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Murder in Texas (1981)

Story of Texas heiress Joan Robinson, who married plastic surgeon John Hill. Her father, Ash, is suspicious of Hill, thinking that he married Joan for money, which he used to buy a house ... See full summary »


William Hale


Ann Kurth (book), John McGreevey
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Katharine Ross ... Ann Kurth Hill
Sam Elliott ... Dr. John Hill
Farrah Fawcett ... Joan Robinson Hill
Andy Griffith ... Ash Robinson
G.W. Bailey ... Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes
Barry Corbin ... Dist. Atty. McMasters
Pamela Myers Pamela Myers ... Mary
Craig T. Nelson ... Jack Ramsey
Royce Wallace Royce Wallace ... Wilma
Dimitra Arliss ... Gina Meier
Jude Farese Jude Farese ... Casselli
Philip Sterling ... Dr. Helpern
Vernon Weddle Vernon Weddle ... Dr. Joe
Lesley Woods ... Reah Robinson
Parley Baer ... Ann's attorney


Story of Texas heiress Joan Robinson, who married plastic surgeon John Hill. Her father, Ash, is suspicious of Hill, thinking that he married Joan for money, which he used to buy a house and indulges in some odd hobbies. He eventually has an affair with a woman named Ann Kurth. Eventually Ash threatens John with him losing custody of his son unless he makes full restitution to Joan. One day, Joan gets sick and dies. John somehow doesn't allow an autopsy to be done. Ash thinks it's strange, and thinks John killed Joan and sets out to prove it. John eventually marries Ann and she can't help but find his behavior strange. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

3 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder in Texas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dick Clark Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The woman he had an affair with Ann Kurth, feared for her life moved to hide in lived in Lago Vista near Austin, TX. Mike Sims grew up in Lago Vista knowing her son Glen and watched the TV movie seeing various classmates and residents of Lago in the movie. See more »


References A Man and a Woman (1966) See more »


I Will Wait For You
From the song "Je ne pourrais jamais vivre sans toi"
Music by Michel Legrand
English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
See more »

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User Reviews

The marrying man
7 August 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I mean seriously, Dr. John Robert Hill seemed addicted to marriage didn't he? I am not going to dispute whether this account is true in all of its points, or that some points are a matter of record, some points are conjecture, and some points are complete hooey. However, let me just state that this film is based entirely on the book of Ann Kurth, second wife of Dr. John Robert Hill, and that it does not line up with everything that was known by 1981, when this film was made. But it makes a better film than the other more objective book on the subject, "Blood and Money".

As for the film: Joan Robinson Hill (Farrah Fawcett) is a socialite and skilled equestrian, unhappily married to plastic surgeon Dr. John Robert Hill (Sam Elliott). She seems to love him, but his love has grown cold. Maybe it is because he seems as married to Joan's dad Ash Robinson (Andy Griffith) as Joan, as Ash is always inserting himself into every situation, and John did not sign up for a trio. Ash is a self made oil man and a man with a straightforward rough manner.

Dr. Hill falls in love with divorcee Ann Kurth (Katherine Ross), has an affair with her, and wants to marry her. But Ash says there will be a nasty court battle if that happens, that the doctor will wind up with none of the Robinson money, and that Ash will involve Kurth in the case and have Hill ostracized from Houston society meaning his practice will dry up too. So Doctor John stays with Joan, and tells Ann to wait.

But then Joan falls suddenly ill with a stomach flu after practically being hand fed French pastry by her husband, and over a period of a few days grows gravely ill and dies in a hospital that was not the closest, plus it did not have an ICU - a hospital to which her husband decided to take her knowing of the better option. After the shortest possible respectable waiting period, Doctor John marries Ann and moves her into his big mansion, the former home of the doc and Joan. How convenient for the doctor, the sudden death of the unwanted wife.

Ash is sure that his ex son in law killed his daughter, and goes about trying to get the law to investigate. But meanwhile weird things are happening inside the Hill mansion and inside the new Hill marriage. What weird things? Watch and find out.

Everybody played their parts with excellence. Farrah Fawcett finally got some credit for some range as the spoiled daddy's girl who is used to him getting her all that she wants, but dad can't get her husband to love her. If you only thought of Andy Griffith as affable sheriff Andy Taylor in 1981, he shows a meaner more determined side here. Special honors have to go to Sam Elliott here. This is maybe the best role of his career. In spite of that genuine Texas sounding twang, he is just a creepy scary guy throughout the film, always playing his cards close to his vest.

Part of my love for this film is for how genuinely Texan it is. For example, an old fashioned evangelical Hell and Brimstone preaching church sits in the shadows of the glass and steel high rises of Houston, people can eat outside in cafes at Christmastime because it is 70 degrees, and a man can name his son "Boot" and yet hold his head up.

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