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

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Michael Biehn and Madolyn Smith Osborne
DEADLY INTENTIONS (1985 telefilm/mini-series). Director: Noel Black.

Charles Raynor (Michael Biehn) is an aspiring doctor who boards with the Livanos family and has a rather neurotic adoptive mother (Cloris Leachman). Charles falls in love with Katherine Livanos (Madolyn Smith Osborne) and the two move to a new town where he gets a job at a hospital. Katherine discovers that her new husband is rather peculiar, giving her lists of things to do each day, treating her like a child, and deliberately frightening her as he takes photos of her distress. When he gives her medicine for their baby boy, and Katherine discovers from a pharmacist (Robert Clarke in a bit) that the stuff could have killed the child, she makes up her mind to get out. This leads to an incredibly suspenseful and scary sequence that ends part one. Part two, while still entertaining, and which details events that occurred after the Raynor's divorce and Charles' plot to murder his wife, should have been compacted to about half an hour. In any case Deadly Intentions, based on a true crime book written by the prosecutor in the attempted murder trial, is quite absorbing, and features two terrific lead performances. With his crazy eyes one could suggest that Biehn [Aliens] is halfway there with his part, but he really does give an outstanding and marvelously intense performance that deserved an Emmy (I don't think he was even nominated). Cloris Leachman, Kevin McCarthy as a defense lawyer, and Cliff De Young [Dr. Giggles] as the prosecutor are also notable. Noel Black also directed the theatrical film Pretty Poison. Followed by Deadly Intentions ... Again?

Verdict: Watch out for those eyes. ***.


angelman66 said...

Hi Bill, I remember this one well, with another great assembly of fine actors. Michael Biehn made my heart go pit a pat in the 1980s...I have two of his films in my collection, Terminator and The Fan with Lauren Bacall.
- Chris

William said...

I have been looking for the fan forever -- saw it in theaters years ago -- but can only find bits on youtube. Yes, Biehn made a lot of people's hearts go pit a pat, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Deadly Intentions is a superior suspense movie with a husband who turns out to be the dedicated wife’s worst nightmare. The scene where Raynor drives his fiancĂ© to take to take a science test engages the audience when he tries to tell her about the definition of inertia.

William said...

Yes, it is a worthwhile watch and a superior telefilm. Thanks for your comments.