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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I disagree with the writer who says that another female lead should have been gotten for this film. As this was a project specifically tailored for James Stewart and Bette Davis, replacing either would be out of the question. It would be like getting someone else for either John Wayne or Katharine Hepburn for Rooster Cogburn.
Right Of Way stars the two big screen legends as an elderly couple, Teddy and Mini Dwyer. They're in their eighties now and in real life Stewart and Davis were not too far away from it. Bette has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and Jimmy cannot conceive of life without her. They resolve on a joint suicide, but their big mistake was to tell their only daughter Melinda Dillon about it. She can't conceive of life without them.
The writers loaded the deck somewhat for this film as Dillon is a newly minted forty something unmarried daughter with a small business and no attachments in her life. Had she been married with a family of her own or even with a significant other in her life she might have had different feelings on the subject or not been as vehement as she initially is in trying to stop her parents from carrying out their mission. With grandchildren, Stewart and Davis might have felt a bit differently as well.
In any event when Dillon hears of this she informs social service agencies and when the wheels of government are set in motion they are difficult to stop. Even after Dillon has second thoughts.
Of course the opportunity to see Stewart and Davis together should not be missed. The old legends do play well off each other. Melinda Dillon does not come in for her share of praise usually because viewers are dazzled by the star power of its legendary leads. But she has a difficult part and does it well.
For myself it's a personal bias, but I could never think of deliberately checking out without seeing that Socks the Cat is provided for in some way. These two have an army of felines that no provision is made for. But other than that, try to catch Right Of Way if broadcast.
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