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Cruel Doubt
Directed by Yves Simoneau
Produced by Susan Baerwald
Written by Joe McGinniss (Book)
John Gay (teleplay)
Starring Blythe Danner
Matt McGrath
Denis Arndt
Adam Baldwin
Gwyneth Paltrow
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography Elliot Davis
Editing by Rick Fields
Michael Ornstein
Distributed by NBC
Release date(s) May 17, 1992
Running time 187 min.
Country USA
Language English

Cruel Doubt is a 1992 television movie starring Blythe Danner and Matt McGrath. The film was first broadcast as a two-part miniseries on NBC in the United States and CTV in Canada on May 17 and May 19, 1992.

The movie is based on the true crime book Cruel Doubt by Joe McGinniss, which documents the 1988 murder of Leith Von Stein by his stepson, Chris Pritchard and two friends, James Upchurch and Gerald Neal Henderson.[1]

Although the film brought much attention to the murder of Von Stein, devotees of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons have criticized it for unfairly placing blame of the murders upon the game,[2] about which the three perpetrating friends were supposedly fanatics. The film featured real role-playing game materials (though altered), implying that they had caused the murders.[3]


  1. ^ McGinniss misspells the name "Neil," but it is spelled correctly in Jerry Bledsoe's book Blood Games.
  2. ^ The Attacks on Role-Playing Games, by Paul Cardwell, Jr., originally published in Skeptical Inquirer, 18:2, 1994 (157-165).
  3. ^ Cruel Doubt on The Escapist's FAQ

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