Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Show [TV], Prime-Time Drama [TV]  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This classic episode adroitly utilizes footage from the 1949 theatrical film Strange Bargain--with three of that film's stars, Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott and Harry Morgan, reprising their roles in the "new" scenes. Released from prison after serving 30 years for the murder of his boss, Sam Wilson (Lynn) returns to his wife Georgia (Scott) and his son Rod (Art Hindle), who is now a police officer. Georgia and Rod prevail upon Jessica (Angela Lansbury) to help clear Sam's name, and to prove that someone else committed the murder. With the assistance of the original investigating detective, a man named Webb (Morgan), Jessica reconstructs the events leading up to Sam's arrest, with black-and-white "flashbacks" lifted from Strange Bargain illustrating how, three decades earlier, Sam had been offered $10,000 to make his boss' suicide look like murder for insurance purposes. One of the supporting roles is played by Debbie Zipp, who would later become a Murder, She Wrote semi-regular as Donna Mayberry, the fiancee of Jessica's nephew Grady Fletcher.