6.0/10
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4 user 2 critic

Beyond the Call (1996)

R | | Drama | TV Movie 23 June 1996
Russell Gates is a Vietnam vet on death row for killing a policeman. His childhood sweetheart, Pam O'Brien, is stunned to learn this and does not believe he could commit such a crime. She ... See full summary »

Director:

Tony Bill

Writer:

Doug Magee
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sissy Spacek ... Pam O'Brien
David Strathairn ... Russell Cates
Arliss Howard ... Keith O'Brien
Janet Wright ... Fran
Lindsay Murrell ... Rebecca
Leslie Carlson ... Dan (as Les Carlson)
Ken James Ken James ... Mel
Christina Collins Christina Collins ... Ruth
Andrew Sardella Andrew Sardella ... Mark
Wayne Downer Wayne Downer ... Policeman #2
Diane D'Aquila Diane D'Aquila ... Angela
Christine Reeves Christine Reeves ... Cop's Wife
Rufus Crawford ... Thibodeaux
Desmond Campbell ... Guard #1
John Pearson John Pearson ... Guard #2
Edit

Storyline

Russell Gates is a Vietnam vet on death row for killing a policeman. His childhood sweetheart, Pam O'Brien, is stunned to learn this and does not believe he could commit such a crime. She writes to him much to the dismay of her husband Keith and becomes obsessed with the case, exploring every avenue that may still be open to the doomed man. The trips to the prison take a toll on both her marriage and her family. Written by David Kinne <davros@gargoyle.apana.org.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperança Final See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Reinforces the myth of the damaged Vietnam vet
18 January 2002 | by bob-422See all my reviews

Sissy Spacek and the others put on fine performances in this cheap production from a maudlin and unbelievable script. The husband of a cop-killer's sweetheart is able to visit the convict on death row the night before the execution? Give me a break! Sissy doesn't buy her ex-boyfriend's guilt, but does nothing to try to right such a terrible situation? Please. The real problem, though is that this made-for-tv formula flick is another example of Hollywood's trampling of the image of Vietnam veterans. The "damaged-vet-ticking-time-bomb" stereotype is not only an easy cliché, it's also a gross overstatement of the facts. No denying some veterans of Vietnam -- as of all wars -- suffered psychological effects, but when has Hollywood portrayed the 'Nam veteran as anything but a broken, emotionally troubled pariah? Movies like "Beyond the Call" contribute to the general public perception that Vietnam veterans are on the whole dysfunctional -- suicidal, alcoholic, barely able to hang on to their sanity. It's not enough that the cop-killer is a damaged Viet vet but -- surprise, surprise -- Sissy's own husband (the only character who doubts the boyfriends "Vietnam-made-him-do-it" excuse) carries his own war demons. The movie closes with Hubby curled up on the floor, crying his eyes out, comforted by Sissy the Strong. Another ticking time bomb has exploded. I guess all of us Vietnam veterans will eventually have nervous breakdowns or take refuge in a bottle. Me, I think I'll have a drink.


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