The Deadliest Season
|The Deadliest Season|
|Directed by||Robert Markowitz|
|Written by||Ernest Kilroy|
|Music by||Dick Hyman|
|Edited by||Stephen A. Rotter|
The Deadliest Season is a 1977 made-for-TV film that was originally shown in the United States on CBS. The film was directed by Robert Markowitz, written by Ernest Kilroy, and produced by Titus Productions. The main character was played by Michael Moriarty, an American-Canadian stage and screen actor. His wife was played by Meryl Streep in her first-ever film appearance.
An average professional ice hockey defenseman is relegated to the minor leagues because his play is not aggressive enough. In an effort to get back to the majors, he plays dirty and gets into fights on the ice, which gets him back to the major. His aggressive play results in the death of another player as a result of injuries sustained during a game, and results in his being charged with manslaughter. The player appears largely indifferent to the situation, appearing to view it as a normal part of playing top level ice hockey.
The Deadliest Season was a 98 minute long courtroom and sports drama made-for-TV movie that originally aired in the United States in on CBS in 1977. In Canada, the movie aired in August 1979 on CBC. In Australia, the film first aired in November 1980, and later aired on March 23, 1982 on ATN7. In 1984, it reran in New York on Channel 2. It re-ran on television in Alaska in November 1986.
In The Deadliest Season, Michael Moriarty plays the main character. Gerry Miller and Kevin Conway also starred in this film. Sully Boyar, Jill Eikenberry, Walter McGinn, Andrew Duggan, Paul D'Amato and Mason Adams also appeared on The Deadliest Season. Conway played the attorney who defended Mortiarty's character. Adam's appearance as the team owner in this movie helped land him a role in Lou Grant.
The movie was written by Ernest Kilroy, who had already written several television dramas by that time. It was directed by Robert Markowitz, and produced by Titus Productions. Meryl Streep made her movie début in this film, and would go on to make her big screen film début later the same year in Julia. Streep, playing Moriarty's wife, received fifth billing in what was her first-ever film appearance.
The movie was intended to be a serious examination of sport violence and how sport can serve to dehumanize this violence. The film also served as a commentary on television and society in general. It is similar to North Dallas Forty, a movie made by Nick Nolte during the same period. That same year, Slap Shot, another ice hockey film, debuted.
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