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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

WHEN MICHAEL CALLS

Elizabeth Ashely gets a call
WHEN MICHAEL CALLS (1972 telefilm). Director: Philip Leacock. An ABC Movie of the Week.

Helen Connelly (Elizabeth Ashley of The Carpetbaggers) begins getting phone calls from a boy who claims he is her nephew, Michael -- unfortunately Michael died in a blizzard fifteen years before. Helen tries to dismiss the phone calla and what they may signify from her mind, but then some of her friends and acquaintances wind up dying in mysterious ways. Did Michael somehow survive and is he out for revenge, or is someone else carrying out a grudge plot against the townspeople? Based on a novel by John Farris, When Michael Calls is minor but suspenseful and well acted, with good performances from Ashley, Ben Gazzara [Bloodline] as her concerned ex-husband, and especially Michael Douglas [The China Syndrome] as Michael's older brother. John Farris turned to directing the same year for Dear Dead Delilah with Agnes Moorehead.

Verdict: Holds the attention. **1/2.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

I've seen this one several times...it's actually pretty decent. Miss Ashley is marvelous in everything...I am crazy about her inimitable raspy Southern voice. I saw her onstage as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf back in 1998, and prior to that in the Broadway production of Agnes of God.
-C

William said...

I can't quite picture her in "Agnes" but I bet she was excellent in "Virginia Woolf!"