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Sammy Davis Jr.,
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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 »
"He's not my father! He's just someone you sleep with!"
New stepfather, new school, new boyfriend (Mark Hamill, pre-Luke Skywalker) proves to be all too much for troubled high schooler Sarah Travis (Linda Blair), who hits the bottle hard. TV-drama goes over the top in places, but is otherwise a sensitive and moving portrait, not too campy. Best scenes have Sarah T. scheming to get her precious booze (she has the liquor store deliver it while "mom" is in the shower), or trying to steal vodka from a corner store. Made in the day when movies attempted to teach younger viewers a life lesson; I don't know if that worked, but "Sarah T." is a pretty realistic depiction of teen angst. Blair is letter-perfect in the lead, conveying all the tangible insecurities of this awkward age. Was there any other teenage actress in the 1970s who was this good at being this tortured?
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