Murder in Coweta County 1983 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(72) IMDb 7.5/10

In 1948 rural Georgia, legendary Sheriff Lamar Potts (Johnny Cash) watches over Coweta County. In the next county a vast estate known as The Kingdom is ruled by John Wallace (Andy Griffith), whose power is absolute. But when Wallace chases an underling he makes a critical mistake, crossing into Coweta County... Sheriff Potts' territory. Compelling true story. "Inspired casting"-Hollywood Reporter

Starring:
Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith
Runtime:
1 hour 37 minutes

Murder in Coweta County

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Gary Nelson
Starring Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith
Supporting actors Earl Hindman, Ed Van Nuys, Robert Schenkkan, Jo Henderson, Daniel Keyes, Danny Nelson, Norman Matlock, Brent Jennings, June Carter Cash, James Neal, Earl Poole Ball, Dan Biggers, Marc Clement, Bill Crabb, Stuart Culpepper, Charles Darden, Doug Dillingham, Bobby Dunn
Studio Unavailable
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

This movie is amazingly good.
Robert I. Hedges
If you like movies based on true stories, then you will like this.
acrawford1025
Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith play great parts!
S.B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 18, 2004
Verified Purchase
This movie is amazingly good. Originally made for television in 1982, this film is based on the true story of a brutal murder that took place in Georgia in 1948. The production is beautifully directed and shot, and the sets, props, and vehicles look very authentic; above all else the acting is superb from the entire cast.

Playing against his stereotype is Andy Griffith as John Wallace, the "King" of Merriwether County, Georgia. Wallace is a brutal man with an iron grip on the community. The pivotal murder is cleverly staged, but Wallace's fundamental error is to become embroiled in a car chase that takes him into Coweta County, where the murder actually occurs.

In Coweta County the Sheriff is Lamar Potts, portrayed with strength and nuance by Johnny Cash, who refuses to be intimidated by Wallace. The investigation process and courtroom scenes are particularly well done. The climax occurs when Wallace takes the stand in his own defense with an unreal account of the killing.

Particularly noteworthy are the scenes with the psychic, who I knew I recognized, but couldn't put my finger on until the very end of the movie due to the excellent makeup (and acting). The surprise for me was that the psychic was none other than June Carter Cash, who shines in her role. The chilling portrayal by Griffith is amazing, and is visually stunning at the end as his head is shaved and he is strapped to the electric chair. (It's also a visual wake up call to see Johnny Cash in a color other than black.) The entire supporting cast is particularly good.

This is a very powerful movie, not corny or over dramatized: the story and acting are as powerful as any other crime drama I have ever seen. This movie is relatively obscure, but it is worth searching for.

I could not recommend this film more highly.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lee Taylor VINE VOICE on May 19, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is a well done made-for-tv movie from the early 80's. The movie is faithful to the source material, namely a book of the same name. The story is a true tale of a man who was the king of a county in rural Georgia in the latee 1940's. The trial aspect of the film raises the question of whether a man can be tried for capital murder without a body. True, this is not bizarre in today's world but it was 50 years ago.

The performances of both Andy Griffith and Johnny Cash are fun to watch. Andy Griffith plays against form as the amoral and ruthless John Wallace. No Andy Taylor and Opie here. Johnny Cash puts in a fine performance as Sheriff Lamar Potts, the hero of the story. Look for Earl Hindman, Wilson of "Home Improvement", to step out from behind the fence.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By High-Tech Redneck on June 20, 2008
Verified Purchase
I actually grew up and live in Coweta County, Georgia, so I am familiar with this famous local story. I saw this movie on TV when I was young, and when I saw it available on DVD, I had to have it. I was afraid that it wouldn't be as good as I remembered, but I was wrong. Very good writing, directing, acting, and music. It's a made-for-TV movie, so don't expect a big-budget blockbuster, but for what it is, it is a very well-done movie. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Joiner on March 3, 2006
PAINSTAKINGLY RESEARCHED, EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN, TRULY RIVETING ! - "CAN'T PUT IT DOWN UNTIL IT REACHES

THE "JUSTICE WILL BE DONE CLIMAX"! JOHNNY CASH AND ANDY GRIFFITH WERE THE STARS OF THE "MADE FOR TV MOVIE" BASED ON THIS BOOK. THEY ARE TWO OUTSTANDING ARTISTS BUT THIS ADAPTATION CANNOT "HOLD A CANDLE" TO THE REAL LIFE EVENTS AS NARRATED BY

MS BARNES' THOROUGH RESEARCH AND INTERVIEWS WITH MOST OF THE LIVING PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE "MURDER IN COWETA COUNTY. SHE HAS PENNED A DEFINITE TRIBUTE TO DEDICATED SHERIFF LAMAR POTTS WHO WAS DETERMINED TO SEE JUSTICE DONE!

A "MUST READ" FOR ANY TRUE CRIME STORY FAN!

PERSONALLY, I FEEL THAT A RATING OF "FIVE STARS" IS NOT ENOUGH!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By golgotha.gov on October 28, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
MURDER IN COWETA COUNTY (1982)
directed by Gary Nelson
approximately 1 hour 30 minutes

This is a classic made for TV movie starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith. It is based on the book with the same title, which in turn was based on a true story of murder and justice in western Georgia.

Andy Griffith plays John Wallace, owner of a huge section of land that is nicknamed "The Kingdom". He is a ruthless boss, but presents himself to the public as a friendly Christian. His power is so great that he exerts influence of the entirety of Meriweather County (where the Kingdom is located). A disagreement with one of his workers ultimately leads to the event described in the movie's title. Had the killing occurred in Meriweather, Wallace would certainly get away clean. Coweta County, on the other hand is outside of Wallace's sphere of influence, and happens to be the jurisdiction of a Sheriff named Lamar Potts.

Potts is played by country music star Johnny Cash. He is a no-nonsense man with a history of seeking justice in every case presented to him. He believes that no man - even a man as wealthy and powerful as John Wallace - is above the law. When Sheriff Potts takes on the case, Wallace's people do everything in their power to evade and obstruct the investigation. We are left to wonder whether anybody will be held accountable for the murder, with the climax coming in the movie's trial sequence.

This movie is excellent. Andy Griffith is great as a villain, definitely a contrast to his two best-known television roles. Johnny Cash is also cast very well. I would actually count it as one of my favorite TV movies of all time!
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