31 October 2014

Death Sentence (1974)
74 min.
Directed by E. W. Swackhamer.
With Cloris Leachman, Laurence Luckinbill, Nick Nolte, Alan Oppenheimer, William Schallert, Yvonne Wilder, Herbert Voland, Hope Summers, Peter Hobbs.
Suspenseful and well-acted tale with Cloris Leachman starring as Susan Davies, a juror selected for the trial of a man (played by Nick Nolte) accused of murdering his wife.

As the action unfolds, Susan intuitively believes in the defendant's innocence, but as the case evidence is presented she slowly comes to the startling revelation that the actual murderer is someone very close to her.

The film works both as an interesting courtroom drama and a thriller, buoyed by another of Leachman's impeccable dramatic performances.

Always interesting to watch, Leachman goes from eager naivete to sad resignation, and then to a woman determined to fight back when she finds her own life in danger.

Short, taut and fast-paced, director and TV veteran Swackhamer moves things along nicely...culminating in a terrific rain-drenched climax.

A real nail-biter.

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