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BLACKOUT (MADE FOR TV) (director: Douglas Hickox; screenwriter: David Ambrose/story by David Ambrose. Richard Smith, Richard Parks and Les Alexander; cinematographer: Tak Fujimoto; editor: Michael Brown; music: Laurence Rosenthal; cast: Keith Carradine (Allen Devlin), Richard Widmark (Joe Steiner), Kathleen Quinlan (Chris Graham), Michael Beck (Mike Patterson), Don Hood (Phil Murphy); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Richard Smith/Richard Parks/Les Alexander; HBO; 1985)
“Unremarkable crime thriller.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Douglas Hickox(“Zulu Dawn”/”I’ll Take Manhattan”/”Brannigan”) helms this made for TV, unremarkable crime thriller, that comes with a tricky premise that can unfortunately be easily detected long before the conclusion. As it moves on, the plot becomes too murky, ruining the fine premise with a bland ending. But it still is a fun watch. Story writer David Ambrose adapts it to the screen from the story he co-wrote with Richard Smith, Richard Parks and Les Alexander. The always wonderful Richard Widmark plays a former policeman with an obsession to search for a mysterious amnesiac psychopath who long ago slaughtered his family.

In the opening scene, we witness a man kill an entire family and then drive off in the family car. He picks up a hitchhiker and soon gets into a critical accident. Only one of the two survive. Because of the fiery crash, no one is sure which of the 2 men survived. The surviving man is played by Keith Carradine, Allen Devlin, who seems to be a good person but has amnesia and a new surgically repaired face. The survivor goes on to marry the hospital nurse who treats him, Chris Graham (Kathleen Quinlan), and they begin a family. His problem is Widmark lives in the same town and finds him suspicious. The question posed, is he the killer or not?


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”