In the tradition of TV movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s that featured a main character missing one of their keen senses, Blind Witness (1989) is one of the better ones. Victoria Principal stars as Maggie Kemlich a blind woman who has a successful job and an even more successful husband (Stephen Macht). One night their home is broken into and Maggie narrowly escapes alive when the burglars believe that she will never be able to identify them. She has little time to mourn the loss of her husband because the police don’t believe that she can identify the killers because they see her as handicapped. Only Det. Mike Tuthill (Paul Le Mat) sees her as a credible witness and the two go on a search to find her husband’s real killers despite the tremendous odds and the threat to her own life when the killers fear that she may, in fact, be able to single them out.
The film still plays very well mostly because of Principal’s endearing performance. A lot of the rest of the film can even be seen as passé and out of date as police procedure now does not summarily dismiss the witness accounts of people with disabilities. The teleplay was written by Edmond Stevens and Robert Carrington (with story credit to Tom Sullivan) and the film was directed by Richard A. Colla who made a career out of directing TV movies and television shows from the ‘60s to the ‘90s.
This is indeed a film that showcases Principal’s talents but it also allows Le Mat to shine as well. For most horror fans Le Mat will be most remembered for his role in Puppetmaster (1989) but he was also featured in Lonesome Dove: The Series and Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years. He’s one of those character actors whose face you know but you can’t remember from where. As TV movies go, this is not a bad one at all.