Writer Frederic Hunter worries at a two-hour exercise warranting at best a half-hour and, proving that point, attractive pro performers Jaclyn Smith and Christopher Reeve labor under Lou Antonio’s uninspired direction to build interest in the would-be suspenser. Nobody, including CBS viewers, wins with this one.
Dour widower Christopher Reeve, one-time wife-beater in Frisco on business, sees happily married Smith visiting town with husband Tom Mason and frisky son Eric Bell, and starts haunting her and the boy.
He insists she’s his wife who vanished in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and he wants her back. Naturally she denies it, and husband Mason and Reeve get into a fracas.
Reeve stares at videotapes of his first wife, but they don’t prove much. He has Smith kidnapped, but when she’s freed nothing much comes of it, which may be the theme of the vidpic. Reeve convinces the father of his first wife to take a gander at Smith; he visits her and says she’s not his daughter.
The game-playing limps on, with Smith distressed and Reeve looking severe as though they’d both just read the script. Smith and Mason play well through some good naturalistic domestic scenes, but that doesn’t much help the cause. By the end of the caper, “Nightmare in the Daylight” affirms the purposelessness of the venture.
Tech credits are swell, with Michael Paul Clausen’s production design a plus.