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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Doing Life (1986)



Reviews and Comments

This made-for-TV flick chronicles the supposedly true story of a man falsely convicted of the murder of two policemen. During his life sentence, he earns a law degree and fights for prisoners' rights and, ultimately, parole.

While I'm not skeptical that the above synopsis may indeed be true, I harbor extreme doubts that much more, as portrayed in the film, is even remotely true. The staging and dialogue of this mess are mere sequences of artificial television cliches, inducing forehead slaps rather than genuine concern. Two episodes in particular, involving a prisoners' strike and a bad prison doctor, are either complete fabrications or exaggerated to ridiculous extremes. The impact of the story is, therefore, lost, and the lead actor, Tony Danza, isn't good provide any redeeming qualities via his performance.