Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD)

Based on a true story, A Killer in the Family lays bare the horror of violence and the terrible power a father can exert over his children. The excellent cast includes Robert Mitchum, James Spader, Lance Kerwin and Eric Stoltz.


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Ships To: USA
Made To Order DVD
Genre:   Telefilms
Theatrical Release Date:   10/30/1983
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1000179926
Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD)
Price:$17.99

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Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD)
 
4.3

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It was very factual

By Susie

from Bakersfield, Ca.

About Me Casual Viewer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Emotionally Engaging
  • Great Acting
  • Original Idea

Cons

    Best Uses

    • At Home

    Comments about Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD):

    I watched it because the character that Robert Mitchum played was in real life my late husband's cousin. I must say the movie was exactly like it happened.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    A Killer In The Family

    By David Earl

    from Nashville, TN

    About Me Movie Buff

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • At Home

        Comments about Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD):

        So glad this was available. I just wish it (like others are doing) a print on demand type DVD. Enjoyed this movie when it was on TV and had a VHS tape from the TV viewing.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        The Last Rampage of GaryTison!

        By Jim the Runner

        from Providence, R.I.

        About Me Collector, Movie Buff

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Action-packed
        • Engaging
        • Entertaining

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Killer in the Family, A (1983/TV ) (MOD):

            I just finished watching this film which is now available on DVD-R from Warner Brothers. It is part of their Warner Archive Collection. I would advise you to watch the film without knowing anything about its background. It is worth it. The movie stands on its own. So don't read any more unless you want some more back-round on it and some opinions!

            It is indeed based upon real events that took place in the summer of 1978 when Gary Tison serving two consecutive life sentences, at the Arizona State Prison, for murder broke out with the help of his three teenage sons. You can read a deeper story about Tison and the sociopathic nature of his control over his sons as well as his inherited lawlessness which is not explained in this TV drama by obtaining the book "Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison" by James W. Clarke (University of Arizona Press). Clarke actually slept near Tison's group one night at a Colorado camp site and not knowing who he was just felt evil present and picked up his family and left. The book also indicts the corruption in the Arizona prison system.

            James Spader plays Donny the eldest of the sons who evidently had a good future studying law (to be used years later on Boston Legal) in college which he threw away to help supervise the breakout. The breakout is a tense almost unbelievable event. And according to news reports it became an embarrassment to the Arizona State Prison system for quite some time. Mitchum almost has a "heart attack" (joking here) when they first change cars. I actually laughed out loud at his reaction. You'll have to see it in context.

            When the five are on the road in a different car speeding away everything seems fine because they are on their way to Mexico. After they have a flat tire in the desert things start to spiral out of control and they boys begin to question who and what their father really is.

            My main complaint about this TV drama is that Mitchum's character was never revealed as being a former murderer. The viewer is led to believe he was in prison for a much lesser crime and was a normal inmate and father, not the sociopath he really was. And it seems the sons never knew this either though this seems to be impossible to believe.

            The epilogue can now be updated to read:

            After 19 years of litigation waiting on death row, Randy Greenawalt was executed: Jan. 23, 1997

            Ricky and Raymond Tison, who were under 20 years old at the time of the shootings, were also sentenced to death. On appeal, their sentences were reduced to life in prison.

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