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Based very loosely on the intricate novel by Joanne Greenberg. A young woman's devotion to a childhood fantasy kingdom has taken over her entire life and causes her endless pain and degradation. Placed in a mental hospital, she has the great good fortune to have a truly caring therapist who tries to help her accept reality, even though reality isn't so great either. Written by
Molly Malloy <email@example.com>
Who would have ever imagined that Roger Corman executive produced this?
Right after "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" offered a scathing look at mental institutions, "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" offered a similar sort of look. Portraying young Deborah Blake (Kathleen Quinlan) getting put in one and experiencing the unpleasant things there while Dr. Fried (Bibi Andersson) tries to help her, the movie makes you feel like there's a knife in your stomach. Certainly this institution is not any place where you're likely to become sane. But Deborah has to make her way through no matter what.
There are some pretty disturbing scenes here, and they do a very good job with it. As a director, Roger Corman may be known for camp, but as executive producer here, he cooperated on a well done flick. Also starring Lorraine Gary (Roy Scheider's wife in "Jaws"), Sylvia Sidney (the "Mars Attacks!" grandmother) and a fairly young Dennis Quaid and Clint Howard.
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