|Index||8 reviews in total|
Mary Jane Harper slipped through the cracks--an innocent child falling
victim to the "grown-ups" around her.
A mother who was still being mentally-tortured by the memories of her own traumatic childhood of sexual abuse by her father and physical abuse by her mother, who punished the little girl for stealing her husband by locking her in a rat-infested closet.
Grandparents (especially the mother) who were so concerned about keeping up a good appearance that they stood in the way of Mary Jane's mother's continued participation in Parents Anonymous, where she was getting help and support,
The family doctor who refused to believe that child abuse went on in affluent homes.
The psychiatrist who only went through the motions of treating Mary Jane's mother but was more concerned about seeing enough different patients to laugh all the way to the bank. When the alarm on his watch went off, indicating that it was time for their session to be over and the next one to start, it didn't matter that Mary Jane's mother was experiencing an important breakthrough. She was ushered out and the next patient ushered in. Cha-CHING! Cha-CHING!
The neighbors who were concerned about Mary Jane's constant crying but chose not to get involved.
At the beginning of the movie, Mary Jane Harper cried last night--at the end of the movie, Mary Jane Harper died last night.
This wasn't a movie meant to leave the viewer feeling complacently-comfortable--and it did what it was supposed to very well!
I haven't seen the movie since 1977. However, at that time I had a 5 year old and a newborn. My 5 year old had been misbehaving to the point of making me want to scream. I had picked him up and threw him into a chair just minutes before this movie came on TV. I realized after the movie that he could have hit his head or broken his neck from the way that I flung him into the chair with wooden arms. I have always said that every parent of a strong willed child should watch this movie to wake themselves up to the fact that in their weak moments of frustration they could actually KILL their child. I cried for days after the movie but it prevented me from ever taking my anger out on either of my children in a physical way. So as far as I'm concerned this movie could have actually saved the life of one of my children. I know there were quirky things in the movie. But the message was one that changed my life forever. Thanks to whomsoever made this available for TV viewing in 1977.
This film is not that bad. As far as Susan Dey's character being an unsympathetic mother - that's the whole point! As for the film being creepy and depressing - child abuse IS creepy and depressing. If you miss the point you miss the point.
I remember seeing this movie on TV when I was 10 years old and I've never forgotten it. I can't believe I can still remember this movie. I remember at the time, I found it to be disturbing that a mother could do that to her own child. I came from a family that was not abusive in any way, so to see this happening and nobody stopping it was shocking to me. Neighbors didn't want to get involved? That was weird, too. Amazing when a movie is so powerful that yo never forget it. Susan Dey gave an outstanding performance, and so did Natasha Ryan. I think they should show this movie in reruns on TNT or Lifteime. But, at least it's on YouTube.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although this movie is old, it is memorable. I saw it when I was a
teenager and have never forgotten it. (I'm writing this in 2007.) I
think the purpose of a movie that focuses on child abuse is to help us
be better parents. This did the job for me, since as I said, I never
I pray that enough psychiatrists and psychologists see this movie and never forget it since perhaps the abuse wouldn't have happened to Mary Jane if the mother's psychiatrist had done the job properly. To end a session when the patient has reached a point where some good can be done is unforgivable and would cause irreparable damage.
So many people can be blamed for the child abuse in this movie that it wouldn't be fair to say it was only the mother's fault. I bet that is the case in real life too.
We should all watch better for the signs.
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.
this movie is disturbing but what is the worst is that stupid whiny brat. No wonder her mother couldn't stand her. She was disobedient all the time and I can see why her mom got so fed up. The mother really was a train wreck, but that kid certainly didn't help. The mom came from a bad situation at home and it's too bad she didn't get treatment before she had the brat. I think her husband disappeared to Mexico or something and who can blame him? He probably couldn't stand the brat either. There was just something about that child that was so *** irritating. Maybe it's just me, but she drove me crazy right when she wouldn't listen to a word her mother said.
It hard to make a film about child abuse funny but this one makes it wonderfully ! I am a fan of Susan Dey and I thought she did well with the material given to her.The child playing Mary Jane is enough to annoy anyone-she even spits food at poor Susan's face!!!-I'd a slapped her too! Just like mommy dearest I feel more for the "abuser " than the child,and both films were hilarious ! I know this is not p.c. but I rather tell the truth.There are so many funny scenes here I hardly "know were to begin-Rhea Pearlman saying "She's freaking out in a motel room in the dessert" Pricilla pointer telling her daughter that she looks like a rag puller Or the general over acting of the doctor that is on the child's side. Ahh the 70's were good for cautionary tales and this one great example.Hilarious get out the popcorn and have a good laugh.
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