Dead Man's Line ★★★★½


Real news and TV camera true crime footage makes this film very gritty and intense. My heart was thumping. It starts real and stays real as we listen to an enraged man threatening to snap.

On February 8, 1977 Tony Kiritsis, disgruntled over a mortgage financing situation, walked into the mortgage office and put a wire around mortgage broker Richard Hall's head attached by a wire. This begins an extremely intense hostage situation.

Resist the urge to Google what happened to Kiritsis and his hostage before watching this all the way through. When the criminal act portion of the standoff reaches some type of conclusion -- and not knowing what that is believe me is edge of the seat suspense -- it does switch into more traditional documentary mode. This is the only flaw in the otherwise perfect film.

Not knowing anything about this case, I was completely and totally riveted by the real footage and actual voices (including sound and noise artifacts) portion of the film. This isn't Blair Witch found footage fiction, this really happened.

If I had known the outcome in advance, I don't think it would have been as powerful emotionally. I hope nobody spoils this for you. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Seriously. This is on Amazon Prime as of this posting (11/28/2019) -- watch it.