David Hiltbrand
April 29, 1991 12:00 PM

CBS (Sun., April 28, 9 P.M. ET)

C

In this botched remake, Mark Harmon steps clumsily into some big shoes, those of Joseph Gotten in the 1943 Hitchcock film of the same title.

Harmon is Uncle Charlie, visiting his sister (Diane Ladd) and his worshipful niece (Margaret Welsh) in California. William Lanteau, Chester on Newhart, plays Ladd’s husband.

The mystery is: Could the charming visitor be the notorious Merry Widow murderer who has been killing rich women back East? None of the performances approach those of their ’43 predecessors, though, and John Gay’s script reveals Harmon’s culpability right at the start, making a mockery of the title. Hitchcock executed a nimble fan dance with Cotten’s evil nature. Stick with the master.

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