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She Cried Murder

She Cried Murder (1973)

September. 25,1973
| Action Thriller TV Movie

Fashion model Sarah Cornell, from the front car of a subway, witnesses a man pushing a woman onto the tracks to her death. Hoping to dispel the presumption that the woman committed suicide, Sarah contacts the police. But when they arrive to take her statement, she recognizes one of the detectives as the killer. Can she get anyone to believe her before she becomes his next victim?


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TV-made woman-in-distress nonsense starring Lynda Day George (practically a staple of the 1970s movie-of-the-week) involves a model in New York City, the only witness to a murder in the subway station, who realizes the killer is actually a cop once two police inspectors show up to get her story. Despite the work of four writers, tepid melodrama is seldom engaging because it is so brainless, with nearly every character behaving stupidly just to keep the plot in motion. Telly Savalas plays the crooked cop, looking pained--must have been from chasing Lynda up and down stairs and fire escapes, through a theater and a subway station, and across railroad tracks. Lots of leg-work, but no suspense.


I was glad to see this movie on YouTube...I thought it had disappeared forever. I actually appeared as Cop #2 for a few brief seconds on screen. The film originally was a Movie of the Week on CBS. I enjoyed hanging around the production and talking to Telly Savalas. He told me that he was going to have a cop show of his own....he was right! Kojack was a hit for several seasons. And, look what Mike Farrell became......BJ Hunnicutt! I believe all the filming was done in Toronto and, as a resident, it was fun to see the subway as the main character...they didn't even bother changing the subway station sign, such as York Mills. Lynda Day George was cute, but not very strong actress. Anyway, it was all fun.


It's pretty rare that I watch simple, straightforward thrillers, let alone particularly enjoy them, so She Cried Murder was quite a treat to me. As simple as they come, without a speck of fat, this is lean, keen stuff even by made for television standards, clocking in at around 66 minutes in length, a good six or seven minutes shorter than the average. The action starts immediately with model Sarah Cornell witnessing a man push a lady to her death in front of a subway train, and her nightmare really begins when encounters said murderer later, the nefarious individual being rather keen to keep her quiet after having seen her see him. From then on the film takes the form of a constant chase, mixed with a dash of paranoia and a few explanatory digressions providing context without slowing down the main pulse. The lovely Lynda Day George makes a good fist of the main role, she isn't the most convincing as an actress but looks the part and throws herself into the action with an agreeable determination that grows effectively frayed and desperate as her pursuer proves frightening tenacious. Telly Savalas is excellent as said pursuer, playing things low key, soft faced and even superficially charming, he menaces through the contrast of his actions and demeanour rather than playing things up as a baddie and is all the better for it. Nobody else really has big enough roles to make an impression, but Mike Farrel (BJ from M.A.S.H.) does have a nice turn as a sympathetic police officer. There's little more to say about this that would stray into the realms of spoilers, but director Herschel Daughtery does a sterling job with both the pace and set pieces, there are several moments of seat edge suspense and the finale is a minor marvel. At times the film is even somewhat reminiscent of Italian gialli, though the film only very seldom approaches the same heights of style and has almost none of the same twisted verve. As one might expect of a made for television production things are rather tame, and there are one or two nagging loose ends, but on the whole this is a splendid ride, one that never wears out its excitement and is hence well worth a look for vintage thriller fans.


Anyone that knows and understands the Giallo subgenre of fright flicks will see right through this made for t.v., wants-to-be-a-giallo terror tale. Watered down telefilm has a 'Cat O' Nine Tails' plotted murder on a train and the identity of the killer as the catalyst of the female protagonist's dilemma. There is some style to spare in this film with a staircase scene in a restaurant that has the beautific visual style of Mario Bava and the camera movements of Dario Argento but alas THIS is the ONLY scene where any true workmanship is to be found. The makers of this little flick no doubt stayed up all night perusing older Giallo murder tapes to get this scene right. Otherwise this is routine yet watchable fare with Telly Savalas as the menace and Lynda Day George as the prey.