Miniature Dwyer is named after her mother, who was making miniature doll houses when Minnie was born. Minnie, too, has built doll houses for years, and when she learns that she is terminally ill, she and her husband Teddy begin planning their joint suicide. She makes sure that her dolls are placed with people who will appreciate and cherish them. The couple refuse to allow their grief-stricken daughter or the solicitous social worker or anyone else to forestall the death they are determined is right for them. Written by
This made-for-TV movie was released hot on the heels of the success of "On Golden Pond" starring two well-respected film veterans, Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda.
This time, it is Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart and the plot is about an aging couple who want the right to choose their own time of death. The subject of euthanasia has and always will be controversial. When this telemovie was released in the early 80's, the subject matter was very much ahead of its time.
Jimmy Stewarts' performance is rather restrained compared to Bette Davis who has always preferred the limelight when it comes to sharing top billing for a film. It was revealed in Jimmy Stewarts' biography that whilst filming this telemovie, times weren't always easy on the set. Bette Davis usually delayed filming of the project, spending hours in her trailer. When they shared scenes together, Bette Davis did not warm up to any scenes displaying shared physicality or emotion and therefore the outcome portrays her character as being rather hard and bitter.
When I watched the two legends share the screen together, I must admit that I was not convinced that this couple had shared a long life of hardship and love together. Their children try to intervene legally when Bette Davis' character wants to end her life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. I realize this sounds like yet another plot from an episode of "The Practice" or "Family Law", but you have to realize that this was groundbreaking material for its time.
The outcome of the film is respectable, but unfortunately, I think another actress other than Bette Davis should have been chosen for this role. Kudos to Jimmy Stewart for trying.
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