Picks and Pans Review: Hostage

UPDATED 02/15/1988 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/15/1988 at 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sun., Feb. 14, 9 p.m. ET)


The motive is sterling; it's the end result that's slightly tarnished. It's very nice that parents want to find jobs for, work with and show off their children. But I wish those parents were in the plumbing business, not show business. First CBS brought us the Robert Conrad family in High Mountain Rangers, a show I've already attacked enough. Now CBS presents Carol Burnett and daughter Carrie Hamilton in Hostage, a TV movie. Hamilton plays a poor, pathetic girl who's in prison for attempted murder. She gets a visit from her sicko Deliverance-reject of a dad (Leon Russom), who threatens her: "When they let you out, girl, I'm gonna be waitin'.... I'm gonna hound you. I'm gonna be on you like maggots on a dead dog." That imagery so upsets the girl that she decides to escape the safe though unpleasant confines of prison and go into the real world, where she has to run away not only from the police but also from her psycho pop. Along the way, in a suburban parking lot, she runs into Burnett—a rich, lonely, miserable widow—and takes her hostage. Go ahead, guess the rest: The two women fear and hate each other but soon learn to trust and depend upon each other. And along the way Hamilton gets to beat up her own mother, throw things around the room, tear up stuff, yell a lot and shake like a crazy person. That's not acting. That's ACTING. And this is a movie only a mother could love.

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