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Cbs Tuesday Movie Sworn to Vengeance

Robert Conrad returns to TV as Jack Stewart, law officer who doggedly pursues a case given up by his superiors. Purportedly fact-based script doesn't always make a lot of sense, but serves as a nice showcase for its star.

Robert Conrad returns to TV as Jack Stewart, law officer who doggedly pursues a case given up by his superiors. Purportedly fact-based script doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but serves as a nice showcase for its star.

Three teenagers have been murdered, and local constabulary are chasing clues in all directions. Only Sgt. Stewart pays any attention to a woman (Sharon Farrell) who claims to have witnessed murder in a vision — through she denies being a psychic.

Taking the woman at her word, he simply pokes around until he finds a suspect who fits her description: left-handed, with a tattoo and a “smaller, dark” accomplice who wears his jeans tucked inside his boots.

The suspect (Billy McNamara), known variously as “Spike” and “Michael Burke,” is already in jail on an unrelated charge; it’s up to Stewart to get him to admit the crime. He takes a job as a jail guard, to get closer to his suspect.

McNamara turns in a chilling perf as Burke, first seen as a long-haired hippie who might be a cousin of the Manson Family. By the time he’s in jail, he’s been cleaned up to look like a young Gary Busey.

Other main players include Tom Atkins as Stewart’s main adversary in the police department; Ramon Franco and Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez as a couple of assistant bad guys; Katherine Armstrong as Burke’s girlfriend; Cristan Crocker as a woman whose resemblance to one of the victims (though noticed only by Stewart) turns out to be a clue; and La Velda Fann, effective as a mysterious, flirtatious convenience-shop owner.

The three young victims are played by Paul Scherrer, Monica Creel and Arlene Taylor. Despite her billing, psychic Farrell is seen only briefly — if the detectives had more on the ball, her “help” wouldn’t have been necessary at all.

Director Peter H. Hunt turns in a cameo as a parole officer; Conrad’s son-in-law Tim Erwin (husband of exec producer Joan Conrad Erwin) checks in as a deputy.

Pic is somewhat slow-paced, with grisly murder saved for a flashback at show’s end.

Tech credits are fine.

Cbs Tuesday Movie Sworn to Vengeance

(Tues. (23), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

  • Production: Filmed in Reno by A. Shane Co. in association with RHI Entertainment. Executive producer, Joan Conrad Erwin; supervising producer, Roger Bacon; director, Peter H. Hunt; script, David Epstein, John Carlin.
  • Crew: Camera, Edward R. Plante; editor, Mark Westmore;; production designer, Nelson Willis; sound, Bill Pellar; music, Robert Folk.
  • Cast: Cast: Robert Conrad, Billy McNamara, Gary Bayer, Sharon Farrell, Peter Breck, Tom Atkins, Michael Cavanaugh, Kurt McKinney, James McEachin, Meg Wittner, Dori Brenner, Ramon Franco, Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez, Paul Scherrer, La Velda Fann, Monica Creel, Katherine Armstrong, Cristan Crocker, Arlene Taylor, Dennis Bailey , Tom Reilly, Jeb Adams, Michael Denney, Tim Erwin, Peter H. Hunt, Tiffany Helm, Randy Josselyn, Sue Kolinsky, MillsLane, Barry Lynch, Renee O'Connor, Paulette Porter, Charles Porter.
  • Music By: