Movie Details
Recommendation

Bed of Lies (1992)

 
 

The Shooting Trophy Wife

Susan Dey in Bed of Lies (1992)

Whilst working as a waitress Vickie (Susan Dey - Little Women) comes to the attention of Price Daniel, Jr. (Chris Cooper - Lonesome Dove) the Governor's son who takes a shine to her despite the fact that Vickie was at the time still married. Price's persistence and Vickie's subsequent divorce leads her to agree to marry him although questioning whether a poor white girl like her could ever fit in to the high society world of the Daniel family. But Vickie's initial happiness at marrying Price is short lived as it becomes clear he is a heavy drinker with an abusive side when he hits her whilst pregnant. Despite this they have a family together but then when Price starts to get violent and abusive towards the children Vickie takes matters into her own hands and shoots him dead. Facing not only a murder trial but also a battle to hold on to custody of her children Vickie finds herself being represented by legendary lawyer Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes (Fred Dalton Thompson).

I should think I have watched at least a dozen movies based on true stories where the poor woman married into society and then ends up on trial for murder. It makes me think that every time a rich white dude gets killed and it turns out his wife wasn't from money the TV movie producers jump at the chance of turning that story into a movie. Unfortunately when it comes to "Bed of Lies" the producers feel like they were just going through the motions, telling the story rather than trying to bring the story to life. A scene where Price takes Vickie to meet the family at a bar b q and then go for a romantic walk just comes across as two people walking beside a lake rather than a huge romantic moment and that is what you get through out, scenes with no heart.

Chris Cooper in Bed of Lies (1992)

A knock on effect of this flat dramatization of the true story is that "Bed of Lies" becomes all about Susan Dey and how she looks. Now don't get me wrong as Dey is a good actress but there is barely any depth to her character as she is written as a stereotypical poor white trash who works in a diner. So what you end up noticing is that in every other scene Dey is wearing another figure hugging outfit or silky lingerie with always beautiful hair and basically looking attractive although a scene where she is supposedly taking a bath is amusing as because of the rush job you constantly can see the flesh coloured swim suit she is wearing.

It is not just Dey who suffers from being saddled with a character who is written as a stereotype as Price Daniel Jr. is also written as a stereotype which leaves Chris Cooper in limbo as he doesn't have the sex appeal of Dey. Despite this "Bed of Lies" does have the benefit of a decent cast from John Anderson as Price Daniel Sr. to regular TV movie star Mary Kay Place.

Now I don't know the true story of what happened between Vickie and Price, it happened to long ago for it to register in my memory so I don't know how much fact and fiction there is in this movie. What I will say is that when it comes to the court case and the truth coming out about Price Daniel Jr. being an abusive drunk something is suggested which has the potential to wind some people up.

What this all boils down to is that "Bed of Lies" is just a standard dramatization of a true story which fails to build up characters which in turn almost turns the movie into just a fashion show for Susan Dey whose wardrobe in this made for TV movie must have been larger than some actresses get on big screen movies.

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