Filmed in Wilmington, N.C., by CBS Entertainment Prods. Executive producer, Cynthia Whitcomb; producer, Vanessa Greene; co-producer, Susan Jeter; director, Sam Pillsbury; writer, Alex Ayres; Touted as “inspired by an actual case history,” teleplay by Alex Ayres tries telling how a woman dead since 1927 warns a woman living today how to keep from being murdered. It’d beinteresting to know how the producers tie the words “inspire,” “actual” and “case history” in with this frailty.
Ivy (Lisa Hartman Black) can’t bring herself to marry dependable Dave (Don Michael Paul) because something about a soul mate keeps tugging at her. Meeting flashy John (Ken Wahl), Ivy begins an affair with him even though she’s starting to have warning flashbacks about roaring waters, red shoes, choking, someone named Sarah and whatever.
Ayres draws a parallel case from the ’20s in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, with the trio from yesteryear played by the same trio of actors in period costumes but with just as little finesse. Splitting from Dave and taking up with strong, not-so-silent John, who wallops her, Ivy finds an irresponsible, insensitive psychologist (Richard Masur). He unhesitatingly takes her hypnotically into the life of the dead woman (played as obviously by Hartman Black as she plays the shallow Ivy).
Reincarnation, psychic fringes and no indication that Ivy knows how to use her noodle dot the meller. Sam Pillsbury’s direction doesn’t much help the foolishness; attempts to drench the work with a feeling of foreboding fall dismally short.
There’s not much suspense or mystery in the obvious tale. Instead of falling back on case histories, vid writers should create drama out of the real thing — their imagination. Tech credits are satisfactory.
‘Maverick’ rides again, with style