Fatal Vision

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95%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 110
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Movie Info

Convicted murderer Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald had hoped that, by telling his side of the story to investigative journalist Joe McGinniss, the authorities would be persuaded of MacDonald's innocence. Instead, McGinniss ended up unswerving in his belief of MacDonald's guilt, and the result was the devastating best-seller Fatal Vision. In this two-part TV adaptation of McGinniss' book, Gary Cole plays MacDonald, a former Green Beret officer, while Frank Dent essays the role of McGinniss. MacDonald's wife and two children are brutally murdered in their Fort Bragg, North Carolina home on February 17, 1970. The prime suspect, MacDonald insists that the killings were committed by a gang of stoned-out hippies, a story that at first is accepted in toto by the doctor's father-in-law Freddy Kassab (Karl Malden). But after MacDonald is officially exonerated, Kassab notices several holes in his son-in-law's story, and becomes convinced that MacDonald was in fact the murderer. Through Kassab's persistence, as well as the uncovering of new forensic evidence, MacDonald is ultimately convicted for all three murders in 1979. Since the TV premiere of Fatal Vision on November 18 and 19, 1984, there has been a growing movement by MacDonald's sympathizers to discredit McGinniss' book and to retry the case--a movement that has been hampered time and again by MacDonald's own erratic behavior.

Cast

Gary Cole
as Jeffrey MacDonald
Karl Malden
as Freddy Kassab
Eva Marie Saint
as Mildred Kassab
Barry Newman
as Bernie Segal
Andy Griffith
as Victor Worheide
Gary Grubbs
as James Blackburn
Carmen Argenziano
as Colonel Pruett
Joel Polis
as Brian Murtagh
Judith Barsi
as Kimberly (age 3)
Mitch Ryan
as Paul Strombaugh
Anne Betancourt
as St. Mary's Sister
Wendy Schaal
as Colette MacDonald
J.P. Bumstead
as Colonel Rock
Scott Paulin
as William Ivory
Barry Corbin
as Franz Grebner
Eugene Butler
as Captain Somers
Mrs. MacDonald
as Paddi Edwards
Robert Clotworthy
as MP Sergeant
Alexandra Johnson
as Helena Stoeckley
Frank Dent
as Joe McGinniss
Paddi Edwards
as Mrs. Perry MacDonald
Matthew Faison
as Dr. Bronstein
Brandy Gold
as Kimberly (age 5)
Lance Gordon
as CID Captain
Laurence Haddon
as General Flanagan
Ken Hill
as Neighbor
Billy James
as TV Interviewer
Allan Kolman
as Reporter
Richard Lineback
as MP Captain
Roy London
as Dr. Thornton
Joe Mays
as William Posey
James Morrison
as Green Beret
Jack Rader
as Provost Marshal
Dennis Redfield
as Peter Kearns
John Rose
as FBI Agent
Mitchell Ryan
as Paul Strombaugh
Paul Ryan
as Talk Show Host
Rex Ryon
as Jay MacDonald
Albert Salmi
as Judge Dupree
Miguel Sandoval
as MP in Jeep
Tom Tarpey
as Psychiatrist
Brian Thompson
as Lieutenant Harrison
Wesley Thompson
as Sergeant McPherson
Kenneth Tigar
as Pathologist
Arnold Turner
as Lab Technician
Bill Vint
as Dr. Sadoff
Peter Vogt
as Jury Foreman
Andy Wood
as Robert Shaw
Grayce Spence
as Court Clerk
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Critic Reviews for Fatal Vision

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Audience Reviews for Fatal Vision

  • Jul 09, 2009
    Interesting made-for-TV dramatization of a murder case in which an ex-Green Beret pretty obviously killed his wife and kids and attempted to blame it on deranged, blood thirsty, anti-war hippies. . . .Great if you're into made-for-TV dramatizations of murder cases involving ex-Green Berets who kill their wives and kids and blame it on deranged, blood thirsty, anti-war hippies. What creates the rotten fish odor in murder cases like this and the Ramsay incident is the shallow manner in which the self proclaimed innocent survivor envisions the would-be perpetrator/s. Here, MacDonald had apparently been influenced by something akin to the made-for-TV movie, Helter Skelter before emulating the literal writing on the wall. Ramsay characterized the kidnappers in the ransom note as a businessman would who is afraid of, but not very knowledgeable about being kidnapped by terrorists. Now if you'll excuse me, I must return to my search for "the real killers" of Nicole Brown Simpson...on Florida golf courses.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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