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Dead Before Dawn

Dead Before Dawn (1993)

January. 09,1993
| Drama Thriller TV Movie

Based upon a true story. Wife with young family finds life becoming unbearable with her successful, but violent and abusive, husband. After filing for divorce, she quickly learns that her husband, through fear of his personal life embarrassing his clients, has commissioned an assassin to murder her before going to court. Unfortunately, for him, the hired assassin turns out to be an FBI agent. The FBI convince her that she must “pretend” to have been murdered in order to prove her husband’s involvement.


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I cannot believe that no one caught that this is the exact same plot, I mean exact. The ending , the way they caught the husband, The exact same plot. And oddly, the same actor played in both feature films.His name is GW Bailey. He was in both films.I just saw Downpayment for Murder, with Connie Seleca and Ben Gazzara and I said to myself "wait a minute", this is the same plot as Dead Before Dawn. And sure enough it was.Oh they changed the employment status of the husband but it was SAME PLOT.Unbelievable.


I think this role gave us an insight to Jameson's acting ability. He was a calculating, deadly bad man, who wanted his wife disposed of. He was callous and uncaring....... I loved it! He has the ability to play most roles, but I did prefer him in Simon & Simon, and miss seeing him on TV in that role. This wife's role was also very well acted by Cheryl Ladd. She was terrified of her husband, and look so on screen. But Jameson drew me to this movie. I watch all his films and would like to see more this year, if he makes any, but we shall see. I enjoy watching all his TV and Film appearances and miss seeing him on our small and big screen. COME BACK, PLEASE!


was directed by Charles Correll, who also directed several other TV suspense movies, including "Into the Deep Woods" with Tony Perkins and Rosanna Arquette.Primarily it is the true story of Linda Edelman, whose husband plotted to have her killed. Not a novel idea. But Cheryl Ladd is pleasant to watch, she is usually very believable in these roles, which is more than can be said for Jameson Parker, who portrays the abusive husband.For some reason I am thinking Gerald McRaney would have been better in this movie, because he is a better actor, or perhaps because he was the foil to Jameson Parker in TV's "Simon and Simon" detective series. Jameson Parker is simply too uptight really, to even act the part of a stuffed-shirt wife beater!.Matt Clark and Hope Lange, noted veteran actors, portray Ladd's parents. Matt Clark is particularly funny when he says at a restaurant: "I hate Italian food, it all tastes like pizza", as they are longtime Texas residents, born and bred.All in all, give the movie a chance. Ladd does well, it is not too soapy, and movies about spousal abuse at least send a valid message to the audience.

Nicholas Rhodes

Be warned - there are some very violent scences in this film - a first viewing shocks, surprises and keeps the spectator under a certain amount of stress. Once the novelty has worn off, further viewings find the film less interesting, and I thought that the husband would get more threatening as the film goes on. Unfortunately, Mr Zang, the pseudo oriental gentleman has too sweet a face to be a contract killer and one wonders why hubby is not prowling around at the grandparents's cabin at the end. All in all, rather a lot of script errors and incoherences - not a real "feel good let's watch-it-again" film !