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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