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The Promise
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Promise More at IMDbPro »

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

This one will engage your emotions

Author: susan7 from Lansdowne, VA
10 February 2001

I first saw this movie on TV about 15 years ago. It has haunted me ever since, in part because of the story itself, and in part because the editors bungled their job and nearly destroyed what could have been a truly great film. What they gave us instead is a good film with a great story line. It is that story, along with the acting ability of Kathleen Quinlan and Steven Collins, that saves the film. If you have not read Danielle Steele's adaptation of the original screen play, do so. It will fill in some of the answers to the questions left open by the insensitivity of the film's editors.

This is a love story, and a good one, about two individuals whose love for each other is pure and true and ultimately stands the test of both time and tragedy. If that makes it syrup, then so be it. I like it. I wish I could get a DVD edition of this movie.

A movie does not have to be full of vulgar language and gratuitous sex to be good; it doesn't have to be filled with blood and guts and action sequences; and thank God this one has none of the above. Without resorting to the seamer side of life, this story will engage your emotions and embed itself in your mind and your soul, leaving an impression that can last a lifetime. This alone is enough to make it a movie worth two hours of your time.

If you have not seen this movie, try to find a copy of it. After viewing it, I think you will agree that this movie has been underrated by the IMDB rating system.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

One of the Great Romantic Movies of All Time

Author: Pianoman-8 from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
12 September 1999

If you are looking for an emotionally-moving movie about love and commitment, this is one you should consider seeing. Kathleen Quinlan and Stephen Collins are absolutely great in their roles. And the story, which is about commitment, deception, and misunderstanding, is excellent. When Stephen Collins says to Kathleen Quinlan, "I made a promise," you'll know why I consider this one of the great romantic movies of all time. It's right up there with "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," and "A Letter to Three Wives."

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The meaning of true love....

Author: itswindee from Los Angeles, California
27 January 2003

This is one of the best true love stories I have ever seen. It is one of my favorites. The plot summary is much more than what the fellow above wrote. While yes a girl & boy fall in love and the girl gets her face torn off in a car accident, the real core of the film is that true love, pure love doesn't come along everyday. It is very rare, very precious and it should be valued and not taken for granted. The plot synopsis is this: the boy comes from a very wealthy influential family with a very dominering mother who forbids her son from marrying the girl who doesn't have 2 cents to rub together but is a struggling artist trying to make it. The boy trying to break free from the tight grip his mother has on him wisks the girl away and plan to elope. On the way to a chapel tragedy strikes and they are involved in a horrible car accident. Both are taken to the hospital, the boy is injured and the girl's face is terrible disfigured. While they lie in their hospital beds in different rooms, his mother decides to pay the girl a visit. The girl's entire head & face is bandaged, all you recognize is her voice. His mother expresses how sorry she is that this has happened to her and offers the girl a chance to have reconstructive surgery, all paid for by her with all of the necessary therapy needed physically and emotionally. While this sounds to good to be true, the catch is, if she agrees to have this done she must promise to NEVER see her son again. The devious and controlling mother continues by saying, if she doesn't have the surgery done her son wouldn't want her anyway with her grotesque face. At least this way, her son can move on and have a life and she too can move on and have a life. With a heavy heart, the girl agrees to his mothers terms. I don't want to ruin the rest of the film so I won't say anymore. For those of you who might not believe in love, this movie might change your mind. It is worth seeing.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Oh God, I actually sort of like this movie...

Author: suessis
6 January 2003

In 1979, I was 14, and I can remember that this was the big movie that all the kids at school wanted to see. I actually remember loving it then. Years later, all I can do at the age of 37 is cringe with embarrassment that I actually still like this thing.

How unrealistic can you get? With the exception of some make up and hair manipulation, there really is no difference between the Nancy and Marie faces. Most of the change is effected through Quinlin's acting ability (as well suddenly changing her wardrobe to the 70's disco chic that was popular at the time). It's not the only lapse in reality in the film, but it's by far the biggest. It takes a great deal of work on the part of Quinlan, Collins, and Straight to get you to come anywhere near believing the difference exists.

Laurence Luckinbill plays a truly predictable character as the Pygmalionesque doctor who creates the physical Marie. His character is more or less a plot device (as is Bibi Besch's), and his performance reflects it. On the other hand, Beatrice Straight (who was always one of the most underrated actresses in the business) gives a fantastic performance as Michael's mother. Her face says it all when she runs out of the hospital room and the impact of the lie that she has just told hits her.

Gibert Cates, who unfortunately has not been able to truly repeat his critical success in "I Never Sang for my Father", at least tries to do something with the script. It is hard, however, when the story is basically formula and schmaltz. In the end, it is Quinlan, Collins, and Straight who succeed in getting the film to rise above it. Their performances get you to continue to watch and find something good even though you really want to hate it.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Promise not to laugh........

Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH
2 May 2002

***Spoilers Rampant***

This stupefyingly bad romantic drama deserves a place in the annals of movies that are so bad they become good for all the wrong reasons. In the beginning, Collins and Quinlan go through all the 1970's gum-commercial moments to show us that they are "in love", culminating in their burial of a carnival necklace to signify their love and spouting some of the most ludicrous dialogue ever written. This is played with utter sincerity although Quinlan is decked out in all sorts of face-altering make-up so that she'll look different (and hopefully better) in the last 2/3rds of the film. Smeared with tan pancake make-up, wearing a wig that Marlo Thomas vetoed on "That Girl", donned with eye and nose prosthetics that give her a homely appearance and speaking in a whiny, annoying voice, she is anything but what one would imagine as a dream lover. But that's not all! They also outfitted her with false buck teeth which leave her unable to fully close her lips, so many of her words come out jangled and unintelligible. For example, when confronted by Collins with the prospect of marriage, she replies, "I don't need a feece of fafer..." So she can barely open her eyes and can't close her mouth when she and Collins and his best friend (a total buffoon who rinses toothpaste out of his mouth with BEER!!) are smashed up in a horrific car collision with a truck. From this point on, not one logical thing happens and the story takes on such an orchestra of contrivances that it becomes science fiction. Collins' gorgon of a mother (who viewers know is evil because she smokes cigarettes constantly through a plastic holder) pays to have Quinlan's face put back on, but only if she'll stay away from Collins. The mother (played by Straight) doesn't want a love affair with :::gasp::: an orphan to mess with her plans for Collins' career. So she tells Collins that Quinlan is dead. He apparently takes her word for it without ever once looking into it or even trying to see if there's a grave! A complete set of wild contrivances finally reunite the long lost couple.......and he doesn't even recognize her! You see, she is now the "normal" Quinlan replete with trendy new duds and full on glamour make-up, so he has no clue it's the chipmunk who was in the car crash with him. (And she is quite lovely. She is showcased in a wide variety of hairstyles and outfits.) It all keeps spiralling until they wind up back at the carnival almost precisely the same time.....and have a "poignant" reunion. Astonishingly, this film, crazy and as bad as it is, still can manage to draw tears during that final scene from those who have gone along for the (insane!) ride! Collins gives a very heartfelt performance in it (however, Quinlan remains strangely stoic, which hurts the final clinch.) This movie is clearly inspired by such classic tear-jerkers as "Madame X" and "An Affair to Remember" and cribs from both of them. However, by 1979, that type of storytelling had lost all sense of even more so! It should have been a period piece. Amazingly, the director Cates had previously given audiences the stark and grim "I Never Sang For My Father" before offering up this hoot. Fans of soapy dramas who don't require much reality will love it. Fans of campy, unintentional humor will also eat it up. The only person who will likely hate it is any straight man. He will probably be off the couch and out the door before Melissa Manchester finishes howling the title song!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very memorable movie

Author: rebio from United States
22 March 2001

I saw this movie when I was twelve. I've seen the movie several times. Its one of my favorite romantic drama. The story is so enchanting. There maybe some holes in the plot, but still gripping. I like Kathleen Quinlan as the photographer/artist. She makes the transformation of the ugly duckling to a beautiful woman so authentic. And Stephen Collins was great too. They really look good together.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Can You Keep a Promise?

Author: Joyce Hansbearry from DFW
9 June 2004

The story isn't really unique, but it's the assemblage of players that makes it work so well. It's a love story, a story of deceit and a story of revenge, of sorts, that relies on more than one promise. The beginning is a montage that shows the viewer the uncomplicated, yet intense, love between two young college students. Enter the complication, a near-fatal car crash.

Then, enter mother. Beatrice Straight plays "matron" so well, it almost creeps one out. Authoritative, hard, selfish. One has to believe that the two lovers, Nancy (Kathleen Quinlan) and Michael (Stephen Collins) just couldn't be stopped had the car accident not shattered their lives. Fate intervened, choices had to be made, situations were controlled with undeniable uncaring. But life has a way of stepping in; destiny will not be driven from its path. The cast is perfect and the music is obvious, but not intrusive. This is a film I've watched several times and have never been disappointed in.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Still a great Chick Flick!!!

Author: jillbeth58 from U.S.A.
10 November 2004

I remember watching the Promise when we first got cable and it was on a movie channel in about 1982 I was 22 at the time and had a year old daughter, I just loved the film and thought it was a great story. A few years back I bought the tape, I forget if I found it at a store or on the internet but anyway I watched it again and after so many years I still enjoyed it, my daughter who was so young when I first watched the movie is now a young woman herself and she watched the film and said she really liked it, so it might be a bit sappy and outdated but the story is still great and even relatable, the man's Mother anyway, I think it's a film that has stood the test of time and it will always be one of my favorites.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Chick flick but not made for tv

Author: actonkat from Massachusetts
26 January 2004

Very good chick flick even with the bad nose and teeth for Kathleen Quinlan. I saw this movie at Radio City Music Hall when it opened there in March of 1979 (I believe it was St. Patrick's Day). Somewhat predictable all the way thru but the actors do a great job in making you care that it turns out right in the end.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Hopeless Romantics

Author: frankiarmz from United States
21 October 2005

I am a fifty two year old hopeless romantic and I believe you need to believe in love conquering all to truly appreciate this beautiful movie. I still have Melissa Manchester singing " I'll Never Say Goodbye" playing in my mind, it is one of the most beautiful love songs ever recorded in my opinion. I am not embarrassed to say I fell in love with this movie years ago and still get choked up thinking about it. This movie doesn't have any graphic sexual scenes, what it has is a well acted love story. You are taken on a journey with these two young lovers as they lose each other but are eventually reunited thanks to true love. Watch "The Promise" with your true love, or watch it by yourself but watch it!

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