This made for TV movie affected me deeply. It was done at a time when depression was just not one of those things people talked about or considered a "proper" mental illness. While only a made for TV film it placed a lot of truths about depression to light, and it will affect you.
The casting of the mother was played by an actress whom I had always seen playing classy roles, Dina Merrill. To play a role like this was so against her type, and she played this hauntingly well. Throughout this film, she descends into depression/mental illness and does not seek adequate help for it. She has children, and her older daughter is left to take care of her mother (of which she doesn't have an understanding of what her mother is going through) when she has these bouts, and the rest of the family. Trying to keep the family together was a major concern and quite a lot on the shoulders of the daughter who should have been spending her time being a teenager, but instead became an unexpected caregiver. Watching Dina Merrill descend is the most frightening picture of all throughout this film.
I had seen this movie when I was a teen so what I can remember is that everything around this family suffered, how they lived, their housing, the little girl's schooling, her friends, due to her mothers' illness. As many people know, made for TV movies did not have great budgets, and to compensate for it is great story, directing and acting. It is here in this sad, sad tale. The good part about it is that people in the medical profession began identifying true cases of it, started looking at depression as a bona fide problem, and finding treatments for it.
A good made for TV film that will stay with you.
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