A CASE OF RAPE (TV) (1974 USA)
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Of the two rape-oriented TV movies of the 1973-74 season, A Case of Rape, first telecast February 20, 1974, is far and away the finer film (the other was the compelling but contrived Cry Rape). Elizabeth Montgomery stars as a housewife who is sexually assaulted not once but twice by a so-called family friend (Cliff Potts). The rape is only the beginning of a long cycle of humiliation and self-doubt: the investigating police are dismissive of Montgomery's charges, the female defense attorney (Rosemary Murphy) tries to put the victim on trial, and Montgomery's reputation and marriage (to Ronny Cox) are irrevocably damaged. Though things don't go well for her in the courtroom, Montgomery emerges from the experience a stronger and more self-reliant person, unwilling to allow herself to be destroyed by outside influences. Don't miss the final confrontation between raper and rapist after the trial--an underplayed but bone-chilling vignette. Had not Cicely Tyson sewn up the Emmy with The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Elizabeth Montgomery would certainly have copped the prize with A Case of Rape.