of Alan Arkin’s career. 1978 also saw Arkin in THE DEFECTION OF SIMAS KUDIRKA, with Donald Pleasence.

Also fondly remembered are Anthony Perkins in LES MISERABLES (1978) and Richard Chamberlain in THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (1975). Clearly, the golden age of telefilms didn’t end in ’74.

Posted By MedusaMorlock : January 27, 2013 11:44 am

Some of these titles have been showing up on the pay movie outlets…keep an eye out because I have caught things like the Elizabeth Montgomery/Anthony Hopkins remake of “Dark Victory”, Susan Clark as “Amelia Earhart”, and others.

Posted By MedusaMorlock : January 27, 2013 11:44 am

Some of these titles have been showing up on the pay movie outlets…keep an eye out because I have caught things like the Elizabeth Montgomery/Anthony Hopkins remake of “Dark Victory”, Susan Clark as “Amelia Earhart”, and others.

Posted By Liam Casey : January 27, 2013 12:46 pm

I hope that “Pray For The Wildcats” and/or “Savages” are subjects of upcoming blogs. Two Andy Griffith TV movies that were set nowhere near Mayberry!

Posted By Liam Casey : January 27, 2013 12:46 pm

I hope that “Pray For The Wildcats” and/or “Savages” are subjects of upcoming blogs. Two Andy Griffith TV movies that were set nowhere near Mayberry!

Posted By Peter Nellhaus : January 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Interesting side note to The Execution of Private Slovik is that Dustin Hoffman wanted to the title role. Sheen was cast because it was determined that his name was more meaningful to a television audience.

Posted By Peter Nellhaus : January 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Interesting side note to The Execution of Private Slovik is that Dustin Hoffman wanted to the title role. Sheen was cast because it was determined that his name was more meaningful to a television audience.

Posted By Sergio : January 27, 2013 12:52 pm

Film Threat’s regular column The Bootleg Files (which is a fascinating column – check out the archive for past articles) recently did a piece on Pray for the Wildcats

http://www.filmthreat.com/features/59736/

Posted By Sergio : January 27, 2013 12:52 pm

Film Threat’s regular column The Bootleg Files (which is a fascinating column – check out the archive for past articles) recently did a piece on Pray for the Wildcats

http://www.filmthreat.com/features/59736/

Posted By Liam Casey : January 27, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for the link, Sergio.

Posted By Liam Casey : January 27, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for the link, Sergio.

Posted By DevlinCarnate : January 27, 2013 4:44 pm

from what i’ve read on the internet,House on Greenapple Road was filmed as a feature,but they cut 30 minutes from it and made it a telefilm,kind of the opposite of Don Siegel’s The Killers…why they did it i do not know…actually the subject matter was pretty mature for the time,Janet Leigh as a promiscuous housewife,but hell,she sure looks good in a slip

Posted By DevlinCarnate : January 27, 2013 4:44 pm

from what i’ve read on the internet,House on Greenapple Road was filmed as a feature,but they cut 30 minutes from it and made it a telefilm,kind of the opposite of Don Siegel’s The Killers…why they did it i do not know…actually the subject matter was pretty mature for the time,Janet Leigh as a promiscuous housewife,but hell,she sure looks good in a slip

Posted By Stacia : January 27, 2013 10:38 pm

Medusa, when you say pay movie outlets, do you mean the instant watch options on cable companies? Or online rentals?

Speaking of Elizabeth Montgomery, she was in th3 made-for-TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden, which was really good. I caught it on A&E back in the early 1990s when they still showed movies overnight. Fritz Weaver played Mr. Borden, it was one of the first times I really noticed him as the terrific character actor he is.

Posted By Stacia : January 27, 2013 10:38 pm

Medusa, when you say pay movie outlets, do you mean the instant watch options on cable companies? Or online rentals?

Speaking of Elizabeth Montgomery, she was in th3 made-for-TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden, which was really good. I caught it on A&E back in the early 1990s when they still showed movies overnight. Fritz Weaver played Mr. Borden, it was one of the first times I really noticed him as the terrific character actor he is.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:02 am

Does anyone remember “Griffin and Phoenix”? It was reputedly the highest rating TV movie ever, at least at its release in 1974. As far as I know it was a TV movie. Starring Peter Falk and Jill Clayburgh, about a pair of lovers who both know they suffer from terminal illness.

Also “Cage Without A Key” with Susan Dey at the height of her fame as Laurie Partridge in “The Partridge Family”.

“The Glass House” with Vic Morrow and Alan Alda is available in a so-so print on disc at least in my Region 4. Scripted by Truman Capote, it’s an indictment of the prison system and really a seriously excellent film, when you take into account that it was only made for television.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:02 am

Does anyone remember “Griffin and Phoenix”? It was reputedly the highest rating TV movie ever, at least at its release in 1974. As far as I know it was a TV movie. Starring Peter Falk and Jill Clayburgh, about a pair of lovers who both know they suffer from terminal illness.

Also “Cage Without A Key” with Susan Dey at the height of her fame as Laurie Partridge in “The Partridge Family”.

“The Glass House” with Vic Morrow and Alan Alda is available in a so-so print on disc at least in my Region 4. Scripted by Truman Capote, it’s an indictment of the prison system and really a seriously excellent film, when you take into account that it was only made for television.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:11 am

Does anyone remember “Griffin and Phoenix”? It was reputedly the highest rating television movie at the time of its release c1974. With Jill Clayburgh and Peter Falk playing a pair of lovers who both know they suffer from terminal illness. At least I think it was specially made for TV, as opposed to a pilot, or a movie originally made for the cinema but broadcast on TV instead.

“Cage Without A Key” starring Susan Dey at the height of her fame as Laurie Partridge in “The Partridge Family”. This was a completely different part to that, in which she was allowed to show her acting ability, and I remember it made quite an impression on ms when I saw it many years ago.

“the Glass House” starring Alan Alda and Vic Morrow and scripted by Truman Capote, this is a hard-hitting indictment of the prison system. Available on DVD in my Region 4, but the quality of the original print is so-so. Still an excellent effort, considering it was *just* a TV movie.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:11 am

Does anyone remember “Griffin and Phoenix”? It was reputedly the highest rating television movie at the time of its release c1974. With Jill Clayburgh and Peter Falk playing a pair of lovers who both know they suffer from terminal illness. At least I think it was specially made for TV, as opposed to a pilot, or a movie originally made for the cinema but broadcast on TV instead.

“Cage Without A Key” starring Susan Dey at the height of her fame as Laurie Partridge in “The Partridge Family”. This was a completely different part to that, in which she was allowed to show her acting ability, and I remember it made quite an impression on ms when I saw it many years ago.

“the Glass House” starring Alan Alda and Vic Morrow and scripted by Truman Capote, this is a hard-hitting indictment of the prison system. Available on DVD in my Region 4, but the quality of the original print is so-so. Still an excellent effort, considering it was *just* a TV movie.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:21 am

I apologise for the dupe. Had to reset my password, and didn’t realise that my original comment had already posted. Sorry.

Posted By cheriepeden481 : January 28, 2013 4:21 am

I apologise for the dupe. Had to reset my password, and didn’t realise that my original comment had already posted. Sorry.

Posted By Sergio : January 28, 2013 10:56 am

Boy this is taking me back. I definitely remember Griffin and Phoenix (which had one of the most downbeat endings ever) and The Glass House. Does anyone remember In This House of Brede with Diana Rigg in which she played a successful businesswoman who becomes a nun and joins a convent?

This thread could go on FOREVER with us remembering great TV movies from the past. Kimberly what have you started? It’s all your fault.

Posted By Sergio : January 28, 2013 10:56 am

Boy this is taking me back. I definitely remember Griffin and Phoenix (which had one of the most downbeat endings ever) and The Glass House. Does anyone remember In This House of Brede with Diana Rigg in which she played a successful businesswoman who becomes a nun and joins a convent?

This thread could go on FOREVER with us remembering great TV movies from the past. Kimberly what have you started? It’s all your fault.

Posted By kingrat : January 28, 2013 2:09 pm

I’m a big fan of JOURNEY TO SHILOH, a Civil War movie about seven young Texans on their way to fight. James Caan started, and Michael Sarrazin had a great death scene. I believe Harrison Ford was also in the cast.

Posted By kingrat : January 28, 2013 2:09 pm

I’m a big fan of JOURNEY TO SHILOH, a Civil War movie about seven young Texans on their way to fight. James Caan started, and Michael Sarrazin had a great death scene. I believe Harrison Ford was also in the cast.

Posted By vp19 : January 28, 2013 11:07 pm

Myrna Loy had a supporting role in the 1971 remake of “Death Takes A Holiday,” made while the director of the original, Mitchell Leisen, was still alive (he died the following year). Not sure of his reaction to the new version; while Leisen never directed a TV movie, he worked extensively in television, including the 1959 “Twilight Zone” episode “The 16-Millimeter Shrine” starring Ida Lupino (who later directed an episode on the series).

Posted By vp19 : January 28, 2013 11:07 pm

Myrna Loy had a supporting role in the 1971 remake of “Death Takes A Holiday,” made while the director of the original, Mitchell Leisen, was still alive (he died the following year). Not sure of his reaction to the new version; while Leisen never directed a TV movie, he worked extensively in television, including the 1959 “Twilight Zone” episode “The 16-Millimeter Shrine” starring Ida Lupino (who later directed an episode on the series).

Posted By allison : January 30, 2013 5:06 am

This box set has a nice variety of tv movies.

http://amzn.com/B0002V7S2U

Also recently there has been some little echo bridge sets at walmart that have cool movies like The Day The Earth Moved and The President’s Plane Is Missing.

Posted By allison : January 30, 2013 5:06 am

This box set has a nice variety of tv movies.

http://amzn.com/B0002V7S2U

Also recently there has been some little echo bridge sets at walmart that have cool movies like The Day The Earth Moved and The President’s Plane Is Missing.

Posted By jbryant : February 2, 2013 8:00 pm

I remember a bunch of these. The thing I remember most about THE BALLAD OF ANDY CROCKER is that singer Marvin Gaye had a supporting role.

I just found what looks to be a decent print of SEVEN IN DARKNESS on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38IG7eOPBSU

Even though I undoubtedly saw hours of television directed by Michael Caffey when I was growing up, the name never stuck until last year, when I caught an episode of COMBAT! he directed starring Brandon De Wilde as a soldier who gets stuck in quicksand behind enemy lines. It was one of Caffey’s first credits after years as a 2nd unit director, and he did a bang-up job (lots of camera movement, in-depth compositions and intense close-ups). Trivia: He’s the father of Charlotte Caffey, guitarist for the rock group The Go-Go’s.

Posted By jbryant : February 2, 2013 8:00 pm

I remember a bunch of these. The thing I remember most about THE BALLAD OF ANDY CROCKER is that singer Marvin Gaye had a supporting role.

I just found what looks to be a decent print of SEVEN IN DARKNESS on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38IG7eOPBSU

Even though I undoubtedly saw hours of television directed by Michael Caffey when I was growing up, the name never stuck until last year, when I caught an episode of COMBAT! he directed starring Brandon De Wilde as a soldier who gets stuck in quicksand behind enemy lines. It was one of Caffey’s first credits after years as a 2nd unit director, and he did a bang-up job (lots of camera movement, in-depth compositions and intense close-ups). Trivia: He’s the father of Charlotte Caffey, guitarist for the rock group The Go-Go’s.

Posted By jbryant : February 2, 2013 8:06 pm

Update: Actually, there’s an ABC Movie of the Week channel on youtube, that has a ton of complete films (some broken up into multiple parts). I haven’t checked the entire list yet, but I think most everything mentioned here is included.

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?annotation_id=annotation_909910&feature=iv&list=PL9F16134937749910&src_vid=AT1DQFWHDoQ

Posted By jbryant : February 2, 2013 8:06 pm

Update: Actually, there’s an ABC Movie of the Week channel on youtube, that has a ton of complete films (some broken up into multiple parts). I haven’t checked the entire list yet, but I think most everything mentioned here is included.

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?annotation_id=annotation_909910&feature=iv&list=PL9F16134937749910&src_vid=AT1DQFWHDoQ

Posted By robbushblog : February 11, 2013 1:57 am

I was born in ’74 so I didn’t get to see any of these when they aired, but I have seen and love Brian’s Song (I have it on DVD) and Duel, which I used to have on VHS. They actually knew how to make decent TV movies in the 70′s, as opposed to the glut of tedious woman empowerment and disease movies that we started getting in the 80′s.

Posted By robbushblog : February 11, 2013 1:57 am

I was born in ’74 so I didn’t get to see any of these when they aired, but I have seen and love Brian’s Song (I have it on DVD) and Duel, which I used to have on VHS. They actually knew how to make decent TV movies in the 70′s, as opposed to the glut of tedious woman empowerment and disease movies that we started getting in the 80′s.

Posted By WA : February 13, 2013 6:10 pm

The one I’m really hoping to see released on DVD is “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” with the late, great Elizabeth Montgomery. But, I too was a “Movie of the Week” devotee growing up in the 70s. There was one that had a scene that scared me so much as a kid: Hope Lange, dressed as a pilgrim, being put on trial for witchcraft in Salem, MASS. She was laying on the ground under a board while her interrogators kept putting big bricks and rocks on the board to eventually crush her. I wish I could remember the film, but that image spooked me for a long time.

Posted By WA : February 13, 2013 6:10 pm

The one I’m really hoping to see released on DVD is “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” with the late, great Elizabeth Montgomery. But, I too was a “Movie of the Week” devotee growing up in the 70s. There was one that had a scene that scared me so much as a kid: Hope Lange, dressed as a pilgrim, being put on trial for witchcraft in Salem, MASS. She was laying on the ground under a board while her interrogators kept putting big bricks and rocks on the board to eventually crush her. I wish I could remember the film, but that image spooked me for a long time.

Posted By robbushblog : February 13, 2013 11:07 pm

WA- I believe that one was Crowhaven Farm.

Posted By robbushblog : February 13, 2013 11:07 pm

WA- I believe that one was Crowhaven Farm.

Posted By WA : February 14, 2013 6:13 pm

Thanks, robbushblog! There was another TV movie that made an impression on me as a kid, and I’ve wanted to see it again ever since: “Something Evil” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Sandy Dennis, Darren McGavin and Johnny Whitaker. It’s a supernatural thriller about a house that may or may not be possessed by the devil. As far as I know, it’s never been released on home video. It’s totally worth checking out. Dennis is great and there are similarities to “Poltergeist.”

Posted By WA : February 14, 2013 6:13 pm

Thanks, robbushblog! There was another TV movie that made an impression on me as a kid, and I’ve wanted to see it again ever since: “Something Evil” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Sandy Dennis, Darren McGavin and Johnny Whitaker. It’s a supernatural thriller about a house that may or may not be possessed by the devil. As far as I know, it’s never been released on home video. It’s totally worth checking out. Dennis is great and there are similarities to “Poltergeist.”

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