Lies & Insurance

Ken Olin in Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston (1990)

Driving home from a maternity class Boston fur salesman Charles Stuart (Ken Olin) makes a frantic call to the police, when the police arrive they find Charles injured from a gunshot wound whilst his wife is dying and so is his unborn child. With Charles claiming his attacker was a black man the residents and police are incensed and the subsequent investigation leads to racial tension and unrest within the city. But there are doubts surrounding Charles' story and as such doubts about his own innocence with a journalist unable to let things lie.

"Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" is one of those true story movies which feels like it was rushed out shortly after the events in the movie actually happened so it will capitalize on the public interest in the case. What that means when you come across "Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" years later is that it ends up a dry walk through of a true crime story but not overly effective as an entertaining dramatization of a true crime story.

Actually there are times when "Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" feels like someone took the basic facts of the story and then built around them the usual sort of scenes which feature in these types of movies. As such we have the police hassling a potential witness whilst else where we slowly discover all is not as it seems thanks to someone involved. Plus of course we also get the reporters who question Charles' story long before anyone else begins to doubt it. About the only thing which really stands out in this made for TV movie is a scene which highlights that whilst the murder of Mrs. Stuart was big news the murder of an African American on the same night is barely mentioned by the press and media.

What this all boils down to is that "Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" is just another of those made for TV movies which back in the 90s seemed to get rushed out when a significant true crime was big news. Maybe it worked better back in 1990 when the true story was fresh in people's minds but now it is only a standard drama which doesn't effectively bring the drama to life.

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