A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy, and the two of them form a mutually beneficial relationship: he provides her ... See full summary »
Ernest Harden Jr.,
Elizabeth Winfield is a retired teacher and matriarch of a problematic family who desperately tries to keep her family together, after many years they separated from each other. While she's... See full summary »
J. Ashley Hyman,
A woman, who had left home 20 years previously under acrimonious circumstances, finds out that she is terminally ill. She returns home and tries to rebuild her relationship with her ... See full summary »
An aging Bette Davis is a flight instructor at an old Texas airport. When a young girl in a wheelchair finds the airport by watching gliders fly, she decides she wants to learn how to fly. ... See full summary »
In 1926, famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared for six weeks. When she surfaced, she claimed that she had been kidnapped and held prisoner in Mexico. Others claimed that she ... See full summary »
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
Filmed in 1982, not released until 1983. See more »
Would you like to know what it is we want to spare you from? The doctors describe it as a kind of starvation death. Except every cell in my body is a stomach. The pain will be immense. I'll lose all sense of who I am or what I am. I'll lose my insides and I'll lose my outsides. I'll be half my size and weight. Or smaller. A tiny figure lying on a rubber sheet in some hideous cinder-block building they call a hospital.
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A plot guaranteed to make many folks uncomfortable!
The topic of the right to die is an important topic and one that should be discussed openly and in an adult manner. I am happy that this film was made as it brings the topic out in the open. But I also wish the film had been made better--especially since two great elderly actors were in the leads, Jimmy Stewart and Bette Davis.
The film begins with Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer (Stewart and Davis) telling their daughter, Ruda (Melinda Dillon) that they planned on killing themselves. Mrs. Dwyer is seriously ill and when she dies, her husband simply doesn't want to go on without her and they have a joint suicide pact. I have no idea WHY they told the daughter...and assume many elderly folks DON'T tell others and simply do the deed without alerting anyone. Because they told their daughter, she involves some one-dimensional idiots from the county to get involved. This is a HUGE problem with the film, as the social worker was written very poorly as was the guy who just broke into their home (illegally, by the way). This tended to hurt the impact of the film as it took a realistic situation and made it less realistic. Additionally, with their decision coming out just after the film begins, it doesn't create a sense of tension or realism there as well and it makes the film drag a bit towards the end. What does work well are the conversation the mother and daughter have late in the film, as it seems much more realistic and thoughtfully written than much of the rest of the movie. Overall, it's an important topic but somewhat indifferently handled. It's worth seeing but should have been better.
By the way, I was surprised by Melinda Dillon in the film. She's a pretty lady but here they deliberately made her up to look older and less pretty. It fit the part and I understand why they did it...but wonder how Dillon felt about this.
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