Picks and Pans Review: Crash: the Mystery of Flight 1501

updated 11/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sun., Nov. 18, 9 P.M. ET)

C

A wife (Cheryl Ladd) struggles to save the reputation of her husband (Doug Sheehan), an airline pilot accused of causing a devastating crash because he was taking an experimental drug. You have to give the movie extra credit for timeliness, what with those tippling Northwestern pilots recently sentenced to prison terms for flying impaired. That's about all you have to give it credit for, though.

Mostly the film is a painstaking reconstruction of an aviation accident and its aftermath: the media circus, the National Transportation Safety Board investigation and the various mercenary vultures who flock to tragedies like this.

A few mystery elements (Was there a bomb? What was that parcel the CIA hustled off at the crash site?) are thrown in to heighten the tension and give the proceedings a conspiratorial flavor. But this would make a better CNN special than a network movie of the week. Dramatically, it's dead.

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