Amazons

Tagged: Film

Made-for-tv film (1984). ABE Circle Films/Buena Vista Television for ABC-TV. Produced by Stuart Cohen. Directed by Paul Michael Glaser. Written by David Solomon from a story by Solomon and Guerdon Trueblood. Cast includes Tamara Dobson, Jack Scalia, Madeleine Stowe and Jennifer Warren. 95 minutes. Colour.

In a prologue set in ancient times, a society of female warriors forms an Amazon culture which exists quietly alongside male-dominated civilization. Flashforward to the 1980s: the Amazons still exist and are working to take over the US government by killing off certain politicians and electing Amazons to the government. Led by Dr Diane Cosgrove (Warren) their Helena Corporation owns numerous hospitals. The plan comes to light after Dr Sharon Fields (Stowe) grows suspicious of the number of politicians dying at hospitals overseen by Cosgrove. Police Lieutenant Tony Monaco (Scalia) helps her investigate; eventually they confront Cosgrove at the Helena Corporation head office. Stowe sets the building ablaze with chemicals; she and Scalia escape while Cosgrove and most of her warriors die in the inferno. At the conclusion, just after a US Presidential election, we see the Vice President-elect: a woman wearing a crossbow bracelet, sign of the Amazon culture. This twist loses its power when police arrive to arrest her, undermining the film's impact.

Amazons deserves some credit for showing Amazon society in a more or less positive light, and for portraying the women as competent military and political organizers. The conclusion suggests some lingering contemporary Paranoia about women leaders. [GSt]

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