Movie Details

"She's every man's dream (if you can get past the whole murder and adultery thing)." So went the ABC ad copy for the heavy-breathing TV movie Bad to the Bone, which is (astonishingly) based on a true story. Playing radically against type, Kristy Swanson stars as beautiful 19-year-old Francesca "Frankie" Wells, whose baby face and sweet demeanor hides an evil, manipulative soul. For starters, Frankie kills her mom to receive her inheritance--and gets away with it. Later on, she grows weary of her relationship with her nightclub-owner boyfriend Waldo (David Chokachi), whereupon she slyly persuades her adoring younger brother Danny (Jeremy London) to bump Waldo off, being oh-so-careful not to use such nasty words as "kill" or "murder." Dutiful Danny does what his sister asks, and when both are arrested, he takes full blame for the killing. Although Frankie does a thorough job seducing a number of authority figures who could under normal circumstances put her away in a minute, eventually justice prevails and both Frankie and Danny receive 100-year prison sentences. But Frankie manages to skip town and hit the road, leaving Danny (who has finally wised up!) holding the bag. The climactic phone conversation which seals Frankie's fate is a classic of its kind. Bad to the Bone originally aired on October 19, 1997. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi