6 July 2016 | moonspinner55
Falls apart in the final stretch...otherwise, an effective suspense-melodrama
Husband and father Bradford Dillman has an important briefcase full of documents switched on purpose by a vengeful woman hoping to lure him into her basement trap; that lady is none other than Shelley Winters, once again showing her mettle as a forceful, off-balanced foe. Well-made TV-movie isn't the straightforward thriller it may first appear to be. The missing man's wife, who is 'sensitive' to psychic vibrations, consults with a professional mind-reader to locate her husband (after the police department proves to be indifferent, natch). It all leads to a somewhat strenuous conclusion that piles up both bodies and improbabilities. Winters, however, is a villainess to contend with right up to the end; she pulls off some creepy dramatic scenes without going too far over the top (Kathy Bates might have studied this performance before "Misery"). Interesting work from the entire cast, particularly Carol Rossen, a real wild card as Dillman's spouse (you can't quite get a reading on her, which works for the role). Joseph Stefano adapted his teleplay from a novel by Elizabeth Davis, which doesn't bear close scrutiny. Dominic Frontiere composed the eerie music; talented John Alonzo was the cinematographer.