8.0/10
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10 user 2 critic

Second Serve (1986)

Fact-based story about tennis pro Renee Richards, whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a transsexual. Flashback to 1964 and meet Richard Radley, a ... See full summary »

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(book), | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Radley / Renee Richards
...
Dr. Beck
...
Josh
...
Gwen
...
Meriam
Richard Venture ...
Dr. David Radley
...
Dr. Roberto Granato
...
Dr. Sadie M. Bishop
...
Dr. Harry Benjamin
...
Bill
Nina van Pallandt ...
Danielle (as Nina Van Pallandt)
...
Gene Scott
...
Ross
...
Nightclub Singer
Ray Girardin ...
Grigsby
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Storyline

Fact-based story about tennis pro Renee Richards, whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a transsexual. Flashback to 1964 and meet Richard Radley, a successful New York doctor with a great lifestyle, a flashy girl friend, and a secret life. Seems like the good doctor likes to dress up in women's clothes and visit Manhattan. His psychiatrist mother refuses to deal with him and sends him to a colleague who diagnoses with a psychotic gender confusion, which he says can be unlearned. After a failed marriage and fatherhood, he gives in to the transsexual operation and becomes Renee for good with a new life in California. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vanessa Redgrave stars as Dr. Renee Richards. The man who became a champion female tennis player. A true story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

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Details

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Release Date:

13 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Change My Life  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Balsam and Louise Fletcher. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ugly Betty: Brothers (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

You'll be hooked
28 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a telemovie, but make no mistake about its quality. There are better production and performance values here than in many big screen Hollywood flicks.

Get it if you can! I'm lucky enough to have found an ex-rental copy many years ago.

Vanessa Redgrave delivers a performance characteristic of her extraordinary body of work - stirring, believable, assured, compelling - in fact you will wonder where the 90 minutes went as she takes you on an incredible trip through the life of an extraordinary individual.

Redgrave is totally convincing as a man, and as the movie progresses she remains totally convincing as a woman who was once a man. She clearly has enormous empathy for the difficulties faced by Richard Radley in his long and arduous quest to live the life he wants, as Renee Richards.

There are some other fine performances in this film (Louise Fletcher, however, is surprisingly stilted) but it is Vanessa Redgrave's breathtaking portrayal that makes this movie unmissable, and will make you forgive the glib, all-too-convenient telemovie-style moments of plot development, of which there are mercifully few.


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