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

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Gary Frank and Mary Crosby
MIDNIGHT LACE (1981 telefilm). Director: Ivan Nagy.

TV reporter Cathy Preston (Mary Crosby) is haunted by the fact that her mother, who heard voices and committed suicide, may have passed on her madness to her daughter. Cathy gets especially hysterical when she hears weird voices in the fog and on the telephone, and it seems as if someone is trying to kill her. This is a mediocre remake of the similarly-titled Doris Day thriller, with Gray Frank offering his usual sensitive performance as Cathy's supportive husband, Brian. Celeste Holm [Cinderella] is on hand as Cathy's aunt, along with brief turns from Carolyn Jones [The Man in the Net] as a nightclub psychic and Susan Tyrrell [From a Whisper to a Scream] as Cathy's boss, who thinks she's just a rich dilettante. Joanne Nail makes an impression as a crazy rock star named Luana, and Robin Clarke is fine as Craig, the family lawyer who's holding a few secrets too many. A miscast Shecky Greene isn't very good as the police lieutenant on the case.

Verdict: Stick with the original. **.


angelman66 said...

Did not even know this existed...looks like cheesy made-for-TV fun. I'll bet Miss Celeste Holm is oh-so-grand as the aunt (she was NOT a down-to-earth lady!!)! Had a big crush on Gary Frank from Family with Kristy McNichol and Sada Thompson...
I will look for this.
P.S. 30-years-late spoiler - Mary Frances shot J.R.!!

William said...

She sure did -- her claim to fame I imagine. I had the same thoughts about Gary Frank in the day. Holm is not quite as diva-like as usual, but she has her "grand" moments and it's fun watching her get run over!