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A Case of Rape (1974)

When she was raped, Ellen thought it was the worst thing to ever happen to her. What was worse was the treatment by the hospital staff, police and the court system when she reported it, and... See full summary »


Boris Sagal


Robert E. Thompson (teleplay), Louis Rudolph (story)
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Montgomery ... Ellen Harrod
William Daniels ... Leonard Alexander
Cliff Potts Cliff Potts ... Larry Retzliff
Rosemary Murphy ... Muriel Dyer
Ronny Cox ... David Harrod
Patricia Smith ... Marge Bracken
Ken Swofford ... Det. Riley
Jonathan Goldsmith ... Det. Parker (as Jonathan Lippe)
Sandy Kenyon
Gerald Hiken Gerald Hiken
Debbie Lytton
Alex Henteloff Alex Henteloff ... Alex
Robert Karnes ... Judge
Charles Macaulay Charles Macaulay ... Dr. Marsden
Mario Gallo ... Photographer


When she was raped, Ellen thought it was the worst thing to ever happen to her. What was worse was the treatment by the hospital staff, police and the court system when she reported it, and the afttermath of the culprit's apprehension. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

20 February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sedução See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The studio wanted to cut the second rape, but Elizabeth Montgomery threatened to walk if they did. The second rape was kept. See more »

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User Reviews

If It Happened To Liz Montgomery, it can happen to anyone.
19 January 2013 | by PutzbergerSee all my reviews

That's the subtle message of this remarkably restrained made-for-TV docudrama, which features the "Bewitched" star as a sort of real-world Samantha Stephens - Ellen Harrod, a stylish California housewife with an adorable blonde daughter and an affable mope for a husband (in this film played by Ronny Cox as opposed to Dicks Sargent or York), but no magic powers. Ellen is, however, just as smart and self-possessed as Samantha, and her lack of histrionics makes all the abuse she endures in this movie -- two sexual assaults, a callous medical establishment and an actively hostile legal system -- even more disturbing. Liz Montgomery almost always played superior to type. In "Bewitched," both she and the audience were in on the central joke of the premise, which was that she was light-years above Darren's league and could have turned him into a ferret if she wanted (not that it would have made much difference) . In "A Case of Rape," she plays a victim who steadfastly refuses to act like a victim, but is so disgusted by everyone's willful blindness to her ordeal that she finally gets up and screams about it.

In her early scenes of playfully sparring with Cox and dabbling with painting, Liz establishes Ellen as sexy, sharp-witted, and creative, the kind of woman whom it was all too easy to stereotype as a bored housewife secretly bored by her life and seek excitement in infidelity. Which is exactly how doctors and cops treat Ellen after her assailant tricks his way into her home one night, sexually assaults her while her daughter is sleeping, and attacks her again in the parking lot of her apartment complex a couple of days later. The rest of the movie is calculated outrage, but since public attitudes toward rape weren't all that progressive in 1974, such plot devices as the cynical prosecutor who treats Ellen's case like a mundane chore and Cox's pitifully inadequate attempts to be supportive ("he did this to both of us!") were probably necessary, and the filmmakers are to be commended for not sensationalizing the subject matter with cat-and-mouse chase scenes or hysterical breakdowns. Still, it's a rough couple of hours. Liz is so isolated in this movie that she doesn't even get sympathy from her best friend, a frumpy neighbor who, in one sickening scene, hints that she wants Liz to share every titillating detail of the assault. Less secure human beings would explode or sob at such ill treatment. Liz, being Liz, drops a cool bon mot, thanks her for the coffee, and leaves. She's a great advocate for the dignity of sexual assault survivors, and that alone makes "A Case of Rape" worth watching.

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