Donna Mills in Dangerous Intentions (1995)

Running from the Enemy

Beth Williamson (Donna Mills) has tolerated her husband Tom's (Corbin Bernsen) physical abuse for years and even defends him in front of her family who know full well what he has been doing. But one day Beth has enough and with their daughter leaves, finding safety in a shelter for battered women. It is there she meets Kaye (Robin Givens) who has been moving from one shelter to another in an attempt to keep away from her violent husband. But when Kaye's husband kills her in broad daylight Beth finds herself in protective custody as she agrees to give evidence. The question is what will happen when the protective custody ends and Tom comes looking for her again.

"Dangerous Intentions" initially plays out like a typical TV movie about an abused woman where she puts up with the domestic abuse until eventually it gets too much and first the police are involved and then she ends up living in a shelter for abused women. The difference is that where as some of these made for TV movies show restraint when it comes to showing scenes of abuse "Dangerous Intentions" doesn't hold back and we see Tom going ballistic with the abuse he levels at Beth and we also see her blooded face following a violent beating. On that level "Dangerous Intentions" is harder hitting than most of these movies about abused women.

Corbin Bernsen in Dangerous Intentions (1995)

But "Dangerous Intentions" also varies the storyline as it brings in the character of Kaye, an abused wife who ends up being killed by her violent husband leading to a court case. Whilst this is going on we also see the psychotic side of Tom as he turns stalker, making threatening calls to Beth and vows to make her suffer. This side turns "Dangerous Intentions" into more than just a drama about an abused woman and into one where her psychotic husband becomes increasingly dangerous. In fairness this does make it at times feel a little extreme with some scenes which appear over the top including one which involves a house being set on fire.

Whether or not this ends up feeling extreme or not the performances are good throughout especially from Donna Mills who does a nice job, if they are the right words, of playing an abused wife whilst Corbin Bernsen is terrifying as Tom. In fact whether or not you find it over the top or not the psychotic breakdown of Tom after he is arrested the first time is attention grabbing thanks to Bernsen's commitment to the character.

What this all boils down to is that "Dangerous Intentions" starts off as a typical drama about domestic abuse but evolves in to something much more dramatic and thriller like. For some it will be powerful for others it will be over the top but which ever it certainly grabs your attention.