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Promises in the Dark (1979)

 -  Drama  -  3 April 1980 (Australia)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 124 users  
Reviews: 4 user

A young doctor, Alexandra Kendall, seeking change while recovering from a recent heartbreak, moves from Chicago... See full synopsis »

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Title: Promises in the Dark (1979)

Promises in the Dark (1979) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Alexandra Kendall
...
Bud Koenig
...
Fran Koenig
...
Dr. Jim Sandman
...
Elizabeth (Buffy) Koenig
Paul Clemens ...
Gerry Hulin
...
Dr. Walter McInerny
Philip Sterling ...
Dr. Frucht
...
Nurse Farber
...
Dr. Blankenship
Arthur Rosenberg ...
Emergency Room Doctor
...
Miss Pritikin
Robert Doran ...
Alan
...
Sue
Alexandra Johnson ...
Ellie
Edit

Storyline

A young doctor, Alexandra Kendall, seeking change while recovering from a recent heartbreak, moves from Chicago... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cancer

Taglines:

A remarkable film about the most disturbing subject of all.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 April 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Obietnica ciemnosci  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I'M GONNA LOCK MY HEART AND THROW AWAY THE KEY
Written by Jimmy Eaton and Terry Shand
Performed by Billie Holiday and her Orchestra
Courtesy of Columbia Records
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User Reviews

Melodramatic, but Effective
25 October 2006 | by (The Man-Cave) – See all my reviews

If you saw The Betsy (or read my review), you'll know why I was interested in seeing Promises in the Dark, way back in 1980 on HBO. Yet it wasn't Kathleen Beller's natural attributes that made this modestly soapy melodrama so effective. It was the fact that the story genuinely tries to address the issues of death and dying.

Beller is an active and normal teen who snaps her leg in some sort of trip or collision in PE at high school. The severity of the injury in relation to the activity sparks the interest of the medicos, and it's discovered she has an aggressive cancer.

Therein lies the heart of the story: The destruction of a young girl by cancer and the terrible strain her illness puts on those around her. We want Beller to survive, but I remember the movie telegraphing the end from the beginning; this kid's going to die and the movie is about how she-and we-will handle it.

There are lots of strong character actors in PITD. Marsha Mason leads the cast as Beller's Oncologist, Ned Beatty and Susan Clark are her parents, and Michael Brandon is an MD who is a balance to Mason. Yet, it's Beller's show. I don't remember her milking the pathetic angle in what could have been a "Disease of the Week" TV-movie on the big screen.

Promises in the Dark didn't make much of a stir at the box office, probably because, although well-acted, serious, and heartfelt, it had a kid slowly being smashed to pulp by cancer--a downer no matter what positive things can be said about it. But, it still stands as a legitimate and innovative counter to trash like Love Story (where anyone with two brain cells to rub together was cheering when Ali McGraw assumed room temperature).

If you can find a copy, buy it. And while you're at it, pick up the astonishingly, laughably awful The Betsy to see Beller looking much, much healthier!


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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