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Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night (1977)

A disturbed young mother with some serious psychological problems begins to take them out on her infant daughter.



Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Orrin Helgerson
Tom Atherton
Dr. Angela Buccieri
Dave Williams
Laura Atherton
Phillip R. Allen ...
Mr. Bernards
Natasha Ryan ...
Mary Jane Harper
Ray Buktenica ...
Dr. Mark Handelman
Ivan Bonar ...
Judge F.F. Carlson
Dr. Sutterman
Charles Lucia ...
Bill Harper
Sandra Deel ...
Mrs. Ramish
Elizabeth Robinson ...
Jeanne Williams


A disturbed young mother with some serious psychological problems begins to take them out on her infant daughter.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

5 October 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Stiffly compassionate...
27 February 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Writer Joanna Lee never quite got out of the television rut; having written for "The Flinstones" and "Gilligan's Island" (among others), she finally got to write a piece based on her own life which became the acclaimed TV-drama "I Want To Keep My Baby" in 1976. Fresh off that triumph, Lee attempted to score again with this child-abuse soaper, and her heart was certainly in it (if not her sense of reality-based dynamics). Susan Dey is the young single mother, afraid of her wealthy papa, who takes out her frustrations on her little girl; Tricia O'Neil is the bleeding-heart doctor who treats the battered kid and sees exactly what's going on. Though well-produced and acted, the film takes such a rigid stand against the mother's character (with no subtlety in the handling) that O'Neil's do-gooder comes off rather laughably (she's like a private detective in a murder mystery). It's possible that impressionable viewers will be moved by the denouement here, but the handling is stiff and turgid, and Lee's teleplay (failing to examine all points of this story with depth) is straight-forward in all the wrong ways. She's compassionate, yes, but her soap-box rantings are wearisome.

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