Murder is Missing
Life was going great for Gayle Wolfer (Elizabeth Montgomery); she not only owned a diner but also a real estate business and had just become a grandmother. But then whilst showing a house to a new client he pulls a gun on her and the home owners. Despite being shot 3 times she survives but both physically and emotionally scarred as she hits the bottle and ends up arguing with the man in her life Bob (Robert Foxworth). Trying to make things right Bob takes Gayle to the county fair where she is horrified to not only spot the man who shot her but that he is also a cop and struggles as the police are sceptical that he could be the killer. But they arrest the man and so the court case begins.
"With Murder in Mind", which here in the UK is called "With Savage Intent", is another one of those made for TV movies which is based on a true story and another from the 90's where so many of these movies were made. Now it isn't a bad movie, in fact story wise it is better than average but there is something missing which fails to make it truly gripping. It is hard to put your finger on what it is that is missing because it has all the components; big drama such as the shooting, personal drama as in how Gayle is affected by being shot as well as the drama of the court case but it still doesn't manage to get you gripped.
Maybe the trouble with "With Murder in Mind" is, and no disrespect to those who were involved in the real story, that it doesn't stand out from all those other true story movies. The look, the actors, the camera work and even the occasional soundtrack is too ordinary, too similar to those other true story movies. That doesn't mean that any of it is bad, the drama of the actual crime is full of atmosphere, seeing how Gayle is affected is effective and in fairness the whole thing is interesting but as I said it just feels too familiar.
Having said all that I do have some issues with it especially when it comes to the shooting because it seems a little over the top how Gayle having been shot three times in the bedroom manages to walk, not stumble or crawl but walk down stairs and call the police before then collapsing. Maybe that was exactly how it happened but it just seems too over the top to be believable. There are other moments as well which feel like they have been embellished to be entertaining rather than realistic especially when it comes to the cockiness of Samuel Carver the man arrested for the crime.
The good news is that there is nothing wrong with the acting and Elizabeth Montgomery is good as Gayle when it comes to displaying how traumatised she is following the shooting. In fact whilst there are various other characters and actors in the movie it rests firmly on Montgomery's shoulders who delivers what is needed.
What this all boils down to is that "With Murder in Mind" is a solid made for TV movie but not a spectacular one as it struggles to really get you gripped by the true story.