Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

THEY ONLY KILL THEIR MASTERS


THEY ONLY KILL THEIR MASTERS (1972). Director: James Goldstone.

Chief of Police Marsh (James Garner) investigates when a woman is found dead and it is at first assumed that she was the victim of a Doberman Pinscher. But it turns out that she was murdered by a much more human adversary. Her husband (Peter Lawford) says she told him she was going to leave him for another woman. Interestingly enough, she was also pregnant at the time of her death. Suspects include a vet (Hal Holbrook), his assistant (Katherine Ross), who becomes involved with Marsh, and the vet's wife (June Allyson, who is quite good in a brief sequence). Edmond O'Brien plays the owner of a liquor store, and Tom Ewell and Ann Rutherford are in here as well. Harry Guardino is another cop. This is typical of slick TV-like movies released theatrically in the seventies that try to be "hip" by adding homoerotic elements, but Lane Slate's script is pretty dated when it comes to the subject of homo and bisexuality and swinging. Garner is Garner; Ross is pretty. The best scene has the doberman going a little nutty when Garner and Ross are in bed.

Verdict: If you're a swinger you gotta die. **.

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