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Improper Channels (1981)

PG | | Comedy | 17 April 1981 (Canada)
A couple fights for justice to get their injured daughter out of a foster care center.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffery Martley
Diana Martley
Gloria Washburn
Harry Ditson ...
Harold Clevish
Sarah Stevens ...
Nancy Martley
Danny Higham ...
Leslie Yeo ...
Fred Reeves
Richard W. Farrell ...
Fraser (as Richard Farrell)
Martin Yan ...
Sherman Hu
Ruth Springford ...
Mrs. Wharton
Tony Rosato ...
Dr. Arpenthaler
Philip Akin ...
Motorcycle Cop
Police Sergeant
Richard Blackburn ...
Fraser's Assistant
Jessica Booker ...
Mrs. Gherkin


A father brings a young child to an emergency room to get treatment for a minor injury occurring in an innocent accident, but he gets accused of child abuse. Child welfare agencies commit grossly unfair over-reactions to remove the child forcibly from the Father (Arkin), who must brave the arcane system to reclaim his daughter. Written by Charles Lasner <lasner@sunsite.unc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ever try communicating with a doctor... a lawyer... a computer? See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 April 1981 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Cara mamma, caro papà  »

Box Office


CAD 3,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Make Your Move
Composed by Maribeth Solomon and Micky Erbe
Performed by Colina Phillips
See more »

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User Reviews

A cocky drama about hard times.
27 November 1998 | by (Suffolk, Virginia) – See all my reviews

While the satire was appreciated, IMPROPER CHANNELS tends to act more like a serious drama rather than a comedy and it has its telling about the hard times people face in reality. It's a decent combination of both worlds, but I felt the mixture was too mood-changing (unlike FORREST GUMP) and I really didn't think it was totally funny. The comedy elements just seemed to be very straightforward. Mariette Hartley (the actress known for Polaroid commercials of yesteryear) is more dramatic while Alan Arkin is cornballish enough to be concerned about his missing daughter. It does have plenty of complications and a meaningful conclusion that computes, as the word "hacker" may have been defined for the first time. The title of this movie may not sound proper, and it has its ups and downs, but the use of comedic satire is the strongest aspect of all. Not too bad.

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