Janu-Fahey Month: The Execution Of Raymond Graham
January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment
And I am back to Janu-Fahey Month but given that I already released three articles in the past three days, I had to hope that I won’t be burned out because the next several days is nothing but daily reviews of Jeff Fahey movies. Okay, I kidding. I’m only doing four for this month and what better to start this season is basically his first starring role – 1985’s The Execution Of Raymond Graham. While prior to this movie, he did start off with his television role in One Life To Live as well as having a supporting role in Silverado. I may look at that movie someday but for now, one has to wonder how he got a breakout performance that nowadays is not talked about.
Which does bring a good question since this movie aired on television as live broadcast back then and the subject is pretty touchy for its time. Plus the movie is already is safe hands since it’s made by Daniel Petrie who is responsible for Cocoon: The Return and the 1994 reboot of Lassie. Yes, he did A Raisin In The Sun, Resurrection and Wild Iris but he also did many television work and used a cast of well-known stars like Robert Duvall and Ellen Burstyn so it makes me have one question – what is this movie about?
The answer however is what it says in the title itself. Raymond Graham (Jeff Fahey) is facing his final hours in Prison after the governor in his town has revived prison execution and he is put in the position that causes the public, family and friends think he should not be the first person in prison to be executed after thirteen years since what crime he commit is purely in the wrong. The crime that is the accidental murder of one Kevin Neal and Kevin’s father Jim (Josef Sommer) less forgiving and is preparing to Raymond face the death that’s coming at him.
And after less than a couple of hours with conversations and few trying to convince the governor that he should not be executed, it became that time and the movie ended as expected. Raymond Graham got executed and there is nothing to be done about it. Now I know this synopsis for the review is at best short but honestly, this is not a bad movie and it’s not just the fact that Jeff gives a convincing performance as the man facing death row but other stars in the movie actually give it their all like Josef who portrayed a father who’s lost one of his children, Lauren Metcalf giving a good role that’s far from her appearances in Roseanne and The Big Bang Theory and heck, Morgan Freeman is in this and he pulled it off as a warden even if it’s missing a Freeman-esque narration.
Okay, I kid but other than the acting, the movie gave a grim feel with its real-time technique and shows how television movies back then didn’t half-assed it, it is worth seeking out even by historic standpoint since this is made in a time when prison execution is a subject that is worth telling before we are now in a time where it’s common even if we are about to under the presidential rule of Trump. Uh, I don’t know how 2017 is gonna be but the month is so far off to a good start and this and Silverado led to Jeff starring in Psycho III which is a positive step. However, I cannot say the same for the sequel to a different movie I’m reviewing next week so maybe a good start is just a good start and nothing more.