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Legend of Lizzie Borden
     

The Legend of Lizzie Borden

Director: Paul Wendkos, Elizabeth Montgomery, John Alvin, John Beal

Cast: Paul Wendkos, Elizabeth Montgomery, John Alvin, John Beal

 
"Lizzie Borden took an axe/And gave her mother forty whacks/When she saw what she had done/She gave her father forty-one." New England spinster Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the charge of murdering her father and stepmother in 1892, but this made-for-TV movie, like most recreations of the murders and subsequent trial, adheres to the popular consensus that Borden was

Overview

"Lizzie Borden took an axe/And gave her mother forty whacks/When she saw what she had done/She gave her father forty-one." New England spinster Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the charge of murdering her father and stepmother in 1892, but this made-for-TV movie, like most recreations of the murders and subsequent trial, adheres to the popular consensus that Borden was guilty. Elizabeth Montgomery takes a break from playing victims to portray the enigmatic Borden. The trial scenes are lifted directly from the original court records; scripter William Bast's speculation as to what really happened the night the elder Bordens were hacked to death is pure (but credible) conjecture. Accompanied by a "parental guidance suggested" tag, The Legend of Lizzie Borden was first broadcast February 10, 1975.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Elizabeth Montgomery got the best role of her career with this creepy docudrama, a sterling example of the 1970's made-for-t.v. movie at its peak. The Legend Of Lizzie Borden hold up beautifully because it was made with a level of care you might expect from a theatrical feature. William Bast's script hooks the viewer in by using an elliptical structure whose jumping back and forth in time forces the viewer to constantly readjust their thoughts on the title character. It is also a very well-researched piece of work, offering a lot of historical evidence that might challenge a viewer's casual perceptions of the case. Director Paul Wendkos lives up to the script's level of ambition, using some effective fast-editing to handle the transitions between time periods while also making sure the story flows in a style that is easy to comprehend. Wendkos also does an excellent job of handling the film's murder setpiece, filming it in a style that is intensely unnerving without ever showing too much or going overboard on cheap shocks. Finally and most importantly, The Legend Of Lizzie Borden offers a great cast delivering impressive performances: standouts include Ed Sanders as the determined prosecutor and Katherine Helmond as Lizzie's long-suffering sister. That said, the film truly belongs to Montgomery, who gives a multi-faceted performance in the title role: she manages to shift effortlessly from being childlike to conniving, resulting in a character who is both pitiable and frightening all at once. All in all, The Legend Of Lizzie Bordenis an excellent t.v. production that is worth the time for true crime buffs and horror fans alike.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2014
UPC:
0025192234507
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Flatiron Film
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
11,154

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elizabeth Montgomery Lizzie Borden
John Alvin Dr. Draper
John Beal Dr. Bowen
Helen Craig Abby Borden
Joan Crosby Companion
Fionnula Flanagan Bridget Sullivan
Ed Flanders Hosea Knowlton
Katherine Helmond Emma Borden
Alan Hewitt Mayor Coughlin
Gail Kobe Alice Russell
Jon Lormer Bailiff
J. Edward McKinley Marshall Hilliard
Donald Porter George
Hayden Rorke Julien Ralph
Tracie Savage Young Lizzie
Olan Soule Eli Bence
Amzie Strickland Adelaide Churchill
Gloria Stuart Store Customer
Robert Symonds Andrew Jennings
Fritz Weaver Andrew Borden
Iggie Wolfington Store Proprietor
Lynn Wood Mrs. Raymond
John Zaremba Judge Blaisdell
Bonnie Bartlett Sylvia Knowlton
Patricia Wilson Hannah Reagan

Technical Credits
Paul Wendkos Director
William Bast Screenwriter
Billy Goldenberg Score Composer
Robert B. Hauser Cinematographer
John A. Martinelli Editor

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