Betrayal of The Dove

Betrayal of the Dove is a murder melodrama based on a theme of trust and betrayal. There are many twists to the plot, and just when you think you know who the good guys are, you discover they are not to be trusted. When Ellie visits her daughter Autumn's school, Autumn relates a story to her classmates about a mother dove and her baby. Ellie is chagrined when the story turns graphically violent as the 7-year-old relates how the baby is killed by a crow while the mother dove mourns. Ellie is a single mom adjusting to her new status, while her divorce from Jack proceeds amicably. Ellie has a lot of emotional support from her best friend, Una, and her boss, Sid, who arranges a date for Ellie with his cousin, Norman, an attorney. Norman is attracted to Ellie, but she's just become romantically involved with a handsome doctor, so Norman has to be content with a platonic relationship. On a hunch, Norman does some checking and finds suspicious financial information on Jack. In the meantime, Ellie undergoes minor surgery that goes awry and she nearly dies. It soon becomes evident that someone is trying to kill Ellie. The question is who and why?

  • Starring: Helen Slater and Alan Thicke
  • Director(s): Strat Hamilton
  • Producer(s): Amritraj Entertainment, Inc.
  • Screenwriter(s): Robby Benson, Karla DeVito
  • Distributor: Prism Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Unknown
  • Release Date: Tuesday, March 23, 1993

Featured Animal Action

There are numerous scenes involving birds. In the first scene as Autumn relates the story of the mother dove, a white dove is shown briefly. It is merely an establishment shot and the dove is just standing there. In a scene with a dead dove surrounded by ants, a fake clay dove was placed in the middle of the area containing the ants. Where the dove is pacing back and forth, the bird was trained so that when the trainer tapped a stick on one side of a wall the bird walked to the opposite side and when the trainer tapped the stick on the other side, the bird would walk in the opposite direction. This gave the effect of the bird pacing back and forth. For a shot where a dove flies to a nest outside Autumn's window, a trainer held the dove about two feet above and away from the nest and gently released the dove to the nest, where it flew and landed. Ellie has several hallucinations while under sedation for her surgery. In her dream, a black crow crashes through the hospital window and attacks Ellie as she tries to fend off the bird. This scene was shot in cuts using both a real bird and a mechanical bird plus special effects. The real bird responded to both verbal and visual cues by the trainer. Using the real bird, the trainer worked as photo double for the actress and the bird clawed at the trainer, responding to both verbal and visual commands. When the crow crashes through the window, it is the mechanical bird crashing through candy glass. The mechanical bird was also used in attack scenes with the actress. In other animal action, as Ellie is pursued and speeds down a rural road, she suddenly sees riders on horseback crossing the road in front of her and she slams on her brakes. This scene was shot in cuts. The riders and horses were filmed crossing the road from the point of view of someone driving a car. In a reverse shot, the car came to a stop before reaching the riders. The car was not going fast and was not close to the horses, but camera angles made them appear nearer.