Saturday, October 1, 2011

Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman & Vera Miles in A Howling in the Woods (1971)

Liza Crocker (Eden) heads home to a small town in Nevada to escape a bad marriage. When she gets there she finds her step mother (Miles) and step brother (John Rubinstein) and a whole lot of unexpected hostility from the town folk. What she doesn't find is her father, who she is told, has left on an extended trip to Mexico for an archeological dig. As she attempts to sort things out she learns that a child was recently murdered and begins to feel like she's in some danger herself. Complicating matters, her husband (Hagman) arrives and she must deal with his reaction to her unexpected departure. Will she be able to sort everything out before she falls victim to the murderer herself?

Thanks to Leighton for this find. It's a fine kick-off to October - atmospheric and mysterious. It's interesting to see Eden and Hagman in something so different from their hit sitcom. Look for Lisa Gerritson (Bess from Mary Tyler Moore) and Tyne Daily in small roles.

This film isn't available on DVD, though it's been uploaded to YouTube in full. Part one is above, uploaded by TVTERRORLAND.

Obscurity factor: 9 (almost completely forgotten, not on DVD, available on YouTube)

1 comment:

  1. Director Daniel Petrie, Sr., is best known for his 70s TV movies "Sybil" and "Eleanor and Franklin" (as well as its sequel). His feature films include "A Raisin in the Sun" in 1961, and several 80s flicks. He began as a TV director in 1949 (!), and remained in that venue for most of his life - he died in 2004. I worked with his son 20 years ago, when Daniel Petrie, Jr., directed the film "Toy Soldiers."

    "A Howling in the Woods" was filmed at Lake Tahoe - I wonder if the "inn" is still around...

    It has always surprised me, that Vera Miles did not have a greater success in the film industry, with most of her work being for television. She is best remembered today, of course, as the sister in Hitchcock's "Psycho".