50-Movie All Stars Collection, Disc 8

It’s that time again: Four TV movies, two of them probably shown in 90-minute slots, two probably shown in two-hour slots. None terrible, none superb; highlights include Broderick Crawford as a homeless drunk, Lloyd Bridges as a corrupt detective; William Shatner (and his trained moustache!) as a corrupt city official; David Carradine as a sociopathic drugged-out hippie–and Sally Field as a runaway teen hippie who’s seen the light. Sort of.

Children of the Night, 1985, color, Robert Markowitz (dir.), Kathleen Quinlan, Nicholas Campbell, Mario Van Peebles. 1:33

The first problem with this movie on Disc 8 of this collection is on Disc 5: Hustling is a much better flick dealing with the same subculture. This time, though, instead of an investigative reporter and “people who really make money from prostitution” as a running plot, there’s a sociology grad student and “the plight of teenage prostitutes” as the running plot. Like the other disc, this one’s too dark (that is, underlit) for its own good and based on a true story—but not as well acted, a lead character who’s a lot harder to take, and generally not all that good. $0.75.

Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring, 1971, color, Joseph Sargent (dir.), Sally Field, David Carradine, Eleanor Parker, Jackie Cooper, Lane Bradbury. 1:14.

Sally Field as a runaway late-teen who’s come back to her wealthy suburban household after a year in a hippie commune of sorts. David Carradine (mostly in flashbacks) as her sociopathic hippie boyfriend. Eleanor Parker and Jackie Cooper as Suburban Parents from Hell, with a drink always in hand and just wanting to avoid any problems—and Lane Bradbury as the younger daughter doing pills and ready to run away. Messages about the dangers of meth, I think, and lots of Sally Field being Sally Field (which is not a bad thing by any means). David Carradine makes a great worthless jerk. $1.25.

Incident on a Dark Street, 1973, color, Buzz Kulik (dir.), James Olson, David Canary, Robert Pine, Richard Castellano, William Shatner, David Doyle, Kathleen Lloyd. 1:36.

If this wasn’t a Crusading Young U.S. Attorneys episode, or a show within some series along those lines, it should have been. Strong TV-actor cast (if you can get past Bill Shatner’s silly moustache—hey, at least he’s a corrupt official), lots of plot, actually better than it has any right to be. $1.25.

A Tattered Web, 1971, color, Paul Wendkos (dir.), Lloyd Bridges, Frank Converse, Sallie Shockley, Murray Hamilton, Broderick Crawford. 1:14.

Heroes and villains: Bridges runs the acting gamut from A to B in his role as a veteran police detective who tries to run his daughter’s life, discovers his son-in-law is having an affair, accidentally kills the other woman, and sets out to frame a homeless drunk for the murder. The best performances are probably Murray Hamilton as the other police detective—and Broderick Crawford as the homeless drunk. Frank Converse is serviceable as the son-in-law. $1.00

By the way: The resumption of more-or-less normal posting means that life goes on. It doesn’t mean that unresolved situations have been resolved or that I know much more than I did two weeks ago. Meanwhile, 20-30 minutes a day on the treadmill means old movies and TV movies to watch…

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