Christina Ricci stars in the new Lifetime movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax, which recounts the story of the 19th century Fall River, Massachusetts, woman who was tried (and acquitted) for the axe-murder of her father and stepmother.
This isn’t the first time the brutal tragedy was the subject of a TV movie. On Feb 10, 1975, the ABC movie of the week, The Legend Of Lizzie Borden, offered Elizabeth Montgomery in a haunted, terrifying portrayal that was light years away from her best-known role as Samantha on Bewitched. Here are five things to know:
1. Montgomery was nominated for an outstanding lead actress Emmy in a special programme – drama or comedy. (She didn’t win).
2. New York Times TV critic John J. O’Connor called the TV movie, “a complex and memorable creation.”
3. The cast included contemporary and future TV series stars Katherine Helmond (Soap, Who’s The Boss?), Ed Flanders (St. Elsewhere), Hayden Rorke (I Dream Of Jeannie) and Don Porter (Gidget).
4. In the version of the TV movie distributed for European audiences, Montgomery was shown nude as she hacked her parents (Borden disrobed to avoid getting bloodstains on her clothing). US audiences saw a much more discrete scene.
5. Montgomery and Lizzie Borden were sixth cousins once removed, both descending from 17th century Massachusetts resident John Luther, according to genealogists. — Newsday/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services