A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy, and the two of them form a mutually beneficial relationship: he provides her ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Adele Malone
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B.T. Williamson
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Three Bag Lady
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Gorilla Sydney
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Heavy Charm
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Mrs. McIntyre
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Black Fighter
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Judge Alice Quentin
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Counsellor
Dan Mason ...
Father Gannon
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Medic
Cheryl Harvey ...
Probabtion Woman
...
Intern
...
Tall Black Man
Lanyard A. Williams ...
Young Man
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Storyline

A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy, and the two of them form a mutually beneficial relationship: he provides her companionship and protection, and she becomes the mother he never had. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A proud widow. A frightened homeless kid. Nobody cared about them until they cared enough to fight for each other.

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Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

5 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biala mama  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming at the Skid Row area where one must walk around drunks passed out in doorways, Bette Davis had a bottle thrown to her. See more »

Quotes

Adele Malone: I'm being evicted from my home, and I don't know what to do.
Father Gannon: Surely you've got relatives... friends?
Adele Malone: Haven't anybody.
Father Gannon: I see... Of course you've applied to Welfare.
Adele Malone: I won't take Welfare. I'm not indigent. I'm not poor. I... I just run out of money.
Father Gannon: Perhaps one of the women in the parish will take you in... at least for a time.
Adele Malone: And then what? For thirty-five years, I've haven't missed a Sunday Mass. Every year, Easter duty. A dollar in every collection plate that was passed. And I come to you for...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Love, though not exactly the traditional kind.
4 January 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When the film begins, Adele (Bette Davis) is taking in a VERY unusual sort of border--a teen* who is being placed in her care for probation! This old white lady is doing this because she needs the income and her new roommate, B.T. (Ernest Harden, Jr.) is about as much unlike her as possible. He's a black street-wise teenager and their personalities are certainly different. While I would never call Adele tender towards B.T., she does later come to really care for the kid and pushes him to be a better person. She is horrified when B.T. takes up boxing...but it does help pay the bills. Later, after she's helped B.T. to get on his feet, it's now turn for him to help her when she is dispossessed from her home...but Adele has a very hard time asking for or accepting help.

The film is not perfect--especially since I think they could have worked a bit more at relationship building. But the story is unique and it's nice to see Davis in one of her nice, non-cringeworthy** roles later in her career.

*B.T. is supposed to be 16. The actor was 28 and looked at the least, about 23. This was bad casting or they should have just had the character be in his 20s.

**Late in their careers, Bette Davis and her arch-rival, Joan Crawford, would appear in ANYTHING as long as the check cleared. Both claimed they needed the money but based on some of these films I have a hard time believing they needed money THAT badly.


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