Finding herself unable to cope with the divorce of her parents and the stress of daily life, 15-year-old Sarah Travis starts drinking in secret. At first, alcohol provides comfort and release. Then it sends her life spiraling out of control. Written by
Director Richard Donner, who later hit pay-dirt with Superman (1978) in 1979, went on the talk show circuit to plug his blockbuster and was asked questions about his early directorial work. However, he couldn't remember the name of this movie. He ended up calling it "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway", which was directed by Randal Kleiser. See more »
This movie was a vehicle for Linda Blair - but don't let that deter you from checking it out.
Linda plays Sarah Travis, who as the movie begins already has a problem with alcohol. Her parents' recent divorce (and her mother's remarriage) and her move to a new school are not helping things. Slowly everything in her life slides right down the hill and into her river of alcohol. Some of the movie is custom-made for Linda Blair - she gets to sing at a party, her boyfriend has his own horses and lets her groom them (Linda LOVED horses, the teen magazines dutifully reported) - but the message of the movie rings clear. Remarkably powerful scene: Linda goes to an AA meeting, and little Bobby (Eric Olsen, then starring in "Apple's Way") steps forward and shares that his alcoholism made him "so damn disgusted with myself" that he knew he had to get help.
It's not accurate to say Sarah hits rock bottom. She THINKS she hits rock bottom, and then learns the hardest way possible just how much further she could fall.
A powerful movie, HIGHLY recommended.
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