Plot & Details
Based on Tim O'Brien's novel, In the Lake of the Woods is the story of a man driven by demons from his past and a mystery surrounding the disappearance of his wife. John Waylan (Peter Strauss), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota, is leading in pre-election polls when a reporter for a Minneapolis newspaper breaks a story about Waylan's involvement in a massacre of civilians while he was a soldier in Vietnam. Waylan loses the election and retreats with his wife, Kathy (Kathleen Quinlan), to a luxurious lakeside cabin owned by friends, where he broods over the past -- not just his tour of duty in Vietnam, but also his troubled childhood, marked by conflict with an abusive, alcoholic father. When Kathy goes missing, John goes to the local authorities, who mount a search for her and a missing boat while Waylan continues to brood over his shattered life. The story is told in multiple flashbacks, with a reporter questioning those who knew Waylan and his wife, including a political operative (Peter Boyle) and Kathy's sister (Nancy Sorel). This film originally ran on Fox in the spring of 1996 and was produced by Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.