Picks and Pans Review: Too Young to Die

updated 02/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Mon., Feb. 26, 9 P.M. ET)

C+

Juliette (I Married Dora) Lewis stars in a fact-inspired drama as a 15-year-old murderer faced with the death penalty in the heartland. Michael (L.A. Law) Tucker plays her attorney.

The film shamelessly enlists our sympathy for the girl. It begins with the arrest and then flashes back to her abused upbringing and exploited adolescence—dancing in a strip joint at 14. (Hey, it's sweeps month. Did you expect her to go around selling vacuum cleaners?) The victimization gambit works fairly well because Lewis brings such a touching blend of vulnerability, simplicity and neediness to the role. But her credibility explodes in an unexpectedly violent and vile climax. Too Young to Die may in fact be too grim to watch.

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