Best elements of bad movies of the week
Watching the DVD of the 2008 Hallmark Channel movie “Mail-Order Bride” reminded me of the hokey chick flick made-for-TV movies of the week that were very prevalent on Sunday nights in the ‘70s and ‘80s and now provide much of the content on the Lifetime network.
These movies provide decent mindless entertainment in which the genuine goodness of one character reforms the character of the other gender who life has turned bitter. These characters actors who portray them seem to try for Hepburn and Tracy and end up as Shepherd and Willis. The clichéd plots and dialogues and less-than-exceptional acting are what make these productions so enjoyable.
Daphne Zuniga of “Melrose Place” apparently got the female lead in “Bride” as a con artist from 1888 Boston who replaces her dying friend as the mail-order bride of a Wyoming rancher because TV-movie queen Valerie Bertinelli was unavailable.
Cameron Bancroft of “Beverly Hills 90210” plays the rancher who has led a solitary life since his prior mail-order bride ran out on him. A huge plot hole that is typical of these guilty pleasures is why this kind attractive man with a moderately successful ranch cannot find a local woman to marry.
Greg Evigan of the completely unwatchable late ‘70s action-comedy “BJ and the Bear” about a trucker and his monkey provides the best camp element as the Boston gangster who owns Zuniga and who comes to Wyoming to capture her. It is hardly a spoiler that he and the rancher have a large confrontation that the rancher wins.
The very dull Evigan is the weak link in all this, and I wonder if the monkey from his old series would have done a better job. Evigan simply does not express much emotion or even get into the fun of playing the villain.
Conversely, Bancroft seems to enjoy playing the quiet man with good values, a decent amount of wit, and just enough evil to make him fun. One of the better moments consists of him asking Zuniga what effect an impending rainstorm will have on the dress that she is wearing.
The bottom line is that this movie will be a treat for fans of the three stars or of movies-of-the-week. My watching it on a cool drizzly Sunday evening was very appropriate.
Anyone with thoughts about this far cry from the specials that Hallmark made for CBS for many years is welcome to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TV on DVD Reviews:
TVparty! for TV Shows on DVD!
Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Everything you're looking for is here:
Local & National Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Classic TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
|Superman on DVD / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Celebrity Commercials / Classic TV Commercials / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|