|The cast of Lizzie Borden Took an Ax starring Christina Ricci (3rd from left)|
Lifetime TV's latest offering, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, stars Christina Ricci as the suspect in the famous 1892 murder case, with Clea DuVall as Emma, her protective sister, and Billy Campbell as Andrew Jennings, her lawyer. Directed by Nick Gomez, Lizzie Borden features a rocked-out soundtrack (including The Black Keys) as the counterpoint to the handsome period costumes by Marilyn Vance. All players involved – especially DuVall – do a fine job, but it's impossible to look away from Christina Ricci, who portrays Lizzie Borden as an intelligent, petulant, self-centered woman who is a Sunday school teacher, but "only on Sunday." Lizzie Borden Took an Ax premieres on Saturday, January 25 at 8 PM.
The jump rope song, "Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one," is actually based in fact: in 1892, Fall River, Massachusetts was shocked by the brutal ax murders of Lizzie Borden's father Andrew and stepmother Abby Borden (played by Stephen McHattie and Sara Botsford). The authorities quickly suspected Lizzie, and even her sister Emma, who defended Lizzie, locked her bedroom door at night. Eventually, the entire country was riveted by the trial, during which a jury had to decide if Lizzie was a "tender, young lass" or a depraved woman filled with "hatred and a desire to kill."
Though it took place in the late 1800s, there are modern elements to the Borden tale: despite her parent's deaths and her dire predicament, Lizzie was enamored of her celebrity: when the Mayor dropped by to inform her that the authorities were launching an inquiry into the murders, she wasn't nervous, she was impressed: "The Mayor in our house, what do you think of that!" Then, when she makes front page news as a murder suspect, her reaction is, "I hate this photograph of me." The public's fascination with the murders also rings familiar, with tabloid-style news coverage and the skewed view of the trial as entertainment. When Lizzie appears in court, a woman in the gallery states, "She's pretty, she couldn't kill anybody." But did Lizzie Borden actually kill her parents? Those of you who only know of the saga from the schoolyard song might be surprised at the final outcome.
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax premieres on Saturday, January 25 at 8:00 PM on Lifetime
Photo courtesy of Lifetime
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Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014