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April 10, 1984

THE NEW YORK TIMES
TV Reviews; 'Killing Floor,' American Workers
By John J. O'Connor

Needless to say, the film's sympathy is entirely with the workers. The bosses are depicted as smooth shifty-eyed villains, pushing constantly to turn one worker faction against the other. It is not for nothing, obviously, that the underwriters of this presentation include several unions.

The film is a bit longer than need be. Presumably for purposes of dramatization, Custer gets involved, rather superfluously, with a couple of women, one of them being a supportive ''social shop'' owner played with a lovely touch of warmth by Mary Alice. But the period details by art director Maher Ahmad, the music by Elizabeth Swados and the strong cast, directed by William Duke, keep lifting ''The Killing Floor'' above the ordinary ''partisan'' film of this type. In particular, Mr. Leake, a talented and always ingratiating actor, provides a strong and intensely charged dramatic core. His wife is affectingly played by Alfre Woodard. This pilot certainly makes a strong case for an extended series.
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