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  • Gail O'Grad stars as a housewife who, earlier, sent her husband to prison for beating her. But when he gets out, he picks up right where he left off, terrorizing his family to the point where she's resolved to kill him, only to get a little liquid courage in order to do the job, but then calling a crisis center and talking to someone who ends up willing to do something about it.

    I've loved Gail O'Grady since I first saw her in "Celtic Pride," and I've seen her in television episodes like a judge in "Boston Legal," and a housewife not too unlike her character here, in "Desperate Housewives." The plot for this film was a good one, especially for its time, when this kind of family problems was, basically, still an unspoken evil outside the home. The real problem that's stated here, in my mind, is how a court order is really nothing, because she still loves her husband in a sick way to where she doesn't turn him in the instant he shows up on her doorstep.

    The only problem is that I got the feeling the actors were just going through the motions. Amy Pietz is seen here as the crisis center volunteer who shows no emotion when she gets the call from O'Grady. And O'Grady didn't hold her character because you could see the fear on her face when her husband was walking up the sidewalk and later that night when they're all in the house, but that fear found a courage (from somewhere) out of nowhere. I know, for me, if someone stuck a gun to my head and threatened to kill a person I didn't even know in order to find a child, I would be telling them to go ahead and pull the trigger, but the situation was just handled so badly that the climax to the movie was a terrible letdown.

    3 out of 10 stars...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The reason I check spoiler, is "just in case" I give something away in my comment. This movie is typical of made for TV movies. While it does make a point about how women can get into relationships that are abusive....it doesn't even mention or even hint at the more subtle abuser. I've known many women who were in HORRIBLE, some volatile/physical relationships. It is SO common, it is almost surprising. The abusers in this movie are the obvious ones. Jealous rages, controlling personality in public...etc. What about the abuser who shows a charming, funny personality in public and is physically abusive in private, and mixes in HORRIBLE threats, emotional abuse and more to keep his woman under his thumb? THAT is more common. Maybe the writers of this movie wanted to show a sort of text book definition of an abuser. However, I've only seen one guy who fit that bill.

    It is easy for people to say, "Why don't they just leave or call the police?" After the police were called on one situation I know of, the spouse/abuser became SO ANGRY that it got worse. He avoided being jailed, but he made the woman's life even more horrible until she finally dropped the charges. Police and the courts only do so much.

    And, when the abuse is more subtle...controlling...it is even harder to get away. The abuser controls the money, the vehicles, and pretty much everything. If the woman is unable to provide enough funds to take care of her family, and possibly additional family members the abuser is taking care of financially...it keeps that woman in a VERY controlled environment.

    We need a movie like that. Showing the abuser as being a charming, funny, but moody man, that hardly anyone outside of the home could believe IS not balanced. And, how difficult it is to get out a situation like that. No more textbook characters...let's get the word out.

    thanks.
  • This movie is absolutely HORRIBLE you are portraying women as weak and dumb. I can comment on it because I was in an EXXXTREMELY abusive relationship being stomped unconscious and having my eyes and lips swollen at least 2x a month. I felt like I didn't have a way out. The way you portray all of these women is crazy even in the worst of situations someone has sense enough to reach the police NO ONE would leave and come back in a situation like that without calling the cops and the slow response time of the cops is crazy. PLEASE.You have no clue. The end is so far fetched it is unheard of that even in 1997 this is so outlandish.