They Call it Murder (December 17, 1971)

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They Call it Murder
 

Released on December 17, 1971: The murder of a stranger found floating in the swimming pool opens up a mystery that will reveal murder and deceit in the past, and bring more murder and deceit before the mystery is solved.

Produced by Walter Grauman

Directed by Walter Grauman

The Actors: Jim Hutton (Doug Selby, District Attorney), Lloyd Bochner (A.B. Carr), Jo Ann Pflug (Sylvia Martin), Robert J. Wilke (Sheriff Rex Brandon), Edward Asner (Police Chief Otto Larkin), William Elliott (Deputy Bob Terry), Miriam Colon (Anita Nogales), Jessica Walter (Jane Antrim), Carmen Mathews (Doris Kane), Leslie Nielsen (Frank Antrim), Nita Talbot (Rona Corbin), Vaughn Taylor (Jeff Poland), Vic Tayback (insurance investigator Jeff Poland), Harry Townes (Doctor Garrett), Michael Pataki (Pete Cardiff), Helen Kleeb (housekeeper Ellen Saxe), Valentin de Vargas (cab driver Alex Cordoba), Buck Young (local policeman Charlie), Dan White (Judge Faraday), Dina Harmsen (wardrobe woman), Norman Burton (movie director)

 

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The Night Visitor . . .

This movie was filmed in 1969 but didn't find an audience until 1971 on a slow night for television . . . what a shame . . . Sure, this story isn't Casablanca or Gone With The Wind . . . few movies are . . . but it is a mighty fine murder mystery, if I do have to say so myself, and I think that it was just a decade ahead of its time. Some fifteen years after this story Angela Lansbury would star in a long running television show called "Murder She Wrote," with convoluted murder mystery plots much like this one . . . and the cast of actors in this story! . . . I won't even begin to name them here . . . if you watched television in the 1970's and 1980's just look over the list and you will see many familiar names. For me the pleasant surprise is actor Leslie Nielsen . . . my memories of him are of a silly, farce comedian, but in this mystery he is a disabled Scotsman with a keen sense of wit, and I found myself rooting for him even as he is a suspect in this strange murder. Tim Hutten is the District Attorney who will search for the killer or killers . . . A shot rings out . . . a body is found floating in the swimming pool, and our mystery begins. It turns out that the body has not one, but two bullets in it . . . two bullets from two different guns were in the dead body . . . and the autopsy cannot discover which bullet killed the man . . . two bullets from two different guns . . . held by two different people . . . and if it cannot be proved which gun killed the dead man in the pool, the killer can never be brought to justice. Inside the house with a dead man in the swimming pool are a mother, daughter and the daughter's father-in-law . . . Jessica Walter is Jane Antrim, the widow of Frank Antrim's son . . . The lady's husband and the son of Frank Antrim was killed in a fiery car crash a year ago, leaving father Frank, played by Leslie Nielsen, in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. The dead man in the pool? . . . some John Doe that nobody seems to know . . . Leslie Nielsen is wise cracking in a pretty good Scottish accent with the District Attorney and widow Jessica Walter is sitting nearby with her mother and looking very guilty . . . We are about to begin a mystery that will bring more death and more mystery on the long trail to solving this murder. Early on I was suspecting Ed Asner, playing the part of the local yokel Police Chief, of being involved, and as the plot continued I continued to find evidence for his collusion . . . of course, like any great detective story the real story of death and deceit is almost unknowable until the sleuth puts it all together and shares the outcome with us. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it, put on your thinking cap and enjoy the mystery.

Buck Young
Buck Young
Carmen Mathews
Carmen Mathews
Carmen Mathews, Leslie Nielsen and Jessica Walter
Carmen Mathews, Leslie Nielsen and Jessica Walter
Dan White
Dan White
Ed Asner and Michael Pataki
Ed Asner and Michael Pataki
Harry Townes
Harry Townes
Harry Townes and Jim Hutton
Harry Townes and Jim Hutton
Harry Townes as Doctor Garrett
Harry Townes as Doctor Garrett
Helen Kleeb
Helen Kleeb
Helen Kleeb
Helen Kleeb
Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter and Carmen Mathews
Jessica Walter and Carmen Mathews
Jessica Walter and Jim Hutton
Jessica Walter and Jim Hutton
Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter
Jim Hutton
Jim Hutton
Jim Hutton, Dan White and Vaughn Taylor
Jim Hutton, Dan White and Vaughn Taylor
Jim Hutton and Jo Ann Pflug
Jim Hutton and Jo Ann Pflug
Jim Hutton and Lloyd Bochner
Jim Hutton and Lloyd Bochner
Jim Hutton and Robert J. Wilke
Jim Hutton and Robert J. Wilke
Jim Hutton and Valentin de Vargas
Jim Hutton and Valentin de Vargas
Jo Ann Pflug
Jo Ann Pflug
Jo Ann Pflug and Jim Hutton
Jo Ann Pflug and Jim Hutton
Jo Ann Pflug
Jo Ann Pflug
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Lloyd Bochner
Lloyd Bochner
Lloyd Bochner and Jessica Walter
Lloyd Bochner and Jessica Walter
Lloyd Bochner and Michael Pataki
Lloyd Bochner and Michael Pataki
Nita Talbot
Nita Talbot
Nita Talbot and Jim Hutton
Nita Talbot and Jim Hutton
Nita Talbot
Nita Talbot
Nita Talbot kisses Jim Hutton
Nita Talbot kisses Jim Hutton
Robert J. Wilke and Ed Asner
Robert J. Wilke and Ed Asner
Tim Hutton and Edward Asner
Tim Hutton and Edward Asner
Tim Hutton and Vic Tayback
Tim Hutton and Vic Tayback
Valentin de Vargas
Valentin de Vargas
Vaughn Taylor
Vaughn Taylor
Vaughn Taylor
Vaughn Taylor
Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback and Tim Hutton
Vic Tayback and Tim Hutton
William Elliott
William Elliott