House on Greenapple Road (1970)
Original Air Date: January 11th, 1970
Anyone who frequents this blog is well aware of my undying love for Christopher George. When I read other’s descriptions of him I often hear the words “dependable” and “reliable” but those simple terms don’t seem to encompass the great talent he possessed. He often brought up the production of a film just by showing up and doing what he does best. Luckily, he didn’t have to do all the work in the excellent cop procedural House on Greenapple Road, but that beautiful face of his is an extremely welcome addition to this unyielding mystery.
As much as I love this man, he’s not the first image that comes to mind when people remember this thriller. House begins with a very young Eve Plumb (Jan on the Brady Bunch) coming home from school. She walks into the house expecting to find her mother but the house is empty. She enters the kitchen and walks past the broken dishes and puddles of blood and heads next door to her aunt’s (Julie Harris). It’s a harrowing segment that sets the scene for a dark look at the life of a missing housewife.
To say House is gripping would be an understatement. The expert cinematography, suspenseful script and A list acting will keep the viewer on the edge of their seat (and guessing) right up to the end. George is fantastic here and even gets to share a small scene with his wife (then still cast as Linda Day without the George). She plays a pot smoking receptionist who doesn’t like to take shit. Even Ed Asner shows up as the befuddled sheriff who unwittingly has one of the biggest clues right at his fingertips. In fact, this movie is all about clues. Everything that is said and done by the supporting players offers a bit of revelation about Marian’s disappearance so keeps your eyes and ears peeled when watching it.
House is a Quinn Martin Production. Martin is most famous for several police procedural television series such as The Fugitive and my personal favorite, The Streets of San Francisco. You won’t find any of the grime here from Streets (arguably one of the grittiest shows of all time), but you will catch Martin's signature top notch writing and themes of the “nothing is what it seems” kind. I would highly recommend anything that has the QM Production logo attached to it.