THE LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN
This modern-day look at the famous 1892 "crime of the century" was a peculiar mixture of period costume courtroom drama with an overlay of contemporary armchair psychology (and debatable scripter hindsight) that neither completely failed nor completely succeeded in melding its ingredients into a cohesive whole.
The basic ingredients of the Fall River, Mass., double murders of her parents, for which spinster Borden was tried and acquitted, were at least vaguely known by most viewers, so writer William Bast took it upon himself to tell the story two ways -- one by the actual testimony in court (most if it pretty static), the other by flashbacks of events as they were really seen by the participants, primarily Lizzie herself (Elizabeth Montgomery).
The value of this method was that it permitted Bast the opportunity to show Montgomery actually committing the crime by means of his own choosing -- the case has never been solved -- and by so doing, splattering the last 20 minutes of the feature with equal amounts of explicit gore and peepshow titillation. Paradoxically, the final dollop of violence and nudity was the only sign of action in the generally stolid two hours.
Montgomery, in a casting away from her usual mold, managed to build a portrait of the title role that clearly reflected the deliberate nature of the character, quite capable of performing the bloodbath Bast had decided she'd done.
Surrounded by a strong cast headed by maid Fionnuala Flanagan, sister Katherine Helmond, parents Fritz Weaver and Helen Craig, and lawyers Ed Flanders and Don Porter, the period piece aspects of the feature were rather effectively filmed to give the work a sense of depth as it unfolded. The final slaughter scene dissipated most of the impact of this carefully built sense of quality, being a little more than a cheap shot horror-flesh dosage, both too explicit for TV.
The images on this page were either colorized by me, are original press photos, or are from exclusive Proof Sheets I own.
Please do not use them for web sites or eBay promotions.
Below are two versions of "The Legend of Lizzie Borden". The scenes are all the same. They are both the unedited European versions. The difference is the first copy is a remastered version with satellite quality clarity. The second version offered is still excellent quality, but not as perfect as the remastered DVD. The second version is for the TV purists. It presents the movie as originally shown. See description for details. Each movie comes in the DVD box pictured. Both versions are available on region free DVD!
Click on the DVD image to order this rare TV Movie on region free DVD.
This is a high quality, remastered, unedited version.
This is the DVD for those who want the best picture and sound quality.
Click on the DVD image to order this rare TV Movie!
This rare, original, unedited and remastered version is avialable in
Region Free DVD Format, playable on all DVD players.
This extremely rare version has
great clarity and vibrant color! It contains the
original fades where the commercials were placed: A
spooky child chorus chanting, and the title "The Legend of
Lizzie Borden" appearing on screen before each fade to black.
Click here to listen to the eerie chants and see a sample of the footage.
Not available anywhere else!
My DVDs are first generation masters. The commercial breaks are in their original spots. Others offer A&E dupes. Those copies damage the integrity of the original TV movie. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery. Most orders filled within one week.
Last Update - November 2010
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