Beyond Betrayal (1994)

Beyond Betrayal (1994)
 
 

Running from the Enemy

Susan Dey in Beyond Betrayal (1994)

When Joanna (Susan Dey - Sad Inheritance) married Bradley Matthews (Richard Dean Anderson) she thought life would be great as he was a cop who would protect her. Unfortunately whilst Bradley may have protected and served the community he abused Joanna forcing her to go on the run in order to protect herself. Having settled in a Seattle Joanna meets and falls for Sam (Dennis Boutsikaris - And Then There Was One) who himself has an ex-wife. But Bradley is determined to track Joanna down and after using an illegal wire tap on her sister's phone locates her to Seattle where having gone to confront her things take a deadly turn with Sam caught up in the middle of it.

I had better say now that to review "Beyond Betrayal" I will need to discuss a major twist and I don't like doing it but without mentioning it "Beyond Betrayal" would end up sounding remarkably ordinary. In fact with revealing that twist "Beyond Betrayal" would sound a lot like "Sleeping with the Enemy" with the husband tracking down his runaway wife who has a new boyfriend.

Richard Dean Anderson in Beyond Betrayal (1994)

But having mentioned "Sleeping with the Enemy" "Beyond Betrayal" does share some basic similarities as via nightmares and flashbacks we are made aware that Joanna suffered abuse at the hands of her husband who being a cop was untouchable. We also see how having moved to Seattle Joanna ends up finding love with the amiable Sam who woos her with the novelty gifts he designs. All the time we have Bradley using his position to abuse the law and get an illegal phone trace done to find her. Pretty straight forwards up to this point and pretty ordinary although effective thanks to the performances.

But then there is the twist and we have Bradley arriving in Seattle and boarding Sam's boat where he plans to confront Joanna. But instead he is confronted by Sam's ex-wife who ends up dead, except earlier that day she had a blazing row with Sam which ended up on his recording machine and so when her dead body is found he is the main suspect. This situation is made worse by the fact that Joanna has run again meaning that Sam has no one on his side. As you can see it turns "Beyond Betrayal" from an ordinary tale of an abused wife to one with a surprising twist.

Now whilst the turn of invents makes "Beyond Betrayal" a lot more interesting it is the performances which make it work. Susan Dey brings the nervousness and fragility to her role as an abused wife quite literally looking over her shoulder whilst unsure about who she can trust whilst still feeling an attraction to Sam. On the subject of whom Dennis Boutsikaris turns in a solid but forgettable performance as the nice guy Sam. Certainly not nice is Richard Dean Anderson as Bradley as whilst he turns on the charm of a man who has the power of persuasion the obsession with tracking down Joanna makes him a man full of hate and danger and basically someone you wouldn't want to mess with.

What this all boils down to is that "Beyond Betrayal" looks like a regular tale of an abused wife on the run but thanks to the twist in the turn of events it ends up much more interesting.

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