Murder by Natural Causes (1979)

TV Movie   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


Murder by Natural Causes (1979) Poster

Allison, the unfaithful wife of a famous mentalist with a heart problem, wants her lover to try to kill her husband by scaring him to death, but the whole thing goes downhill.


7.7/10
556

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Awards

1 win.

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28 October 2017 | markwood272
9
| Convoluted -- and good
Possibly the most convoluted plot in TV movie history. After all the twists – more than a barrel of pretzels, no, more than a mile of DNA – still watchable throughout. Success due to well crafted production, precise casting, and direction that never forgets what the movie is about. The puzzle is so well crafted that awareness of the artifice is superseded by a fascination with all the moving parts. A movie meant to be "followed" in much the same way you "follow" an M.C. Escher lithograph or Ralph Steiner's "Mechanical Principles" (1930). The people are real enough through it all (who could be more real than Richard Anderson?) to keep the plot-heavy story from becoming just a game. Interesting to see Anderson, Barry Bostwick, and Katharine Ross playing bad people. Hal Holbrook outstanding in the role of Arthur Sinclair, a Joseph Dunninger-esque mentalist. Those who found Holbrook's character interesting might enjoy seeing his fellow mentalists do their thing in "Hanussen" (1988), "Nightmare Alley" (1947), and even "8½" (1963).

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