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TV Reviews : Veronica Hamel Becomes an Obsessed Nanny in 'Baby Snatcher'

May 02, 1992|LYNNE HEFFLEY

Veronica Hamel is downright scary as a kidnaper in Sunday's CBS movie "Baby Snatcher" (9 p.m. on Channels 2 and 8).

Hamel plays Bianca, a woman so obsessed with keeping her insensitive and remarkably gullible husband (Michael Madsen) that she fakes a pregnancy.

When the nine months are up, she needs an infant fast. Posing as a candidate for a nanny position, Bianca steals the month-old daughter of unmarried waitress Karen (Nancy McKeon).

When Bianca's husband arrives home from work, he believes she gave birth at a hospital and came home a few hours later.

Meanwhile, Karen is dealing with her wimpy married boyfriend (David Duchovny), her guilt-stricken mother (Penny Fuller), the police and the media feeding frenzy: "Where'd you hide the body?" "Do you practice the occult?" "How do you feel?"

Susan Rhinehart's script, directed by Joyce Chopra, is based on a true story. When the film ends we learn what happened to the real people involved and are shown an 800 number for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

But, except for some chilling moments from Hamel--watch her face as she slowly combs her hair in front of the mirror--and McKeon's grace and believability as the distraught mother, there's not much that lifts this out of the average TV movie bathos.

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