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The Adventures of Nellie Bly (1981)

Follows pioneer nineteenth-century female journalist Nellie Bly and her exposes of corruption in New York City.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Buktenica ...
Kenny Thompson / Narrator
Johnny Neesen
Betsy Slade ...
Rose Woods
Angela Harris
Mrs. Roman
Milton Selzer ...
Dr. Woodville
Peg Stewart ...
Mrs. Long
Betty Barry ...
Grace Palmer (as Betty Claire Barry)
Michael Ruud ...
Katherine Klekas ...
Miss Levy


Follows pioneer nineteenth-century female journalist Nellie Bly and her exposes of corruption in New York City.

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Release Date:

11 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Nellie Bly  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed in 1979 but not broadcast until 1981. See more »

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User Reviews

A nice portrait of a brave pioneer...I just wish I knew what parts were embellished!
12 February 2017 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When this film begins, a disclaimer appears on the screen announcing that certain liberties were taken with the story to make it more cinematic. This is a nice way of saying the film isn't quite true...which is odd since the life of Nellie Bly is very impressive and shouldn't need embellishing. I'd sure love to know how this film differs from the actual life of Bly.

Elizabeth Cochran Seaman was a woman who was WAY ahead of her time. She wanted to be a reporter and didn't let the fact that all reporters were men stop her. This film shows her efforts to become employed at one of New York's biggest newspapers as well as her exploits...all done using her pseudonym, Nellie Bly (Linda Purl). The biggest thrust of the film were with Bly's exposees--where she became various people in order to infiltrate and expose various abuses at the time (such as the working poor, inmates in an asylum and street walkers). The film does NOT follow her entire life...just a portion. When I read up on her, I was surprised that after retiring young, she had a very interesting life...and eventually returned to the newspaper business.

At first, I thought Ms. Purl was just too cute to play Bly, though when I looked at photos of the actual Bly, she was rather cute as well. I am not trying to be sexist here...I just falsely assumed whoever played Bly shouldn't look like a pretty actress. My stupid mistake and a film that does the woman justice--well made and well worth seeing despite some twisting of some of the facts.

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