Family Life (1971)

 |  Drama  |  December 1971 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 924 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A teenage girl suffers a nervous breakdown.


(as Kenneth Loach)


(play), (screenplay)
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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandy Ratcliff ...
Janice Baildon
Bill Dean ...
Mr. Baildon
Grace Cave ...
Mrs. Baildon
Hilary Martin ...
Barbara Baildon
Michael Riddall ...
Dr. Donaldson
Alan MacNaughton ...
Mr. Caswell (as Alan MacNaughtan)
Johnny Gee ...
Man in Garden
Bernard Atha
Edwin Brown
Freddie Clemson
Alec Coleman
Jack Connell
Ellis Dale
Terry Duggan


A 19 years old London girl received agressive psychiatric treatments for her schizophrenic behaviour by a doctor who still wants her family to insure the guard of the child without any regards to the facts that it is this family who's agravating her situation. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Wednesday's Child  »

Box Office


SEK 1,827,374 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Whilst in hospital, Janice watches a television news report of a mid-air collision between two RAF Canberra bombers, near Mansfield in Nottingham. This is a real event and took place on 29 January 1971. See more »


References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »


Down by the River
Written by Neil Young
Sung in the therapy group
See more »

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User Reviews

Painfully accurate!
22 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film a few years back in a graduate school film class and it continues to haunt me with its power. During the initial screening, I actually had to leave the class for some air and collect myself: it struck a nerve that I hadn't felt sense my teenage years: the frustration of being a troubled teenager who was sorely misunderstood. . Most parents like to think of themselves as good parents if they work and put food on the table (which is hard enough in itself.) But that is not enough! Nurturing comes to play as much as being a provider and this is something the parents just don't get. And what's sadder is that they are in a highly polarized environment (1971) between young and old, both sides too quick to assign blame.

As a teenager growing up in the 90s, I experienced some of the same frustrations as the girl in this story and was all too often categorized as a "problem" simply because the adults in my life were "doing the best they could" and therefore there has to be something wrong with me. I was luckier than the girl of this story, who's best hope for salvation is vanquished by a psychiatric bureaucracy that is too concerned about appearances to have the patience to be progressive in their ways and their thinking.

"Family Life" is a rarity. A film that does not get old but can serve as a lesson and a warning to future generations.

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