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WHEN SHE WAS BAD (TV) (1979 USA)

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Directed by Peter H. Hunt
Starring: Cheryl Ladd, Robert Urich, Dabney Coleman
Genres: Drama, Marriage
92 minutes | Full screen | Color | English

Before Farrah Fawcett starred in the wife-abuse television film The Burning Bed--unintentionally spawning a new genre for TV movies (glamorous actresses going gritty with serious material), another Charlie's Angels star, Cheryl Ladd, went dramatic; here, she's the abuser. A suburban wife and mother finds she can't control a streak of inner-rage against her little girl, sending off signals to her husband (Robert Ulrich) but not getting any answers. Ladd was definitely not the forerunner for domestic unrest: she is coiffed, manicured, and flatteringly photographed. Perhaps she was making a point--that even upscale wives and mothers can easily spin out of control--but it doesn't lend this scenario any backbone when the lead actress looks like a million dollars. (Audio note: some scenes have a slight buzzing in the background)

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