Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
This short played on public TV here in 1980. It's about a high school boy who accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant. They both agree that they'll give up the baby for adoption when the child is born...but things don't turn out that way. It leads to a downbeat (but not tragic) conclusion.
There was a huge controversy about this for just one part--there's a sequence when the boy and his friends talk about sex fairly openly. The language isn't exactly graphic but for 1980 TV it was pretty raw. Also teenage pregnancy wasn't as common then as it is now. Also AIDS and STDs are never mentioned once (but they were both virgins so I guess they didn't have to be worried about that). So this was very much a product of its time but it was an important short. It shows that teenage pregnancy is a pretty serious thing and it can end badly for everybody. The acting is good across the board and it avoids becoming too preachy but there's nothing here that you wouldn't see (or hear) on prime time TV today. A good short.
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