A successful public relations man's refusal to admit his alcoholism jeopardizes his career, his family and his life.

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(teleplay), (novel) (as Jack Weiner)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charlie Lester
Lynn Carlin ...
Fran Lester
...
Rudy King
...
Toni
Jewel Blanch ...
Karen Lester
...
Fisherman
Joshua Bryant ...
Dr. Emmett
...
Dr. Tillman
Robert Hover ...
Frank Lester
Carolyn Ames ...
Carol Lester
Doug Johnson ...
Stewart
...
Danny Lester
Jim Raymond ...
Mr. Doherty (as Jim B. Raymond)
Penny Kunard ...
Mrs. Doherty
Sandy Ward ...
Telly Curran
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Storyline

A successful public relations man's refusal to admit his alcoholism jeopardizes his career, his family and his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

13 February 1974 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unbeknownst to anyone other than those close to him, Dick Van Dyke had been struggling with a real life drinking problem for several years prior to making this movie. Before filming began, he decided to tell director Richard Hefferton about his struggles. As a result, while filming, Hefferton would lay out scenes, then tell Van Dyke, "you know more about this than I do, so just to it the way you see it, the way you feel it." Just before the movie aired, Van Dyke decided to go public with his alcoholism struggles (one of the first entertainment figures to go public about a drinking problem.) He received thousand of letters of support. See more »

Quotes

Rudy King: [after Charlie has attended an important meeting while hung over] I'm not going to mince words, Charlie. We've known each other too long for that. You were a disgrace this morning; I can still smell the liquor on your breath. I don't know how many of those men knew you were hung over, but I certainly did.
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Soundtracks

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
(uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff
Sung by Dick Van Dyke, Lynn Carlin, Penny Kunard and Jim Raymond
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User Reviews

 
"I'm not half the man I used to be..."
13 August 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Dick Van Dyke does very fine work in this thoughtful TV-movie about a once-successful speech writer for a public relations firm who has hit the skids: he's a heavy drinker, and doesn't know how to help himself. Thriller-writer Richard Matheson was a surprising choice to adapt Jack Weiner's novel, but he does a terrific job at setting up the circumstance and then allowing his central character to free-fall with help from his ever-present bottles of booze. Lynn Carlin, as Van Dyke's enabling spouse, is put in the somewhat unbearable position of playing mommy to both her sick husband and her shaky kids, and one longs for her to stop being a victim and take charge. But, this being 1974, the avenues which are now present for people in this unfortunate situation simply weren't commonplace yet, and Van Dyke's struggles--his broken promises, his self-inflicted downward spiral--are painful to witness. Matheson seems intent not to make this a cookie-cutter domestic drama, and at that he succeeds. The final shot (extremely well executed) leaves the viewer with a lot to consider. It becomes clear this isn't solely a hard-hitting portrait of alcoholism--it is also a story about giving up.


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