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Toughlove (1985)

The Charters family falls into despair over their drug-addicted son Gary. They discuss his problems through the "Toughlove" program in searching for answers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Schiff ...
Scott Charters
Kristen Marsh
Beth Miller ...
Darlene Marsh
Erica Yohn ...
3rd Leader
Bess Dawson
Danny Dawson
Jo de Winter ...
Barbara Wiley (as Jo De Winter)
Ivan Bonar ...
Mr. Griffin


A rebellious 17 year old is increasingly getting into trouble, doing drugs, and hiding events from his parents. As things spiral further out of control, his parents turn to an organization called "Toughlove" for help. There they learn that it sometimes is necessary to turn your back on your child and allow him to accept the consequences of his actions. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If you had to sacrifice your offspring in order to save your family...could you? See more »




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Release Date:

13 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor difícil  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jason Patric's film debut. See more »


Max Wiley: ...Come in, Rob. Shut the door, would you? Sit down. Any word on Gary?
Rob Charters: The cops are looking for him; so is his probation officer. Nothing yet.
Max Wiley: How long has it been?
Rob Charters: Two weeks yesterday.
Max Wiley: Sorry about that... Rob, I didn't want you to hear this from anybody else - I gave the job to Walter Keyes instead of you. I hope you understand.
Rob Charters: No; as a matter of fact, I don't understand. I'd like to, however.
Max Wiley: Rob, you know what this job takes. You've got to be a disciplinarian - a surrogate parent - to a ...
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User Reviews

Lee Remick's luminous presence makes this one worth checking out...
23 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

A charismatic and heartbreaking performance by the late Lee Remick is the centerpiece of TOUGHLOVE, a relative interesting 1985 TV-movie, originally aired on ABC, that is made to be much better than it is because of Lee Remick's performance. Remick and Bruce Dern play upper middle class suburbanites who are at their wits' end regarding how to handle their teenage son, whose drug addiction has his life spiraling out of control and is slowly and methodically destroying their family. Having tried everything thing else, the couple turn to an organization called Tough Love, which teaches parents to go on the offensive with out of control children: If your child is constantly staying out past his curfew, lock the front door at curfew and put the dead bolt on or if your child gets arrested, don't bail him out, let him experience the consequences of his actions. This film chronicles the couples' initial reluctance to be so harsh with their child but soon learn that Tough Love is the only thing that affects their son's behavior. Remick is the conflicted mother, torn between wanting her baby home with her and knowing that as long as she continues to baby her son, he will never change. The scene where they learn their son is in jail and refuse to bail him out is sad and brilliant. Dern and especially Remick give superb performances as does a young Jason Patric as their troubled son, Gary. Despite an ending that's a cop out, this is pretty compelling stuff for most of the ride, thanks primarily to the work of the amazing Lee Remick.

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