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

Thursday, October 1, 2009


GRAVE MISCONDUCT (2008 telefilm). Director. Armand Mastroianni.

This made-for-TV thriller has an interesting (if not entirely original) premise. Writer Julia London (Crystal Bernard) has a big contract for a novel with a major publisher, but she's gotten writer's block and hasn't come up with a word. Now the publisher is threatening to cancel her contract and demand that the large advance be repaid, When a friend of Julia's is murdered, Julia decides to pass off the deceased woman's brilliant manuscript as her own, calling it Grave Misconduct. Julia becomes the toast of New York's literary society, but then everyone around her starts being murdered. Roxanne Hart is the editor, Margo Lawrence; Dorian Harewood is the cop assigned to the case; and Vincent Spano is publisher's assistant Trent Dodson. Joanna Miles is cast as "Catherine Hallow," a character clearly inspired by real-life mystery writer and murderess Anne Perry, who took a brick to the mother of her girlfriend. [Later the stupid woman implied she hated having people think she was a lesbian more than their knowing she was a convicted murderer!] Diane Robin plays Miranda Darkling, another bitchy writer possibly inspired by Anne Rice. Grave Misconduct is well-acted, well-plotted, and suspenseful, with intriguing twists and situations, and has fun with the pretensions and occasional stupidities of the "literary" scene.

Verdict: Entertaining suspenser. ***.

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