MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 900 this week

Bill (1981)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  22 December 1981 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 594 users  
Reviews: 14 user

Bill Sackter, a intellectually disabled man, ventures out into the world for the first time, having spent most of his life in a dreary inner city institution. He is taken in by a kind ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (teleplay)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 619 titles
created 09 Sep 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 07 Mar 2013
 
a list of 827 titles
created 30 Apr 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Bill" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Bill (TV Movie 1981)

Bill (TV Movie 1981) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Bill.
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The true story of Bill Sackter's emergence from lifelong institutionalization, to become an international hero for people with disabilities.

Director: Lane Wyrick
Stars: Jack Doepke, Barry Morrow, Beverly Morrow
Tough Enough (1983)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An aspiring country/western singer, whose money is disappearing faster than his career opportunities, enters a "Tough Man" amateur boxing contest to earn some cash to pay his bills. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Carlene Watkins, Stan Shaw
Bill: On His Own (TV Movie 1983)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Bill Sackter struggles to cope after his best friend and guardian, Barry Morrow and his wife Beverly move away. Bill moves into a group home run by Mae Driscoll who teaches him how to read.... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Page
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Helen Hunt, Edie McClurg
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The true love story of the conflict between Capt. Robert Adams' dedication to the south and his love for Eveline McCord, his beloved from the north. Produced, written and directed by the descendants of Robert and Eveline, this American Civil War tale is an explosive, richly detailed saga of fierce combat, honor and the will to risk all that's precious for love or country.

Directors: A. Blaine Miller, Julian Adams
Stars: Julian Adams, Gwendolyn Edwards, Eric Holloway
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Colleen Moore, Jack Mulhall, Sam Hardy
The Seniors (1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Four students open a bogus sex clinic for cheap thrills and then are amazed to see it blossom into a profitable business.

Director: Rod Amateau
Stars: Jeffrey Byron, Gary Imhoff, Dennis Quaid
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story follows three teenagers through their senior year of high school in the 1960s, focusing on the star athlete of the group.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Scott Jacoby, Deborah Benson, Dennis Quaid
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A rodeo rider decides to quit his line of work after a serious injury, but when he visits his family and finds out that his dad is not well, he'll have to risk it one more time.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Scott Glenn, Kate Capshaw, Ben Johnson
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A disturbed,institutionalized 16-year-old girl struggles between fantasy and reality.

Director: Anthony Page
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Kathleen Quinlan, Ben Piazza
Adam (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After their child is abducted, John and Reve Walsh are trying to find him. But, shortly after that, Adam is found dead.

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, JoBeth Williams, Martha Scott
Brothers' Destiny (TV Movie 1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two orphans go on a trek cross country to find a home at Boys Town.

Director: Dean Hamilton
Stars: Danny Aiello, Rick Aiello, Donald Borza II
Johnny Belinda (TV Movie 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Anthony Page
Stars: Richard Thomas, Rosanna Arquette, Dennis Quaid
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bill Sackter
...
Barry Morrow
Largo Woodruff ...
Beverly Morrow
...
Ms. Marge Keating
Harry Goz ...
Dr. Tom Walz
Kathleen Maguire ...
Mrs. Florence Archer
William J. Daprato ...
Ray
Raymond Serra ...
Harry (as Ray Serra)
Jenny Rebecca Dweir ...
Amy Hill (as Jenny Dweir)
Breon Gorman ...
Children's Teacher
George Hamlin ...
Mr. Robert Morrow
Katharine Balfour ...
Mrs. Morrow (as Katherine Balfour)
Cordis Heard ...
Arlene
Harriet Rogers ...
Mae
Lotte Palfi Andor ...
Ida Miller (as Lotta Palfi-Andor)
Edit

Storyline

Bill Sackter, a intellectually disabled man, ventures out into the world for the first time, having spent most of his life in a dreary inner city institution. He is taken in by a kind family and learns for the first time in his life what it means to love. Written by <Hunk@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A heartwarming true story.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1981 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Bill: On His Own (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Poor Fool
Music by William Kraft
Lyrics by William Humecke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Warm and winning character study of an amazing man
23 December 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bill" is a wonderful TV-movie, one of the best ever made. It doesn't have flashy sets; it doesn't have special effects; it's set in Minnesota and Iowa in the dead of winter, not very exciting or scenic places. What it does have is one of Mickey Rooney's best performances, and unarguably one of the most sweet, poignant and winning characters he's ever played. He won the Golden Globe for his performance, and it's easy to see why.

The film is based on Barry Morrow, an independent filmmaker who happened to run across Bill, an older man who was thought to be mentally challenged, and started doing a documentary on his life. Along the way Barry discovered that Bill was as smart as anyone else, but that he'd been locked up in a mental institution since he was 5 years old and treated as if he was mentally handicapped. Bill's early life isn't touched on in more than a random way, but what we do hear is terrifying; abuse of a normal child on a grand scale. Abuse so bad that Bill can only survive by acting like the rest of the inmates. When Barry takes Bill back to the institution to film a segment, Bill's reaction is pitiable.

Barry is played by Dennis Quaid in one of his early roles, and he's great in some scenes, merely passable in others. Luckily, the great scenes outnumber the passable ones. The rest of the cast are good with the exception of Largo Woodruff, who plays Barry's wife. She is alternately pouty, nasty, spoiled-rotten or smiley, with no subtleties in-between. She is the only drawback to the film; if she had only downplayed some of her more dramatic scenes she would have been much easier to take. However, she doesn't harm the movie in any real way; it's all Rooney's film and he's the reason to watch it. A sequel was made several years later with Mickey reprising his role and Helen Hunt playing the college student who took Bill under her wing. It is more of a routine TV movie; Mickey is good but the story doesn't have the magic of the first.

This film deserves to be seen more than it is. It's especially right for the Christmas season, since the real Bill loved to play Santa. This is a family staple in our house and we watch it every Christmas, marveling at just how magical "Bill" is.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Excellent made-for-t.v. drama still works today! nsavage3-1
Discuss Bill (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?