Beyond Suspicion” offers Markie Post and Corbin Bernsen in a thriller about a seemingly loving husband who leads a double life as a cold-blooded killer. It’s a chilling tale well-executed until the third act, when it plummets nearly beyond belief.
Apart from some rumors regarding his infidelity, Stan Benderman (Corbin Bernsen) and wife Joyce (Markie Post) have an apparently perfect relationship. She’s attractive and the envy of her co-workers for having nabbed Stan, a popular and charming dentist who does much for charity, and they have an 8 -year-old son and beautiful house.
Joyce catches Stan doing more than dental work with former love Gloria (Suzanne Barnes) and moves out. As Stan attempts a reconciliation, he — for no reason whatever — confesses to Joyce that he has killed a man.
He later recants, but Joyce does some investigating after she is laughed at by the police. She discovers a horrific past and enlists the help of the FBI, led by Ron McNally (Kelsey Grammer). All parties now realize Stan is guilty but they need a confession to press charges.
The real star of this telepic is director of photography Denis Lewiston. Along with director William A. Graham, he employs, but never overuses, a hand-held technique for various scenes with great success to emphasize tension, stress and excitement.
Though Stan’s unmotivated murder confession is incomprehensible, Graham and writer Karen Clark for two acts build an exciting story with real tension as the tale unfolds. But by the time Joyce has her apartment bugged and tries to get Stan to confess, things become belabored and telefilm unravels.
Bernsen’s portrayal is scary and right on, as he shifts from charming to murderer quite easily. Post, who also co-executive produces, does OK. Grammer, usually outstanding in comedic roles, is a disappointment. Jeanne Cooper (Bernsen’s real-life mother) plays Stan’s mom and is delicious in her creepy portrayal; the story could have used more of her.