Question: I saw a movie about a rich woman who survives an alligator attack orchestrated by her husband; after recovering from her injuries and getting plastic surgery, she returns home to get revenge. I know it played as a movie-of-the-week, maybe in the 1980s, but I thought the title was East of Eden, like the classic, and can't find any sign that it exists. My family says I imagined it. Can you help? Jean
In the early 1980s I saw part of a movie one afternoon but couldn't stay to see the end. All I remember is that a woman's face is disfigured by an alligator in a swamp, I think and she has plastic surgery. She knows her mother-in-law arranged the "accident" and plans revenge. Have you ever heard of this movie? Debbie
I remember seeing a made-for-TV movie, but for the life of me I can't remember the title or who was in it or much else, except for one part in which a woman is swimming in a lake or pond. There's an alligator in the water with her and she freaks out when she sees it; all the while her husband is taking pictures of her reaction. Please help me! Christina
Flickchick: These are only three of many emails I received over the years about what is clearly the same movie, which I've never seen. But all the details add up to an Australian miniseries called Return to Eden (1985). Lonely rich girl Stephanie Harper (Rebecca Gilling) marries a washed-up tennis pro (James Reyne) who just wants her money so he can marry her best friend (Wendy Hughes). At the earliest opportunity, he pushes her into a pool filled with crocodiles and leaves her for dead, but she survives, has plastic surgery, becomes a world-famous model and returns to her family's estate the titular Eden for some payback. Although it's long out of print, it was issued on video and there are (very pricey!) used copies available online. It's also available on Region 4 DVD, which means that if you're in the U.S. or Canada you'll need a multistandard DVD player to watch it.
Addendum: Several readers have written to suggest that Christina's question might refer to another made-for-TV movie, 1985's Deadly Intentions. It was based on the true-crime book of the same title by Randolph Stevens, who prosecuted the case of
Dr. Patrick Henry. Henry tormented his wife, Tina, during their marriage and tried to murder her after she divorced him. The couple are renamed Katherine and Charles Raynor in the movie, and are played by Madolyn Smith and Michael Biehn. Deadly Intentions included a scene in whch Dr. Raynor suggests that his wife swim out into the middle of a lake so he can take her picture, then takes snapshots as she swims back to shore in terror, an alligator close behind.