Half a Death (1972, Leslie H. Martinson)

Half a Death gets off to a troubled start thanks to Tod Andrews. He’s only in the episode (of “Ghost Story”) for the first scene, but he’s just awful. Watching Eleanor Parker act opposite him is painful. While Henry Slesar’s script is no great shakes in the dialogue department, Parker still turns in a good performance. Andrews just flops.

Then Pamela Franklin–the protagonist–shows up and Death gets quite a bit better. Franklin and Parker are both excellent and they often make Death worthwhile. Slesar has a decent plot, if a bit contrived at times.

But the ending is so contrived, even with good supporting performances from Signe Hasso and, to a lesser extent, Stephen Brooks, it’s hard to get involved. Slesar jumps forward too much in the timeline, making his long scenes the only effective ones.

The ending is summary.

Still, Franklin and Parker give outstanding, complex performances.

1/3Not Recommended


Directed by Leslie H. Martinson; teleplay by Harry Slesar; β€œGhost Story” created by William Castle; director of photography, Emmett Bergholz; edited by John Sheets; music by Billy Goldenberg and Robert Prince; produced by Joel Rogosin; aired by the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Starring Pamela Franklin (Christina Burgess), Stephen Brooks (Ethan), Andrew Duggan (Jeremy), Tod Andrews (Andrew Burgess), Signe Hasso (Mrs. Eliscu), Taylor Lacher (Charlie Eliscu) and Eleanor Parker (Paula Burgess).

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