Numbed by career demands and a recent divorce, Dr. Alexandra Kendall (Marsha Mason) hides behind a hard shell of professional detatchment - until she treats Buffy Koenig (Kathleen Beller), ... See full summary »




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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »
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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
Dr. Frucht
Nurse Farber
Dr. Blankenship
Arthur Rosenberg ...
Emergency Room Doctor
Miss Pritikin
Robert Doran ...
Alexandra Johnson ...


Numbed by career demands and a recent divorce, Dr. Alexandra Kendall (Marsha Mason) hides behind a hard shell of professional detatchment - until she treats Buffy Koenig (Kathleen Beller), a dying 17-year-old cancer patient who reawakens Kendall to life's possibilities. Soon the courageous girl's condition takes a downturn - and the physician must carefully, even agonizingly, weigh the consequences of keeping a promise she made to Buffy. Jerome Hellman, producer of such award-winning movies as Midnight Cowboy, Coming Home and The Mosquito Coast, makes his directorial debut on this frank, finely crafted film casting an unflinching yet compassionate eye on illness. Full of memorable performances, Promises in the Dark moves, challenges - and inspires you to live life more fully.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cancer | See All (1) »


A remarkable film about the most disturbing subject of all.




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 April 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Obietnica ciemnosci  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Written by Kerry Livgren (uncredited)
Performed by Kansas
Courtesy of Kirshner Records
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User Reviews

Good 80's movie
15 January 2002 | by (inside the pillbury doughboys stomach) – See all my reviews

A fairly depressing movie with Kathleen Beller playing a dying preppy/suburban teenager. Great music(Cars, Kansas, James Taylor) and Marsha Mason is a hottie in this flick. The acting and the storyline are excellent. See this movie if you want to reflect on the early 1980's and look at Marsha but remember it's basically about someone dying, its depressing.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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