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Despite being too clinical sometimes but with a fantastic performance by Steve Railsback as Charles Manson, this is an absorbing and disturbing account of the investigation and prosecution of Manson and his "family" following their horrific mass murders in the 1960s.
HELTER SKELTER remains one of the best mini-series ever produced for American television. Astounding.
Over 3 hours long and mainly focuses on the prosecution of Manson. This made for TV movie is entertaining throughout. Certainly leaning on the side of the prosecutor who wrote the book it was based on, you have to take some of it with a grain of salt. I do appreciate that they used many real locations, such as the actual van Charlie drove.
It isn't the most entertaining and violent -- or even fast-paced -- biopic about the infamous Manson family that fans of the subject could hope for, but Helter Skelter works as an authentic, solidly crafted courtcase drama featuring an unforgettable performance from Steve Railsback as the iconic cult leader.
"Helter Skelter" has TV movie written all over it, but it doesn't stop it from being a horrific courtroom drama nonetheless. It's mostly true to the source material, the minimal violence that is presented is depicted brutally but appropriately enough for television, and the story is cause for some discomfort, even though the motivations behind the Manson murders lead to intrigue. Marilyn Burns of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" fame makes a well-acted appearance playing Linda Kasabian, and the rest of the cast do very well too. But it's Steve Railsback whose appearance and sheer acting ability makes for a nightmarish portrayal of Charles Manson. Railsback doesn't hold out on the audience, and what may seem over-the-top at times will seem all too realistic during others. His courtroom speech will give you the shivers.
Helter Skelter, THE best television drama I have EVER seen. I very much ENCOURAGE you to see this film via my link. Helter Skelter is a 1976 TV film based on the 1974 book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. In the United States, it aired over two nights.
The motive of the killers is shrouded in cult worship, namely worship of a Jesus/Hitler wannabe named Charles Manson. Why Roman Polanski, famous movie director was above suspicion (he and wife Sharon Tate were not on best terms) escapes me. Los Angelos police disregarded his part in the crime. After the trial of the Charles Manson group, he left the country for good.
For my part, the district attourney kept having great difficulty establishing motive for the Manson "family". Indeed, their cause was entirely socially driven, not personally driven. Yet Roman Polanski, Tate's newly wed husband, had a great motive. To get rid of Sharon who clashed with his playboy lifestyle. That a bunch of others died in the process as well ... thats just too bad.
READ the entire sad episode of Roman and Sharon here plus the details of her murder and the trial of Manson et.al:
He was in England at the time (a perfect alibi), just days before his wife and victim Sharon Tate arrived in California at the couples newly leased home.
[img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTFQr9LItew8nkB7mkByVqBd6jF0PZnlRsV31iIb2mfzC9AT-93[/img] Charles Manson tries to represent himself in trial
IF one is to believe the book this is written from, that is, the prosecutor of the case, its pretty damning. The defensive argument is diminished in the film. After a while, the thought occured to me that these kids, mostly 21 to 30 were a victim of their times.
Anyone like these so anti-Establishment freaks and vocal about it, were convicted on arrival. It must have been a pretty easy case to prosecute but the film make it appear it was anything but easy.
[img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSbV02PozC5o4cFXGeOxBuK4TevyvUZsMNrTY_JRLskyiHxlhaXDA[/img] the lead actor was terrific and was hate himself
SEE the trailer here:
The movie is based upon the murders committed by the Charles Manson self-described "Family". The best-known victim was actress Sharon Tate. The title was taken from the Beatles' song of the same name.
[img]http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRzzU7i7eJtLVL2vge0fxKnkm3g4EksN4k8Z_Q4i-HAj-EmScTF[/img] A master manipulative person, Manson acts out in court to nullify the prosecution's words to the jury
According to the theory put forward by the prosecution, Manson used the term for an anticipated race war, and "helter skelter" was scrawled in blood on the refrigerator door at the house of one of the victims.
[img]http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRf3LPlgSR0vLY08xeuVbJGa38BE7V8pwFp-49RzVWyKHYWDV-67w[/img] Convictied on all counts, they shave their heads
SEE the entire film here with me:
[img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTtFHeF5iALKEicS0B5AtuIcQhH7d8-0Cna8oFbLFB2rpXHLXm2[/img] The prosecutor and narrator of the film, date by date is explained by him in detail
1977 Emmy Awards
Nominated, Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Special (Dramatic Underscore) - Billy Goldenberg
Nominated, Outstanding Directing in a Special Program - Drama or Comedy - Tom Gries
Nominated, Outstanding Film Editing for a Special - Byron Brandt, Bud S. Isaacs
Directors Guild of America
Nominated, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Specials/Movies for TV/Actuality - Daniel Petrie
Edgar Allan Poe Awards
Won, Best Television Feature or Miniseries - J.P. Miller
Based on the original Bugliosi book, and from the perspective of Vincent Bugliosi himself, taking the role as narrator, this film attempts to break do...
Helter Skelter, THE best television drama I have EVER seen. I very much ENCOURAGE you to see this film.
1 The LaBianca house sequence was filmed at the actual crime scene. Much of the dialogue from the courtroom scenes was taken from the court transcripts. The 1959 Ford driven by Linda Kasabian on both nights of murder was loaned to the producers by the Los Angeles Police Department
CBS television (2 night airing)
April 1, 1976 - April 2, 1976
[img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnEpZ6ZIa5bIYv9yfs6v08odpOTPxsEuu7YGPGTzq2aylJjGuGCw[/img] The entire group convicted to death row but California later abolished death row to life imprisonment\
Based on the original Bugliosi book, and from the perspective of Vincent Bugliosi himself, taking the role as narrator, this film attempts to break down the events in a Law and Order-esue manner. Though not as bewitching as the Helter Skelter book itself, the film is tolerable enough, with good acting and believable enough actors. Certainly the best Charles Manson depiction, played by Steve Railsback. Being a Manson aficionado, the film has its moments from a dramatized standpoint. The best available footage related to The Family would have to be the 1973 documentary entitled 'MANSON', containing actual footage, interviews and music.
The classic true crime book comes to life in this 70's made for TV movie, which is effective and good. The woman playing Sadie was great as was Marilyn Burns. Steve Railsback actually makes you think he's Charles Manson at points. Even the totally not the Beatles Beatles music didn't take me out too much..I don't know how I would recommend this to casual people but I loved the book growing up and was happy to see it translate well.
well made, chilling almost supernatural
Creepy. A very sick man.