Five Desperate Women

Five Desperate Women is a 1971 American TV film directed by Ted Post. It was an ABC Movie of the Week.[1]

Five Desperate Women
Directed byTed Post
Produced byAaron Spelling
Written byMarc Norman
Walter Black
Based onstory by Larry Gordon
Music byPaul Glass
Edited byArt Seid
Aaron Spelling Productions
Distributed byABC
Release date
28 September 1971
CountryUnited States


A violent inmate, whose face is not shown, escapes from a state mental facility. He makes his way to a private beach, drowns a man relaxing on the shore, and steals his work uniform.

Five young women meet, they are having their 5-year college reunion at an exclusive mansion on an isolated island that does not have phone contact with the mainland. Several of the women have personal issues.

Meeker is the captain of the small boat that takes the women to the island. Wylie is the mansion’s caretaker. They argue, both with the women around and in private.

The next morning the island’s dog is found dead. Later that day four of the women return from the beach to discover that the fifth has been strangled to death. They surmise it must be Meeker or Wylie who killed her. The women plan to get on the boat and sail off, or at least to use its radio to call for help, but as they approach the boat it explodes.

The four women lock the men out of the mansion and agree to not leave each other alone for the rest of the night. The men, when told (through the locked door) that one of the women has been killed, both say they have no knowledge of it. They tell the women a supply ship will be arriving in the morning, and leave them in the mansion. The women discuss which of Meeker or Wylie they think is the murderer.

In the company cabin, the two men are suspicious of each other and both resolve not to let the other out of his sight. They discuss the possibility that someone else might be on the island. Later that night Meeker says he wants to go out to get some air, and when Wylie tries to stop him, they fight. Meeker beats up Wylie and runs away.

The next morning Meeker and Wylie have a confrontation that reveals which of them is the murderer. The killer persuades the women the other man, who is now dead, was responsible, and that they are all now safe. Later, when the supply ship is due, one of the women goes off to thank the surviving man for his help. The other women wander the beach while waiting, and come across information that proves the killer is the man they have come to trust. They rush off to warn their friend.

The lone woman, while talking to the man, comes to the realization that he is unbalanced. Just then the three women approach calling out her name. She runs off but he catches her and chokes her. Her friends, after at first being fearful of getting too close to the attack, are able to save her by knocking the killer over the head with a rock, which kills him. Gasping and in shock they make their way to the island’s pier.



  1. By, D. S. (1974, Oct 06). Made-for-TV movie: It's coming of age. The Washington Post (1974-Current File) Retrieved from
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