8 June 2008 | wes-connors
Kate Is Enough
Three married couples set off on a contest winning cruise. They are: Richard Long and Polly Bergen (as Jerry and Sylvia Carter), Edward Albert and Kate Jackson (as Jimmy and Mary Frances Radney), and Tom Bosley and Celeste Holm (as David and Elizabeth Mason). On ship, they discover why nobody can really remember entering the contest; it's a scam. A mysterious group known as "E&M Productions" has lured the six "winners" on board to kill them. As the travelers meet unfortunate ends, Michael Constantine (as Dr. Burke) assumes the role of investigator. Cesare Danova is the ship's captain. All are delightful.
This is an unexpectedly suspenseful Spelling-Goldberg television production, with good performances and direction (Ralph Senensky). And, it's very well paced. As they are being killed off, the three "happy" couples are revealed to be in significantly troubled marriages; this, and a resemblance to ABC-TV's later "The Love Boat" series, gives the movie a heightened eeriness. Jack B. Sowards' script has a few surprises; and, most of the time, it is challenging to guess which passenger to will die next. Unfortunately, part of an ending explanation does not match a prior character motivation; it's not enough to spoil the movie, however.
This was Richard Long's last role, sadly; the former "Big Valley" star died of a heart attack late in 1974. Also, around this time, beautiful young co-stars Kate Jackson and Edward Albert were a real life couple; although, they were "living in sin" (unmarried). The relatively under-appreciated "TV performer" cast makes "Death Cruise" an enjoyable trip.
****** Death Cruise (10/30/74) Ralph Senensky ~ Richard Long, Kate Jackson, Michael Constantine, Edward Albert