May 14, 2012

Posted by in Movies

Suprisingly good movies that are made for TV

"day after"

There is nothing better than snuggling up and watching a good film. With so many amazing films that were made specifically for TV, there is no excuse not to. The following will review two of the very best surprisingly good movies made for Cable TV.

The Burning Bed

The Burning Bed is a true story made into a film. Originally a book written by Faith McNulty about Francine Hughes, the Burning Bed was first shown on October 8, 1984 in America on NBC. It starred Farrah Fawcett as Francine Hughes, and Paul LeMat as Mickey Hughes.

After suffering extreme abuse at the hands of her husband for thirteen years, Francine, played by Farrah Fawcett, sets fire to her husband’s bed while he is sleeping. Her husband Mickey Hughes was burned alive and the house was destroyed on the 9th of March, 1977.

This film didn’t need to be adapted to make it a “better” movie; it stays with the actual real life events throughout. The film starts after the fire when Francine Hughes hands herself in to the police, telling them she had just killed her husband. The film continues on with her defense attorney telling her story in court to a jury. The true story is so heart wrenching looking back at the gruesome torture she suffered at the hands of her husband that she was found not guilty due to temporary insanity.

Farrah Fawcett was nominated for an Emmy as best actress, for her outstanding performance as the battered wife. Paul LeMat received a nomination for best supporting actor, playing the role of her abusive husband. The film itself received many Emmy Award nominations. At the first International Television Movie Festival, The Burning Bed was named as “Best TV Feature”.

This film is a definite must see if you haven’t already seen it. It stays so true to the real life facts, (showing how hard it is for abused women to get help), that it has also been credited with inspiring legal reforms regarding women’s rights in many states. It really is heart wrenching and truly brings to life the emotional crises of abused women.

The Day After

If you are old enough to remember the 1980s, you will remember all the adverts on TV and lessons at school about how to survive a nuclear bomb attack. Nuclear war was at the back of everyone’s mind in the 80s due to the tensions between the Soviet Union and America. I remember being extremely scared that nuclear war might break out at any minute.

Then on November 20, 1983, the ABC television network released The Day After. It is one of the scariest films ever seen. It shows what could actually happen if nuclear war was to break out, and the fact that it came out in the 80s just made the film even more scary.

The Day After focuses mainly on towns around Kansas City, it starts by introducing us to various characters before the nuclear attack. Then it shows the nuclear attack in graphic detail, with wide spread panic, people falling over each other, trampling each other trying to find cover. It even shows people getting incinerated while in mid-stride trying to run away. It really is very scary. Then the film focuses on the survivors finding each other and how they cope with the effects of the fallout.

Although the nuclear attack is terrifying, the wasteland left behind is where this film really really hits home. With the survivors picking through the rubble trying to find food and water that isn’t there, they form lawless gangs to stay alive before the radiation sickness kills them. For some of the survivors the pure misery of it all drives them to suicide.

One of the scariest movies ever made for TV, The Day After is nightmare material, mainly because it is not science fiction, it is based on science fact and it could actually happen.

  • Gia – 1998 Starring Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway and Elizabeth Mitchell
  • Wild Flower – 1991 Starring Patricia Arquette, Reese Witherspoon and Beau Bridges
  • Salem’s Lot – 1979 Starring David Soul, James Mason and Lance Kerwin
  • The Duel – 1971 Starring Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott and Eddie Firestone
  • Brian’s Song – 1971 Starring James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Shelley Fabares and Jack Warden
  • A Taste of Evil – 1971 Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Barbara Parkins and Roddy McDowall

So get your popcorn ready and your significant other and prepare to snuggle up all night.