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Movies Made for Television


CaveGirl
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In the world of cinema, one is not always so reverential to films made for tv, as one should be mayhaps.

 

One film that I think was really well done was "Jackson County Jail" with Tommy Lee Jones and Yvette Mimieux.

 

If you've never seen it, give it a chance. I think you will be surprised and if you could arrange to see it at a drive-in, that would be the proper milieu for sure!

 

Can you name any other made for tv film that is great in your estimation?

 

Jackson County Jail (1976)
|  1h 24min | ActionCrimeDrama | April 1976 (USA)
MV5BMTI2NjQ2NDY3MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTM0
This is a powerful drama about a young woman who stumbles into a nightmare land of hijacking and humiliation while driving cross-country from California to New York.
Director: Michael Miller
Writer: Donald Stewart

 

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Salem's Lot (1979)

Brian's Song (1971)

My Name is Bill W. (1989)

Playing for Time (1980)

Promise (1986)

Duel (1971)

An Early Frost (1985)

The Martian Chronicles (1980)

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)

The Deliberate Stranger  (1986)

Helter Skelter (1976)

Sybil (1976)

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

 

Just a few. When cable TV movies got into full swing, they started making some that rivaled many theatrical films in quality. TNT, HBO, and Showtime made the best, but other channels (Lifetime, Syfy, USA, etc) made a few decent ones, too.

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In the world of cinema, one is not always so reverential to films made for tv, as one should be mayhaps.

 

One film that I think was really well done was "Jackson County Jail" with Tommy Lee Jones and Yvette Mimieux.

 

Pretty sure JCJ was not made for TV

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Pretty sure JCJ was not made for TV

Jackson County Jail (1976) with Yvette Mimieux and Tommy Lee Jones was released theatrically, and was not a TV movie.

 

Outside Chance (1978) was a TV movie starring Yvette Mimieux that seems to have been a remake, without TLJ.

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While the following was more a television miniseries, while introducing A DOLL'S HOUSE last night with his lovely wife, Michael McKean mentioned how his performance in QB VII made Anthony Hopkins a household name.

 

I remember being very impressed with this miniseries when it was first telecast in 1974.

 

(...Hopkins would also be great and which probably helped cement his reputation as a superb actor just a couple years later in a TVM as Bruno Hauptmann in THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING CASE)

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Though quite dated production-wise, The Questor Tapes (1974) has an interesting idea at it's core: self-replicating androids left on Earth by "Masters" at the dawn of the world - their purpose: to serve and protect mankind.

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"Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate" (1971).

 

"The Snoop Sisters" (1972)--Paulette Goddard came out of retirement for this one.

 

"Friendly Fire" (1979).--Carol Burnett should have won the Emmy for this.  FF was nominated for 7(?) other Emmys. 

 

"Skokie" (1981).

 

"The Burning Bed" (1984)--Farrah Proved she was more than a pretty face.  She could act; critics were Shocked, LOL.

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Though quite dated production-wise, The Questor Tapes (1974) has an interesting idea at it's core: self-replicating androids left on Earth by "Masters" at the dawn of the world - their purpose: to serve and protect mankind.

 

But in THIS one, no "cookbook" is mentioned, right Kid?! ;)

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There was a movie about Alzheimer's that starred Joanne Woodward that was very good. She won an Emmy for it. I've forgotten the title. Sadly, she's afflicted with the disease now. :(

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Salem's Lot (1979)

Brian's Song (1971)

My Name is Bill W. (1989)

Playing for Time (1980)

Promise (1986)

Duel (1971)

An Early Frost (1985)

The Martian Chronicles (1980)

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)

The Deliberate Stranger  (1986)

Helter Skelter (1976)

Sybil (1976)

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

 

Just a few. When cable TV movies got into full swing, they started making some that rivaled many theatrical films in quality. TNT, HBO, and Showtime made the best, but other channels (Lifetime, Syfy, USA, etc) made a few decent ones, too.

Lordie be!

 

I think I've seen all those movies, Lawrence. I need to get out more.

 

The only one I'm not sure about was "Playing for Time". Was that the one about Renee Richards?

 

I'm too lazy to look it up.

 

"Trio of Terror" with Karen Black is in a category all its own. That fetish doll was scary as all get out. I was so happy when she pushed it into the oven, but then it came back out after being toasted, good as new. The ending when she is on the phone with her mother, is iconic!

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Playing for Time was about women musicians in a concentration camp. Very well done, and controversial in some quarters for having Vanessa Redgrave play a Jewish prisoner.

 

Yep, although Vanessa Redgrave would go on to play Rene Richards in another TVM just a few years later titled "Second Serve".

 

(...and so I can kind'a see how CG might confuse the two 1980s Redgrave films, as she seemed to be in a lot of TVMs during that time)

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What got me thinking about made for tv movies, was "The Kingdom" by Lars von Trier which technically is a Danish mini-series, but in effect like a movie since that is how it was released in the US.
 

I think its title is "Riget" and I'd heard so many good things about it I immediately bought the dvd when it came out in the US. It truly is a really well made film with many shocks and twists and turns to delight.

 

I should have called this thread "Movies Made for Television AND the Drive-In" since there are many good drive-in flicks too which rate highly even though made cheaply.

 

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What got me thinking about made for tv movies, was "The Kingdom" by Lars von Trier which technically is a Danish mini-series, but in effect like a movie since that is how it was released in the US.

 

I think its title is "Riget" and I'd heard so many good things about it I immediately bought the dvd when it came out in the US. It truly is a really well made film with many shocks and twists and turns to delight.

 

I saw Riget, as well as the lackluster US TV remake from Stephen King, Kingdom Hospital.

 

The Decalogue is an acclaimed Polish TV production that was released theatrically over here, as were the Ingmar Bergman Swedish TV productions Scenes From a Marriage, The Magic Flute and After the Rehearsal.

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I'll also mention the 1964 version of The Killers, with Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan, among others. It was meant to be a TV movie, but when the network saw it, they said there was no way they could air it, as it was too violent. Thus its theatrical release.

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Oh, yeah

 

I saw Riget, as well as the lackluster US TV remake from Stephen King, Kingdom Hospital.

 

The Decalogue is an acclaimed Polish TV production that was released theatrically over here, as were the Ingmar Bergman Swedish TV productions Scenes From a Marriage, The Magic Flute and After the Rehearsal.

Oh, yeah the Stephen King thingie was a very pale version of the original..

 

"The Decalogue" is a movie I've been looking for recently on dvd. It sounds fascinating. I own TMF, and SFAM but have only seen the other one.

 

Thanks, Lawrence.

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Seize the Day, a 1956 movie based on a novella with the same name, by Saul Bellow.  Really a quality movie with a fine performance by Robin Williams in a wholly dramatic role.

 

Rather impressive since Robin Williams was 5 in 1956.

 

I know you meant 1986. Also, I don't think this was a TV movie.

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LOVE "Carter's Army," a 1970 World War II drama that originally aired on ABC's Movie of the Week. The film stars Stephen Boyd as a white Southerner who reluctantly takes command of an all-black Army regiment in Germany during the final stages of the war. The movie also stars Richard Pryor in an early dramatic role and features Robert Hooks, Roosevelt Grier, Billy Dee Williams, Moses Gunn, Glynn Turman and Susan Oliver.

 

It was released on DVD under the title "Black Brigade."

 

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