They Only Kill Their Masters
||This media article uses IMDb for verification. IMDb may not be a reliable source for film and television information and is generally only cited as an external link. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|They Only Kill Their Masters|
|Directed by||James Goldstone|
|Written by||Lane Slate|
|Music by||Perry Botkin, Jr.|
|Box office||$1,005,000 (US/ Canada rentals)|
They Only Kill Their Masters is a 1972 mystery film starring James Garner and Katharine Ross, with a supporting cast featuring Hal Holbrook, June Allyson, Tom Ewell, Peter Lawford, Edmond O'Brien, and Arthur O'Connell. The title refers to Doberman dogs that might have been responsible for a woman's murder currently under investigation by the local police chief (Garner). The film was written by Lane Slate and directed by James Goldstone.
Abel Marsh is a sarcastic, thick-skinned police chief in a small West Coast seaside town — the fictional Eden Landing, located somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles, where everyone knows each other. When one of its citizens is killed under mysterious circumstances many rumors arise, the most notorious of them being that the victim was killed by her own Doberman Pinscher.
The police chief is initially inclined to believe this scenario, but new facts discount this hypothesis. New developments complicate the investigation, especially when crucial evidence starts to disappear. The county sheriff is also trying to take control of the investigation, igniting conflict with Chief Marsh.
- James Garner as Police Chief Abel Marsh
- Katharine Ross as Kate Bingham
- Hal Holbrook as Dr. Warren Watkins
- Harry Guardino as Captain Daniel Streeter
- June Allyson as Mrs. Watkins
- Tom Ewell as Walter
- Peter Lawford as Campbell
- Edmond O'Brien as George
- Arthur O'Connell as Ernie
- Ann Rutherford as Gloria
- Art Metrano as Malcolm
- Christopher Connelly as John
- Harry Masch as Mayor Wendell
- Jenifer Shaw as Diana
- Jason Wingreen as Mallory
- Robert Nichols as Doctor Peterson
- Norma Connolly as Mrs. DeCamp
- David Westberg as State Trooper
- Lee Pulford as Jenny Campbell
- Royce D. Applegate as Harry
- Alma Beltram as Rosa
- Hans as Murphy
- Edgar Justice as Minor Role
- Tammy Shaw as Minor Role
The movie was filmed from late July to early September in 1972. It was the last major film shot on MGM's backlot before it was sold. Several former MGM stars accepted supporting roles in the film because it gave them the opportunity to be in the last film shot on the backlot. Other scenes were filmed at the Paradise Cove Pier, Paradise Cove in Malibu. Two years later, when Garner started to film The Rockford Files, his trailer was located at the same place.
There were several TV sequels made to the movie, starring Andy Griffith as Abel Marsh. The first movie was called Deadly Game and was written and directed by Lane Slate, as was the follow-up Girl in the Empty Grave. The character was renamed "Sam Adams" for Adams of Eagle Lake, also written by Slate. The character changed names yet again for the TV movie Winter Kill, becoming "Sam McNeill".
- "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974, p.60
- "They Only Kill Their Masters". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- "Deadly Game (1977)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "The Girl in the Empty Grave (1977)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "Adams of Eagle Lake (1975)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "Winter Kill (1974)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.