Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Revenge (1971)

Network: ABC

Original Air Date: November 6th, 1971

Like so many made for television movies, Revenge never got a video release, much less one on DVD. It’s a crying shame too because this movie is an elegant supernatural thriller featuring a knock out performance from Shelly Winters as the grieving mother from hell.

It’s never made quite clear if Frank (Bradford Dillman) is the correct man or not, but Amanda (Shelly Winters) is positive that this is the chap who deflowered her daughter and then dumped her, which resulted in her suicide. Amanda kidnaps Frank and keeps him prisoner in a cage in her basement. Frank’s wife, Dianne (Carol Eve Rossen) turns to famed psychic Mark Hembric (Stuart Whitman), only to have him confess that he’s a charlatan! Strangely, Dianne begins developing her own psychic powers and along with some help from Mark, she searches for her husband.

A clever and lush film, Revenge is pretty amazing. There are some shocking moments (like when Shelly attempts to axe Bradford!), but mostly it’s a terrific paranormal mystery that unfolds neatly in front of its audience. 

The cast is great. Of course Winters rules the known universe and brings a lot of compassion to a part that might be played out as purely psychotic by a lesser actress. Dillman is good as the befuddled husband and Whitman is always a welcome face in these movies. Carol Eve Rossen is new to me and she’s really good. I’d love to check out some of her other stuff. Fans of General Hospital will enjoy the short scenes with Leslie Charleston who is still playing Monica Quatermaine on that show to this day. 

I hope one day this television movie, along with so many others, will get a legitimate release so it can find the audience it deserves.


OK, not from the movie, but boy doesn't Mr. Whitman still look swarthy! **sigh**



Craig Edwards said...

I haven't seen this one - but are you SURE there wasn't a VHS release? I'd have sworn I saw it on the shelf of some video store or stores in the 80's?

Amanda By Night said...

I'm about 99% sure this never saw a home video release. Maybe there is another Revenge? Also, I could be wrong, but I did a cursory search and came up with zilch. I would love to have this on a legit vhs though for sure!