EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ORDEAL (TV) (director: Lee H. Katzin; screenwriters: story by Francis M. Cockrell/Leon Tokatyan/Francis M. Cockrell; cinematographer: William Jorgensen; editor: Joseph Silver; music: Pat Williams; cast: Arthur Hill (Richard Damian), Diana Muldaur (Kay Damian), James Stacy (Andy Folsom), Michael Ansara (Sheriff), Macdonald Carey (Eliot Frost); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William Bloom; 20th Centuru Fox ; 1973)|
tells all, an ordeal to watch such an arid desert survival flick."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Directed without conviction
television director Lee H. Katzin ("Heaven with a Gun"), from a story by
Francis M. Cockrell. The
teleplay is by Cockrell
and Leon Tokatyan. It might be
alright for television fare, but is below average for cinema. The title
tells all, an ordeal to watch such an arid desert survival flick. The
three main characters are unsympathetic figures and the story is so
lacking in entertainment value, even its man vs. nature theme never is
tense or convincing or
Unhappy wealthy couple, Kay
(Diana Muldaur) and Richard Damian (Arthur Hill), hire a dude ranch
cowboy, Andy Folsom (James
Stacy), to guide them to a mine in the southern California desert that
Dick's company is planning to invest in and he wants to scout in
person. When Dick's horse bucks, he's tossed and breaks a leg. Dick
refuses to be pulled up from the canyon by rope and orders the two to
retreat to town and bring a helicopter rescue. If you believe that plot
ploy, that a rich businessman refuses immediate help and prefers to be
left alone in the desert, I guess you're willing to be sucked into this
Wifey sees this as an
opportunity to get out of her eight year 'marriage from hell' by
leaving her bullying hubby to die in the desert, as she signed
a pre-nuptial contract whereby she gets nothing in a divorce. The
shifty Andy goes
along with the heartless murder scheme when Kay offers him her body.
While nasty rich man Dick, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and
not liked because of his big mouth, always wonders if he could have
made it on his own without money finds that he now has the chance to
discover the truth about himself.
It's not hard to guess that
Dick survives his 19-day ordeal in the desert, but how he handles his
would-be killers results in a twisty ending that is meant to leave the
viewer saying just what the
sheriff (Michael Ansara) said when he found Dick alive in the
desert, that Dick's a "helluva
man." I just thought Dick
was a pompous ass and his greedy wife and her shady low-life cowboy
were contemptible creatures, and watching such an unpleasant film left
with an empty tortured feeling.
REVIEWED ON 8/28/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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