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Who Will Love My Children? (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Top Tear-Jerker of All Time

Author: davewebb-1 from United States
17 December 2004

Forget all those sappy romantic movies involving notebooks and lip-locked couples who somehow manage to go to the great beyond together after a screen lifetime of over-simplified unrealistic romance. Forget all those shameless "dog gives its life to save its family" flicks (although I have to admit that I have a soft spot for them myself). Forget Ricky Schroeder already displaying his propensity to overact at a tender age (now that one WAS shameless!).

This TV-movie, which unfortunately never seems to get aired anymore, is the all-time champion of tear-jerkers, hands down. And a well-written and well-acted story to boot. Ann-Margret took a big chance in taking this role. Nothing flamboyant or sexy about her here, and that's a monumental achievement in itself. Based on a true story, she plays Lucile Fray, a terminally ill mother who chooses to struggle till her dying breath to find good homes for her ten children, instead of leaving them in the hands of unpredictable government agencies. Frederic Forrest does a great job as her husband, the good-hearted but unreliable breadwinner whose crippling arthritis and personal demons make him unable to care for the kids.

The film takes us through Lucile's heart-wrenching process of interviewing prospective parents and then watching her kids leave home. It also gives us the perspective of the children themselves, and of the father - grieving over the tragedy taking place now and the one sure to follow, and frustrated over his inability to do more. The scene in which the youngest of the children (Steven)is taken to his new home is the most heart-breaking I've ever watched. Now, I grew up as a "hopeless romantic", and have spent the many years since then growing myself a harder, more cynical shell. I usually find more to mock than to empathize with in the sentimental cinematic tripe foisted upon us these days. But this gem from the early 1980's still slays me.

I really wish that someone with a lick of marketing sense would release a DVD version of this drama. Among the special features one needs to include the Emmy Awards telecast the following year. A-M was nominated for this role, but the award for best dramatic actress went to Barbara Stanwyck for "Thorn Birds." In what has to be one of the greatest moments in what is now a truly drab awards show, Stanwyck broke into tears during her acceptance speech and gushed out, "Ann-Margret, I love you!", which brought Ann-M to tears.

One final note. The IMDb rating for "Who Will Love My Children" is 6.4 as of this writing. However, over 75% of the ratings are in the 8-10 range (mostly 10's). Whatever kind of handicapping system this site uses to modify the overall ratings of the movies listed by IMDb, it completely misses the mark on this one. This one is the "weeper" of all time, and a darn good TV-movie to boot.

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20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

This is part of my life.

Author: Melia from Iowa
4 February 2004

This is truly a sad story, but what makes it harder for me to watch is that my uncle is Steven Fray. He is one of the ten children this movie is about. My grandma and grandpa adopted him when he was a baby. They both had actors playing them briefly in the film. My grandparents recently went on to have Bruce, Pam, and my dad Craig. My uncle Steven died when I was little. I don't really remember him at all but last year my grandma showed me and my sister this movie. I cried but watching my grandmother watch it was an experience all in its own. I am glad people watched this movie and got to learn about a story that deserved to be told. As I know right now 8 out of the 10 children are still living. I am glad this movie affected all you people so deeply.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Saddest movie I have EVER seen

Author: VivienLewis from baltimore, md
1 December 2001

I saw this movie so long ago, but it remains in my memory as the saddest movie ever. I cried non stop. My mother will not ever watch this movie again because its almost painful to watch. Anyway, apart from that the story isn't exactly complex...Ann Margaret is dying and has to give away her 10(?) children. As if that isn't bad enough, it is during the depression and she has to break up the close siblings one by one. I guess this was very sad to me because I too am from a very large close knit family and could identify with each child's pain of leaving their mother and siblings.

Maybe I am a masochist but I would like to see this movie again because it was well done and the end, surprisingly, is slightly happy (so at least we could smile and sob simultaneously). It should come on TV sometime so I can see it again.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very sad, but good movie.

Author: Mario Moreno ( from Riverside, Ca.
21 January 2002

I saw this movie when it came out on ABC. That was about 19 years ago. It's a heart-breaking true story. A mother finds out she has cancer and tries to find homes for all of her children before she passes away. I've been trying to find out how I can see this movie again.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Finding a new friend!!!

Author: jortay09 from Florida United States (formally suffolk england)
11 January 2005

I was just looking up " who will love my children" to buy, when I came across this web site and an entry made by a fellow Briton!! I am a great fan of this movie and would, and have, recommended it to all. What I found comforting is to find someone else who also finds comfort in the good will of others. I also have a son with Aspergers (amongst other things) and it is also a fear of mine to think if anything ever happened to me and my husband, that someone would not only want to take on just my beautiful 'normal' daughter, but my special and gifted son also. Missing home and being able to relate to people raised with the same values as myself has more meaning than you know. Living here in the US I have yet to meet anyone who has seen this movie. So to all of you reading this, if you have not seen it, make an effort to do so. It is a very moving experience, especially for anyone who is a parent, or even if you just have a sympathetic bone in your body, you will cry, and beg. After that you will count your blessings, And to anyone who has ever been through an experience like , or close to this one, my heart goes out to you. It makes me realize no matter how hard or stressful thing get, just remind yourself that there is always someone worse off than you. An amazing movie and what makes it more powerful is the fact that it is based on a true story. Do not be put off by how sad it is, at the same time this movie is heart warming, and makes you feel encouraged about the strength and goodness of mankind.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Quite something!

Author: Springer-4 from Los Angeles, CA, USA
7 November 1999

Ann-Margaret was nominated for an Emmy, deservedly so, for her work in this film. She is, quite simply, magnificent! I don't believe that she has ever been more beautiful...sans glamour, sans big hair, sans sexuality...yet her beauty shines out from someplace inside giving her performance a layered depth that needs no other trappings. All of the actors, including the kids, are fabulous. John Erman directed this tragic tale of a doomed depression-era mother trying to find homes for her children before she dies with incredible sensitivity and manages to avoid the traps of "maudlin." A terrific film!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Saddest movie ever

Author: skus
11 January 2004

Ann-Margaret was unbelievable. I saw this film so many years ago but it had a huge impact on me. I cried throughout the whole movie. My eyes and face were so red

and swollen that it stayed on my face for a day. The next day in

school people thought someone in my family had died or I had

been beaten up. I have watched for it to be rerun on TV but can never find it. I have

tried to purchase it but I don't think it is possible. I would LOVE to

see it again and tape it. I would love to show it to my Death and Dying Class. Help?

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Officially the saddest film ever made

Author: Paul Walker ( from London, England
15 July 1999

A single mother has a terminal disease and has to give away all her children. This is officially the saddest film ever made - a real tear-jerker.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A must see.

Author: elizabeth from Sydney, Australia
11 February 2001

Most definitely the saddest movie I have ever seen. A must see, just so you can walk away and realise just how precious your life and loves are. The acting is superb, the story line potentially 'real'.

Remains a firm favourite of mine even after all this time.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the best tear jerker i have ever seen

Author: ross robinson from england
5 January 2005

Who will love my children has changed my heart, it made me cry all the way through, the most i cried with was when the family had to say goodbye to the baby, i cried the most with that, and each time a child was adopted, i cried when they had to say goodbye to their mother, it was sad for them to lose their mother, I felt sorry for the kid with epilepsy, i was glad he was adopted by the same family as one of his brothers. To me that boy i thought was the special one because he was going in a home. I feel that i am special because i am in a world with Aspergers Syndrome and sometimes when i feel down, i sometimes like to cry. I really enjoyed this movie, 10 out of 10. A true story, very good. Another movie that would bring tears to your eyes i think would haver to be Tuesday's With Morrie (

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