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Goals of Crime Movies

In Peter Brown’s article on real-life murders on network television, there were several inaccuracies. First, the movie of which I’m a producer, “Total Hit,” is for NBC, not CBS. And the CBS minisesries I’m producing is “Soldiers of Misfortune.”

The Times seems to have squandered an opportunity. When I was interviewed by Mr. Brown, I was excited about his effort to seriously debate the docu-drama form. Instead, his article failed to look at the underlying reasons a producer might have for retelling the events involved in murder, such as social, historical or psychological factors. Effective docudramas examining violent crimes try to show their emotional impact, ask why people turn to murder, and ponder possible societal incentives for would-be killers.

I was hoping the article would go beyond tired criticism of the networks and the ratings “ambitions” and critique the effects of the docu-drama and how we can do it better. Maybe next time.

HARVEY KAHN

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Los Angeles


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