Picks and Pans Review: With Murder in Mind
In a fact-based movie, Elizabeth Montgomery plays real-estate agent Gayle Wolfer in a small town near Buffalo. She meets a client (Howard Rollins of In the Heat of the Night) for the first time at a rural house she is selling. Things go terribly awry when Rollins starts waving a pistol around and making threats. He shoots Montgomery three times.
Montgomery somehow survives but is further traumatized when she spots her assailant at a state fair dressed in uniform. Turns out he's a deputy sheriff who used her to get around the fences, motion-detectors and other security devices with which the for-sale house was equipped so he could shake down the drug-peddling owner.
Besides being burdened by an extremely slow middle section, this is the most manipulative kind of woman-in-jeopardy film, setting up Montgomery as a saintly woman—we even get to see her grandson born—before brutalizing her. It's also falsely acted all the way around, except for Rollins, who, donning a wig that makes him look like Yaphet Kotto, makes a menacing villain.