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Perfect Murder, Perfect Town

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Boulder, Colorado has long been known as a peaceful community. Yet, since the day six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was discovered brutally murdered in her prominent family's home, this once idyllic community has become a city at war with itself. Struggles rage between John and Patsy Ramsey, local law enforcement, the District Attorney as well as the national tabloid media fixated on issuing blame.

Respected author, director and Emmy Award winning producer Lawrence Schiller (The Executioner's Song) spent over a year in Boulder meticulously researching and writing the best-selling book upon which this compelling miniseries is entirely based.

This video edition features the longer director's cut not shown on television and features an all-star cast including Kris Kristofferson, Marg Helenberger, Ronny Cox, Ken Howard and Ann-Margret.

Special Director's Cut - Over 18 Minutes of Additional Footage.


The murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was tabloid fodder for years, but Perfect Murder, Perfect Town earns respect with its riveting focus on facts. In adapting his own bestselling book with writer Tom Topor, producer-director Lawrence Schiller (who chronicled the O.J. Simpson trial in An American Tragedy) wrangles dozens of characters into a complicated but coherent portrait of justice gone awry. Beginning with the Christmas-night murder in 1996 and spanning 18 months of investigation, this three-hour telefilm shows how sloppy police work, legal loopholes, and political conditions in Boulder, Colorado, made JonBenét's murder virtually unsolvable. Ronny Cox and CSI's Marg Helgenberger play the highly suspect Ramsey parents, steadfastly maintaining an innocent façade; their performances are ripe with ambiguity. Schiller also dramatizes the machinations of a tabloid journalist (Sean Whalen); a religious detective (Kris Kristofferson) hired by the Ramseys; the backstage maneuvering of Boulder's district attorney (Ken Howard); the poorly secured crime scene; and much more. With its semi-documentary approach and first-rate cast, the film covers a lot of territory but it's never confusing or exploitative. And still, the mystery remains. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kris Kristofferson, Marg Helgenberger, Ronny Cox
  • Directors: Lawrence Schiller
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Studio Works
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008K7AQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,347 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Very good movie,I'm glad that I bought a copy.
James W. Hall Jr.
The actors in the movie did very well and the movie was well written.
Colleen McKinney
This one is really sad but I think that it was a good movie.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on July 1, 2003
Format: DVD
This made-for-TV film was a strong presentation of the book, adhering closely to details presented therein. Its only let-down is driven by the real-life fact that the case was not solved, and such indefinite endings always leave the viewer feeling somewhat flat.
The undisputed stars of the show were Marg Helgenberger and Ronny Cox as Patsy and John Ramsey. Marg enjoyed what appeared to be a fabulous time chewing the scenery, dancing and playing with her daughter, and exhibiting a full range of theatrical emotion -- while simultaneously, Ronny did an absolutely stupendous job of being dazed and confused, an indecisive executive and wounded father. They were perfect, and I hope they had a great deal of fun making that film. The movie is worth watching just to watch them.
I first saw this film before reading the book, then again after doing so. The film is a very capable adaptation, much more than many others you'll see. Read the book, then watch it again.
And yes, I have an opinion as to who killed JonBenet. If the character's portral in the film was consonant with that person's actual behavior during these events, then I am pretty darned certain who it was.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 14, 2004
Format: DVD
I currently own the movie "Perfect murder,Perfect town" and I have to say one thing,I only seen it once or twice before buying the movie and it thaught the graphics and the 'emotion' behind the filming was absolutely extrordinarily perfect!Marg Helenberger (CSI:Crime scene Investigation) who plays Patsy Ramsey,Showed a lot of emotional and strong feelings that Patsy Ramsey herself had shown in real life.If you rent/buy this on DVD I reccomend after watching it,when planning watching it a second time,you should listen to the directors commentary.It explains how Helenberger had to understand her role as Patsy and had put herself in the position of a mother in real life who actually had to experience the lost a child.The director had interviewed the Boulder County police Department and the cops origionally at the scene of Jonbenet Ramsey's kidnapping and murder had shared the files taken,evidence at the Ramsey's home,Photographs taken of the home,and basically shared the actual experience of investagating the 6 year olds murder.They also had the experience of the media and paparazzi hounding the Ramsey's.The director also explains the movement of the case from Steve Thomas to Alex Hunter,Alex Hunter Sharing substantual evidence of the murder to the Jeff shapiro who was a reporter for the globe.It has Jonbenet played by Dianne Iandoli doing some Pageant scenes (but not many)Just news and one of her being coached.And the beginning of the fil which gives her some lines but leads straight into the kidnapping and murder of Jonbenet.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Annabelle Lee on March 5, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The acting was great, ( I LOVE Kris Kristofferson) the story was broken down and told very well. The maddening thing is I guess we will never know who killed that beautiful, defenseless little girl. The brother was almost completely left out of the story. (?) Good DVD! The directors cut was great, (wish the director could have spoken just a bit less about himself!) full of interesting info.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on May 18, 2007
Format: DVD
Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? A lot of folks would say, "Who cares?" I understand that point of view since I'm the sort of person who spends a lot of time complaining about the media covering this stuff in lieu of important issues. But I'm also the sort of individual who likes to read about true crime. The JonBenet Ramsey case, still unsolved over ten years later, ranks as one of the most gripping murder mysteries in recent memory. Yes, the media went nuts over the murder of this little girl in Boulder, Colorado all those years ago. Yes, the media spent an inordinate amount of time covering the most lurid details of both the murder and the Ramsey family. Yes, the media invented "facts" out of thin air in their rush to pass judgment and their clamor for ratings. None of that takes away from the sheer strangeness, the utter creepiness, of the crime in question. The murder of JonBenet Ramsey is one of the weirdest, scariest crimes I've ever read about. Even when you jettison the media hysteria, what's left chills the blood. Did the parents commit the crime, or did an intruder perpetrate the dastardly deed? We may never know.

I decided to watch the made for television movie "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" after reading Lawrence Schiller's book of the same name. In fact, Schiller directed this film version of his comprehensive examination of all aspects of the Ramsey crime. The movie starts before the murder, around Christmas 1996, as we see the Ramsey clan--mother Patsy (Marg Helgenberger), father John (Ronny Cox), son Burke (Tyler Sharp), and JonBenet (Dyanne Iandoli)--out celebrating in true holiday spirit. You know the routine: picking up presents, window shopping, etc. We even see John running across the street after the kids hit the sack in order to pick up a bicycle he bought as a present.
Read more ›
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