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Morgan's Ferry
cast: Billy Zane, Kelly McGillis, Johnny Galecki, Henry Rollins, and Roscoe Lee Browne

director: Sam Pillsbury

87 minutes (15) 1999
Prism Leisure DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Vonnie (Kelly McGillis) lives alone in a rundown house. The locals think she's mad and are happy to leave her alone, except for occasional visits by her cousin to check she's still there. Meanwhile, Sam (Billy Zane), Monroe (Henry Rollins) and Darcy (Johnny Galecki) have broken out of jail. They go into the house in search of food, clothing and money... and find Vonnie there.

New Zealander director Sam Pillsbury would not be counted amongst his country's finest filmmakers: he's best known for the intriguing though certainly flawed The Scarecrow (1982) and the pleasant but unmemorable Starlight Hotel (1987). Much of his subsequent work has been done for TV, though he did make the awful Zandalee (1991) for the big screen. Morgan's Ferry is a decently acted but entirely predictable hostage drama which turns into a love story as Vonnie falls for one of her captors. (Guess which one? The billing should give you a clue.) After a reasonably crisp first third, the pace slackens and the film becomes overlong, even at just under an hour and a half. The North Carolina woodlands make for an attractive backdrop and the score (by Mader) lays on down home atmosphere. It's nice to see Kelly McGillis in a lead role, long after Hollywood had given her up - and before her interesting role in the Australian thriller The Monkey's Mask - but there isn't much in this film to lift it above the routine.

Prism's DVD is full-frame 4:3, open matte from an intended ratio of 1.85:1, with a Dolby surround soundtrack. The only extra is the trailer.

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