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The Preppie Murder

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Genre  Crime Drama
First episode date  September 24, 1989
Country  United States
5.6/10 IMDb

Director  John Herzfeld
Duration  
Language  English
Release date  September 24, 1989 (1989-09-24)
Writer  Irv Roud (story), John Herzfeld (teleplay), Irv Roud (teleplay)
Network  American Broadcasting Company
Cast  William Baldwin (Robert Chambers), Sandra Bullock (Stacy), Lara Flynn Boyle (Jenifer Levin), Danny Aiello, Joanna Kerns
Similar movies  John Herzfeld directed The Preppie Murder and Casualties of Love: The "Long Island Lolita" Story

The Preppie Murder is a television film directed by John Herzfeld, written by Herzfeld and Irv Roud, and starring William Baldwin as Robert Chambers and Lara Flynn Boyle as Jennifer Levin. The film aired on ABC in 1989. It was based on the events of a murder committed by Robert Chambers, nicknamed the Preppie Killer. The film co-stars Danny Aiello, Joanna Kerns and William Devane.

Contents

Plot

The film reenacts Robert Chambers' murder of Jennifer Levin. Robert Chambers, a man who attended prep schools on a scholarship, kills Jennifer Levin, who herself was of a privileged background after they leave a trendy Manhattan bar together. When Detective Mike Sheehan arrests him, Chambers claims that he killed her in self-defense after rough sex got out of hand. In the ensuing trial, Chambers' attorney, Jack Litman, attacks Levin's personal history. Chambers eventually pleads guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Cast

  • Danny Aiello as Detective Mike Sheehan
  • William Baldwin as Robert Chambers
  • Joanna Kerns as Linda Fairstein
  • Lara Flynn Boyle as Jennifer Levin
  • Dorothy Fielding as Phyllis Chambers
  • James Handy as Detective Joe Brady Quinn
  • William Devane as Jack Litman
  • Perrey Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dietrich Bader, Rick Aiello, and Mike Sheehan appear in smaller parts.

    Production

    The film was shot mostly in Los Angeles, but some exterior shots took place in New York City. Mike Sheehan, who investigated the case, served as a consultant. Jennifer Levin's parents declined involvement; her father called it "exploitative". Linda Fairstein and Jack Litman also declined involvement. Director John Herzfeld wanted to tell Jennifer Levin's story and "clear a little of the mud off her".

    Release

    The Preppie Murder aired September 24, 1989, on ABC. It was released on home video in November 1993.

    Reception

    Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times called it "vexing, powerful and heartbreaking—yet strangely enigmatic". John Leonard of New York called it "pointless" and compared it negatively to Linda Wolfe's book, Wasted: The Preppie Murder. John J. O'Connor of The New York Times wrote that the film's denunciation of the press as exploitative was ironic, as it "merely warms up the old headlines it pretends to abhor."

    References

    The Preppie Murder Wikipedia
    The Preppie Murder IMDb


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