Michael Sauter
May 10, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Bonnie Bedelia, Roy Scheider, Andre Braugher, Arliss Howard
director
Frank Pierson
distributor
MCA/Universal Home Video
author
Doug Magee
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

A mystery with more than whodunit on its mind, Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture, a made-for-cable movie has the kind of substance — and understated style — that not even big screen movies bother with much anymore. It helped to have veteran screenwriter Frank Pierson (Presumed Innocent) directing. Still, the movie’s main asset is its case: Roy Scheider plays a burnt-out photographer who is sent to cover a convicted cop-killer’s execution — and who ends up racing against time to prove the man was framed. Bonnie Bedelia, as the murdered cop’s widow, and Robert Carradine, as his partner, lend their usual class. But it is Arliss Howard who provides the soul, as a condemned man trying to come to grips with his imminent mortality. Shoot the Picture is being hyped on video-store posters as a thriller, but with its haunting images of life on death row and its quiet compassion for all the characters, it is far more satisfying as a serious drama. B+

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