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


Brian Dennehy
FINAL APPEAL (1993 telefilm). Director: Eric Till.

Christine Biondi (JoBeth Williams of Poltergeist) is accused of murdering her husband, Ed (Tom Mason), and taking a shot at his skank nurse mistress, Delores (Ashley Crow). She claims the shootings were in self-defense, but an ambitious prosecutor (is there any other kind in these movies?)  named Dana Cartier (Lindsay Crouse) wants to hang her. A bigger problem for Christine is that her lawyer is her alcoholic brother, Perry (Brian Dennehy of Righteous Kill), who seems too tired to make an "objection" when his sister's life is on the line. But with the help of a sympathetic cop, Detective Ayers (Eddie Jones), who knows there was a cover-up in the investigation, Perry may yet win the day. Final Appeal's main strength is in the incredibly sharp performances by Williams and Dennehy, and virtually everyone else in the cast, including the talented youngster who plays Christine's young son, Zach (Keegan MacIntosh). Although this is supposedly based on a true story, some elements seem strictly fictional, such as Perry, whose license has been suspended, getting it back temporarily so that he can defend his sister. The production has to be taken with a large grain of salt, but it is absorbing and full of interesting developments.

Verdict: Well-done "true" crime drama with outstanding performances. ***.


angelman66 said...

Dennehy is always brilliant in either drama or comedy...and I love Jobeth Williams, especially in Kramer vs Kramer and Poltergeist. Will look for this one!
- Chris

William said...

This is definitely worth a look for the performances alone. They are both splendid actors.