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I read the book "Lisa Bright and Dark" and this movie holds up next to the book really well. The performances were strong and it dealt with a subject that most decent people didn't talk about at that time-mental illness. I was a teen when I first watched it and read the book and while thankfully me and my friends didn't have the problems that Lisa did, I could still relate to the teen girls love and concern as they watched Lisa slip further and further into mental illness. I wish they would release the old made for TV movies that came out in the early 70's on DVD. I haven't seen this one in 30 years and would love to watch it again.
This is one of those Hallmark Hall of Fame specials that helped to cement their reputation for being well-made, well-acted quality production. Kay Lenz is outstanding as Lisa, and the supporting cast is also excellent. This is one that still holds up today, even though it was made many years ago. When this was made, mental illness wasn't a popular subject for serious treatment by television, but this sensitive,thoughtful movie helped to be a pioneer for all of the television movies dealing with mental illness (like Sybil, The Cracker Factory, and many others)that would come afterwards. The Seventies was a coming of age time for television drama. Lisa, Bright and Dark was a definite pioneer.
I've been collecting & trading 70's "Made For TV" movies for years and this is one title I have been searching for FOREVER but never have come across!! Not only is Kay Lenz excellent in her role but the supporting cast is great too! First read the book in school back when we ordered through "The Scholastic Book Club"...and the movie is a very good adaptation. Two other books that became part of my "70's TV Movies" collection, (that I was lucky enough to finally find), were Ann Heads "Mr. & Mrs. Bo Jo Jones" (1971) & Blossom Elfman's "The Girls Of Huntington House" (1973) which were both adapted into movies well and I very much recommend both the book & movie of these titles!
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