Circle of Violence: A Family Drama (1986)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  12 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 73 users  
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Georgia Benfield is at a difficult place in her life; her husband, Pete has left her for a younger woman, her teenage son, Chris is unmanageable, and she's struggling financially when her ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Georgia Benfield
Charlotte Kessling
Pete Benfield
Chris Benfield
Philip Sterling ...
Jim McLane
Zoaunne LeRoy ...
Florence McLane
Dr. Kalmeir
Christina Maria Hutter ...
Bradley Lieberman ...
Jeanne Dougherty ...
Neighbor (as Jeannie Dougherty)
Woman Singer
Adele Gilbert ...
Mrs. Edwards
Jamie Jamison ...


Georgia Benfield is at a difficult place in her life; her husband, Pete has left her for a younger woman, her teenage son, Chris is unmanageable, and she's struggling financially when her widowed mother, Charlotte moves in. Amid juggling a new full-time job, raising two children, and her failing marriage, the constant bickering between mother and daughter continues as it has ever since Georgia was a child. Finally, at her wit's end, Georgia loses control and begins physically abusing her elderly mother, just as Georgia had been abused herself as a child. As family and friends slowly begin to learn of the abuse, and long buried family secrets come to light, both mother and daughter must learn to accept the past, to change what is happening at present, in order to face a better future. Written by Polly_Kat

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Release Date:

12 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Circle of Violence  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


(River Phoenix) Chris was in "stand by me 1985 and his characters name was Chris too. See more »

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User Reviews

Not a false move

There is a scene in "Circle of Violence" in which Tuesday Weld in a therapy session, recalls her childhood and the problematic relationship with her mother. For the duration of the monologue one forgets that is in fact just another, albeit slightly superior television movie. It's simply superb acting. Unlike many so called good actresses, one never has the sense that Weld is acting. She possesses a naturalness which prevents her from making a false move. Hers is not a showy talent. It's the true artist focusing on the work with the utmost integrity. While she reputedly turned down a number of plum roles, which certainly did little to further her career, Hollywood never quite acknowledged this talent which was to find an outlet in a number of often mediocre television movies from the late 70's through the 80's. It's Weld at her prime turning in one excellent performance after another.

While child abuse has become one of the hot topics of our times, abuse of adults towards their ageing parents (apparently more common that one might want to believe), has remained firmly in the closet. "Circle of Violence" is one of the few films to explicitly deal with this disturbing subject. Alongside Weld, Geraldine Fitzgerald is exceptional as her ageing mother. River Phoenix plays Weld's son in what was to be the last of his television performances.

As with many of Tuesday Weld's films it's a case of swallowing the bitter with the sweet. One has to put up with hardly credible happy endings such as the pat reconciliation offered to us; routine cinematography and low production values. Weld, seemingly oblivious to these heavily stacked odds makes it all worthwhile.

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