Marie Balter falls in love, goes to college and joins society after 20 years in a mental institution.



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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marie Balter
Joe Balter
Dr. Blackwell
Lucy Stavros
Nurse Betty
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Nurse Rhonda
Jackson Davies ...
Bob Stavros
Michael Higgins ...
Dr. Walker
Vanessa Santos ...
Little Marie
Donna Ford ...
Marie at 16
William Nunn ...
Stefania DeStefanis ...
Ma Bartello
Karen Elizabeth Austin ...
Natural Mother
Dr. Pitteo


Fact-based drama about the life of Marie Balter, who spent most of her young life in mental institutions. At age 16, she first attempted suicide and the next 20 years she spent in and out of the institutions. At last, a caring doctor started treating her for extreme depression and panic disorder. Weened from strong medications she had taken all her life, at age 36, she emerged for the last time and started a rehabilitation program in the home of a volunteer married couple. There she met a fellow patient with whom she developed a romantic relationship. She also started a college degree. This followed with a long-term professional success in the field of mental health. Written by John Sacksteder <>

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Release Date:

6 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pomocna dlon  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Brilliant film that will make you never look at That Girl or Free To Be...You And Me the same way again
3 February 2013 | by (Dubuque, Iowa) – See all my reviews

This is an incredible film that should be much more widely seen. The whole tone of the film is much more palatable for many than One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest or Girl, Interrupted or even The Snake Pit. Marlo Thomas is a deft thespian magician in her portrayal of Marie.

I can't say enough about this film. Get it on Amazon video as a rent or buy, or buy the DVD, which is cheap on, and I aim to do eventually. No spoilers here...just be ready for a movie that can make you cry tears of sadness and tears of joy, as well as make you laugh heartily in key parts.

Last thing: Marlo Thomas, without a doubt, is one of the greatest American actors living today. If you don't believe me, just sit down and watch this film!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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