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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rehearsal For Murder (1982)

One year after the suicide of his actress fiancee (Lynn Redgrave), a playwright (Robert Preston) gathers together the surviving cast members (Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Macnee, Madolyn Smith), director (Lawrence Pressman) and producer (William Daniels) ostensibly for a reading of his new play. In actuality, his intention is to ferret out his fiancee's murderer. This extremely clever murder mystery is worthy of Agatha Christie! Written by Richard Levinson and William Link, it won a 1983 Edgar award from the Mystery Writers Of America. As directed by David Greene (FATAL VISION), the story line is good enough to keep you compelled to watch but there's a corker of a "twist" ending that I doubt anyone saw coming. Although this was an original script done for CBS television, the production feels like a play adaptation of a good stage mystery by Frederick Knott (DIAL M FOR MURDER) or Christie herself (WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION) and indeed, it has since been adapted for the stage. If, as I am, you're a sucker for murder mysteries, then by all means seek it out though be forewarned that the market is flooded with public domain copies so not all transfers are equal. With William Russ and Buck Young.    

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