Every one knows what happened with the whole Manson family thing and every one knows the story, so why would you see this film? The answer is with out a doubt for the lead performance by Jeremy Davies, he deserved an Oscar in my opinion TV movie or not. For those who do not remember there was a film of the same name done much earlier but it focused more on the trial as this one focuses more on the family. This is actually a really good movie with some outstanding performances by the whole cast. When this was released on DVD as the director's cut I scooped it right up and put it in.
Unlike the first film this one focuses more on the actual family and follows them as they go from pulling pranks to killing people. I really don't have to say much because every one knows what happened back then. Manson really was good at manipulating people and got all these people to follow. So the story goes that after a chance meeting in which Manson did not find the beach boy he was looking for, he found "some movie stars". So in his words to jump start some race war that was supposedly going based on a Beatles song he sent his flunkies over to kill those stars. The most famous of the victims from the Tate/ LaBianca murders being Sharon Tate, the wife of legendary film maker Roman Polanski.
I am sure you all know the story so there really is no need to go into that whole deal, I am sure you all know. What you may not know is that Jeremy Davies gives a very Oscar worthy performance at least to me, he is very much this character. It is the little things that he does that you may not even notice the first time you watch it but look closely and watch this master in his craft. In the special features it shows footage of him rehearsing the character and he is insane, excellent performance. If there ever was a guy that looked and acted like Manson it is this guy here, masterful performance.
Writer/director John Gray did an excellent job on this film and really made it feel real, even with the restrictions of being a made for TV movie. When you watch this film you will not be thinking of this as such, it feels like a real theatrical flick. All of the actors in this are excellent from the Manson girls to the detectives that brought them down. This really is a well put together film and that may be one of the best TV flicks of all time in my opinion. There are some other good ones out there but as far as TV standards go this is a classic in my opinion. I would have loved to see this same exact team go all out on a theatrical no holds barred version, now that would be interesting.
This DVD comes with some excellent footage of Davis rehearsing the Manson character and one of the best commentaries I have listened to. This is definitely worth the purchase at least in my opinion, go buy not rent. In fact buy both films because the original made for TV version that focused mainly on the trial was really good as well. I know people who like that version better so I recommend both versions. Much like Davis in this film Steve Railsback is excellent as Manson in that film.
Pros: They caught and captured the snake Cons: Manson is still alive Murder, mayhem, sex, drugs, madness .... some of the words I grew up with. As a young bride I was never touched by these incarnate ideals, later I would become familiar with all of them. In the far distant lands of California an insect crept into the minds of the young. Often idealized and often feared, he nevertheless became God and savior to those looking … more
I basically am just a normal person obbsessed with Mixed Martial Arts, pro wrestling, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds, books of all kinds, and of course foods of all kinds. Just trying to keep … more
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This made-for-television, graphic docu-drama of the grisly Tate-La Bianca murders in Hollywood, California was based on Vince Bugliosi's novel. Over the course of the film's three hours, it chronicles the events that led a group of impressionable young women to become cold-blooded killers under the authority of notorious maniac Charles Manson.