» » Frame Up (1991)

Short summary

In the small American town of Orton Creek, David Farmer is accidentally killed by Don Curran, son of town tyrant Will Curran, during a fraternity initiation. The frat boys frame electronic parts salesman Frank Govers for hit-and-run but determined newcomer Sheriff Ralph Baker and his love interest Jo Westlake seek the truth. Govers and girlfriend Lee Ann Hadley hide in a hunting cabin and are captured by prison escapees Mick August and Merlin Wells (who is tricked by Govers into electrocuting himself). August tries to claim the bounty on Govers from Will Curran but Sheriff Baker is only one step behind.

Dick Sargent's last feature film.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Cenneel
    This work is above his norm for low echelon director Paul Leder, benefiting from contributions made by some talented players along with Leder's competent editing, and occasionally dialogue penned by Leder's son Reuben that gives the actors some marrow, but as with much of the senior Leder's output, an overly cluttered storyline holds the film captive to its lower cut station. Wings Hauser is newly hired Sheriff Ralph Baker of the small town of Orton Creek, California, migrant from Los Angeles where he had been a traffic policeman before tiring of a congested existence; however, he learns that his township is beneath the thumb of local plutocrat Will Curran (Dick Sargent), whose son Don (Tom Hodges) is shielded by unified community officials from being charged for the murder of another youth. During a hazing incident, a prospective fraternity brother is slain by Don and his cohorts, but the blame, as a hit-and-run crime, is readily placed upon a traveling huckster, Frank Govers (Robert Picardo) who keeps his own criminal past a secret while enjoying loyal and romantic support from a young waitress (Heather Fairfield) although these two, as fugitives, are captured and abused by yet two more outlaws, all of which is occurring while the Sheriff's deputies are quitting the Department because of the senior Curran's pressure and political influence. It becomes readily apparent that these several unions, and others as well, are too tall an order for the resources at hand, although there is a good deal of sincere effort displayed by the cast, and Leder wisely allows the players to develop their parts, but blocking is awkwardly arranged and plot flaws interfere with continuity. Heather Fairfield is particularly convincing as a jilted bride who has fastened her love to a man with a very uncertain future, and Frances Fisher performs well as the Sheriff's secretary and lover, with nice turns delivered by Lauren Woodland, playing Baker's young daughter, and Kris Kamm as an innocent fraternity member, in this never boring but uneven production shot in northern Los Angeles County.
  • comment
    • Author: Dog_Uoll
    Wings Hauser played the vicious pimp "Ramrod" in "Vice Squad". Here we get to see the tender side of "Wings", romancing his deputy sheriff, in "Frame Up". This is the story of a fraternity initiation gone bad, involving a salesman who is framed for a boys death. Meanwhile, two escaped convicts are drawn into this rather convoluted screenplay, capturing the salesman and his squeeze, then trying to exchange them for $25,000 from one of the frat boys fathers. There is an awful lot going on all at once, resulting in some extremely choppy editing. Besides the frame up, you've got a rape, a romance, some gun-play, and a captive explaining to one of the convicts a step by step self electrical execution. Overall, just OK, but watchable. - MERK
  • comment
    • Author: Landamath
    Something is rotten in the small town of Orton Creek, California. Some fraternity punks, during a particularly mean-spirited initiation, kill a young pledge. The evil leader of these sadistic ne'er-do-wells is one Don Curran (Hodges). Fearing for their futures, they pin the murder on traveling salesman Frank Govers (Picardo). Govers gets wind of what's going on and, because of some misdeeds in his past, takes his young girlfriend Lee Ann (Fairfield) and they go on the run.

    Meanwhile, Sheriff Ralph Baker is on the case. Hoping to escape the noise of Los Angeles, he moves with his young daughter to Orton Creek. He runs into trouble when he realizes the town is under the control of land developer Will Curran (Sargent) - a man just as evil as the aforementioned Don, his jerk of a son. Seeking justice, Ralph teams up with fellow law enforcement officer and love interest Jo (Westlake) and they attempt to get to the bottom of the whole sordid mess. But will they do it? Wings puts in a strong, likable performance and has good screen presence here. Frame-up is not really an action movie, it's more of a drama. It's decent, even if it seems a bit "made for TV" at times. Apparently it warranted a sequel at one point in time, but it was never really released. I guess we'll never know the continuing saga of Ralph Baker. Sidebar: Does Wings really look like a guy named "Ralph"? You really hate the frat boys (except for the token "weak link" kid that wants to tell all to the authorities – you know these guys go in for some hard core hazing when they force the pledge to eat a lizard. Eat a lizard! And it's alive. Next thing we know, the kid is inexplicably covered in feathers and running down a hill. I know. We don't get it either. But as they warned, he may never become a "true bro".

    As far as Dick Sargent is concerned, perhaps he, in 1991, really wanted to shed his "Bewitched" image, so we are treated to the sight of seeing this classic 50's TV star wearing acid-washed jeans and cursing like a sailor. But he gives a nice "boo-hiss" bad guy performance.

    The Robert Picardo subplot is pretty influenced by the Peckinpah film The Getaway (1972), and he and co-star Heather Fairfield do a nice job, especially Fairfield.

    Overall, Frame Up is decently entertaining and Wings fans will want to seek it out for his solid performance and the fact that this is one of his lesser-known vehicles.

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  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Wings Hauser Wings Hauser - Ralph Baker
    Bobby Di Cicco Bobby Di Cicco - Mick J. August
    Heather Fairfield Heather Fairfield - Lee Ann Hadley
    Frances Fisher Frances Fisher - Jo Westlake
    Dick Sargent Dick Sargent - Will Curran
    Robert Picardo Robert Picardo - Frank Govers
    Tom Hodges Tom Hodges - Don Curran
    Kris Kamm Kris Kamm - Jack Marsh
    Jeff MacKay Jeff MacKay - Bob Sprague
    Adam Biesk Adam Biesk - David Farmer
    Rich Stanley Rich Stanley - Fred Jenks
    Roger Hewlett Roger Hewlett - Merlin Wells
    Ben Reed Ben Reed - Rick McDonald
    John C. Moskoff John C. Moskoff - Paul Thompson
    Robert Cornthwaite Robert Cornthwaite - Earl Cott
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