7.0/10
116
2 user 1 critic

A Test of Love (1984)

Annie's Coming Out (original title)
PG | | Drama | 12 April 1985 (USA)
In the 1970s, Jessica Hathaway (Angela Punch McGregor) joins the staff of Brentwood Hospital, a government facility for handicapped children in Melbourne, Australia. One of her patients is ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Spider & Rose (1994)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Spider and Rose are on the road to Coonabarabran. It's Spider's last day working as an ambo, and he's in a hurry. Rose has been in a car crash and would prefer they take their time. Along ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Bennett
Stars: Ruth Cracknell, Simon Bossell, Max Cullen
Fran (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A single mother, Fran (Noni Hazlehurst) is selflessly devoted to her children. But something is lacking in her life, and that something is the love of a man her own age. Her efforts to ... See full summary »

Director: Glenda Hambly
Stars: Noni Hazlehurst, Annie Byron, Alan Fletcher
Bliss (1985)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An advertising executive dies and goes to hell... except nothing changes. Well, his daughter is buying drugs with sexual favours from her brother, and the number of cancer-causing products ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Lawrence
Stars: Barry Otto, Lynette Curran, Helen Jones
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Freddy Reynolds, Angela Punch McGregor, Tommy Lewis
Petersen (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Tony Petersen, a married electrician and ex-footballer, goes to university to study English. Petersen is odd man out at the uni. He receives extracurricular help from his stuffy professor's... See full summary »

Director: Tim Burstall
Stars: Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver, Wendy Hughes
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After discovering that a group of car thieves may have something to do with his father's untimely death, Steve pursues the criminals and attempts to capture them as well as prove his prowess as a racecar driver.

Director: Quentin Masters
Stars: James Laurie, Gia Carides, Max Cullen
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jeannie Gunn faced being the only civilised woman in an uncivilised land. A story of personal triumph about one woman who reached out in a hard, hostile, prejudiced world and managed to find love.

Director: Igor Auzins
Stars: Angela Punch McGregor, Arthur Dignam, Martin Vaughan
Thirst (1979)
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.

Director: Rod Hardy
Stars: Chantal Contouri, Shirley Cameron, Max Phipps
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters
Lantana (2001)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.

Director: Ray Lawrence
Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey
Spook (1988)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Something is out there - in the bush - near the dilapidated old cabin, which a family from Sydney has rented for their vacation.

Director: David Anthony Hall
Stars: Tim Elston, Joanne Samuel, Daniel Hill
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Punch McGregor ...
Jessica Hathaway
Drew Forsythe ...
David Lewis
Liddy Clark ...
Sally Clements
Monica Maughan ...
Vera Peters
Philippa Baker ...
Sister Waterman
Tina Arhondis ...
Mark Butler ...
Doctor John Monroe
John Frawley ...
Harding
Wallas Eaton ...
Dr. Rowell (as Wallace Eaton)
Lyn Collingwood ...
Mrs. O'Farrell
Laurie Dobson ...
Mr. O'Farrell
Carl Bleazby ...
Bill Hathaway
Esme Melville ...
Mrs. Arnold
Judith Graham ...
Mrs. Hathaway
Alistair Duncan ...
Hopgood
Edit

Storyline

In the 1970s, Jessica Hathaway (Angela Punch McGregor) joins the staff of Brentwood Hospital, a government facility for handicapped children in Melbourne, Australia. One of her patients is Annie O'Farrell (Tina Arhondis), whose cerebral palsy has kept her institutionalized since the age of 3. Convinced the girl, now 13, has been misdiagnosed as legally retarded, Jessica teaches her to communicate through a Ouija board in this true story about the fight to free Annie from institutional care. Written by Elora Matthias

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She fought...She won...because She Dared To Care See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Test of Love  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The type of disability that Annie O'Farrell (Tina Arhondis) had was "cerebral palsy". See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the under-rated Australian movies of all time
2 July 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This very good 1984 film, known most often as "Annie's Coming Out", was based on a true story and won the Australian Best Film Award from the Australian Film Institute. It also won the Best Actress Award for Angela Punch McGregor as Jessica Hathaway, and was nominated for Best Music for its lyrical and enormously effective score by Simon Walker.

It tells the story of a young female social worker who begins work at a hospital for retarded children, and discovers that some of the psychological problems attributed to these children are incorrectly diagnosed. Proving this to be the case is difficult, however, as it is generally accepted that as those who are 'profoundly retarded' cannot communicate, therefore they cannot think.

In the case of Annie O'Farrell (Tina Arhondis), finding a way for her to 'talk', other than speaking or writing, finally shows that she is not only able to think, but is highly intelligent. The battle against the hospital to acknowledge this in a legal sense goes to court, as the psychiatrists try to hide their misdiagnosis.

The characterisations of the doctors and psychiatrists are often on the clichéd side. One or two performances are quite irritatingly portrayed. However, there much to praise. There is so much compassion in the other characters and the other actors' performances, that the film gets a real edge and emotional depth to it. The fact that the performances by Charles "Bud" Tingwell as the Judge and Simon Chilvers as the solicitor Warren Metcalf are so good, adds a real lift to the second half of the film.

Angela Punch MacGregor is fine as the terrier-like social worker, and Drew Forsythe's performance as the irritated, funny/angry boyfriend, gives the film some light relief. The stand out performance, however, is the brilliant Tina Arhondis, who suffers from a similar disability to the character she is playing. It is an absolutely astonishing performance.

Pulling all the elements of the film together, filling the scenes with genuine and realistic emotions, is the outstanding musical score by Simon Walker. Mostly it is unobtrusive, gently emphasising the different aspects of the film's emotional vicissitudes. At times though, it is dark and eerie, echoing the genuine threat of death, and adding depth to a sometimes cold, heartless hospital and staff.

This feature film is highly recommended for those who like thoughtful dramas which are a step above the American style TV Movie of the Week. Credit must go to writers Chris Borthwick and John Patterson who avoid a lot of the cliches in this genre. Their script is based on the book by the real-life two main characters, Rosemary Crossley and Anne McDonald.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD? fightfan1
Cast Update paulhigginspic
Discuss A Test of Love (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?