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Edmonton Journal (27/Apr/1991) - Shadow of a Doubt star wants to slow pace



Shadow of a Doubt star wants to slow pace

Is former St. Elsewhere star Mark Harmon putting in his bid for the king-of-the-TV-movie title? Shadow of a Doubt, the Hallmark Hall of Fame remake of director Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 chiller, is his fourth TV movie in less than four months.

Already this year, Harmon has starred in ABC's Dillinger, NBC's Long Road Home and Showtime's Fourth Story. Not to be left out, CBS will air Shadow of a Doubt Sunday at 10 p.m. Mountain time.

"No, I'm not trying to set a record or anything," Harmon said during a telephone interview. "In fact, this is the last one for a while. I'm basically looking to get out of the TV-movie business. I want to be home more."

To meet that goal, Harmon is pursuing the luxuries that go with a series: regular hours and minimal travel. He's waiting to hear the fate of Reasonable Doubt, his NBC series pilot for an hour drama about a hearing-impaired prosecutor (Oscar winner Marlee Matlin) assisted by a police investigator.

Readily admitting that his own judgment of movie scripts has been spotty, Harmon says that Shadow of a Doubt fits in with his new philosophy of selecting projects because of the people involved.

"The thing that attracted me was the Hallmark name," said the son of football legend Tom Harmon. "That makes this TV movie a good one to cut back on. A couple of years ago, I'd read a script, like it and do it. The more involved I got with my career, the more screwed up it got.

"What I've discovered is that, as a rule, you get better work when you work for better people."

Shadow of a Doubt is writer John Gay's reworking of the 1943 script by Thornton Wilder (Our Town), Sally Benson and Alma Reville (from a story by Gordon McDonell). In the Hitchcock psychological drama, Teresa Wright played a romantic young woman coming to grips with the suspicion that her favorite uncle (Joseph Cotten) might be a murderer.

In the Hallmark version, which is set in the '50s, Harmon plays the Cotten role.

"I'm very respectful of what Joseph Cotten did," he says. "I don't know if this is something I would have done if Hallmark had not been involved."