7.7/10
419
13 user

Go Toward the Light (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 1 November 1988
A young couple faces the realities of life with their child who is diagnosed with AIDS.

Director:

Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Mother's Prayer (TV Movie 1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rosemary Holmstrom is struggling to bring up her son following the death of her husband. When she is diagnosed with AIDS, at first she refuses to believe it, but soon turns her attentions ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Elikann
Stars: Linda Hamilton, Noah Fleiss, Bruce Dern
The Cure (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.

Director: Peter Horton
Stars: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan
Final Jeopardy (TV Movie 1985)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A small-town couple find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar, and unfriendly, big city. Weaving in and out of the proceedings are a bunch of murderous criminals with names like DOA, Ice ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Pressman
Stars: Richard Thomas, Mary Crosby, Jeff Corey
Precious Victims (TV Movie 1993)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Paula and Robert Sims are desperate: their 12 days old baby has been kidnapped! Since there's no trace of the kidnappers, they address the public for help. Shortly after their daughter is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Park Overall, Robby Benson, Frederic Forrest
To Save the Children (TV Movie 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Teacher Jake Downey has relocated to a small town in Wyoming hoping to escape the urban problems of his last assignment. His myth of rural bliss is shattered when a former police officer ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Richard Thomas, Wendy Crewson, Jessica Steen
I Can Make You Love Me (TV Movie 1993)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A beautiful young computer technician starting off her career in Silicon Valley during the Eighties, is stalked and harassed by a nerdy, dangerous and mentally-unstable colleague with a twisted obsession.

Director: Michael Switzer
Stars: Richard Thomas, Brooke Shields, Viveka Davis
Johnny Belinda (TV Movie 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Anthony Page
Stars: Richard Thomas, Rosanna Arquette, Dennis Quaid
Club Med (TV Movie 1986)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

O'Shea is the easy going head honcho at Club Med. After years apart, he finally runs into his ex-wife Kate. They fight, fall in love again, and know it won't work. Stuffy Englishman Gilbert... See full summary »

Director: Bob Giraldi
Stars: Jack Scalia, Linda Hamilton, Patrick Macnee
Down, Out & Dangerous (TV Movie 1995)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Brad, a happily married business man, meets Tim, a disturbed drifter, who he tries to help. After a neighbor dies suspiciously, Brad mistakenly thinks covering it up will be for the best, ... See full summary »

Director: Noel Nosseck
Stars: Richard Thomas, Bruce Davison, Cynthia Ettinger
The Stone Boy (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Midwestern farm family faces major emotional adjustment after a tragedy results in the death of an older brother.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Robert Duvall, Jason Presson, Glenn Close
To Find My Son (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young man wishes to adopt a problematical eight-year-old boy being kept in an institution. Simply because he is single, he has an uphill battle with the government bureaucracy and ... See full summary »

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Richard Thomas, Molly Cheek, Julie Cobb
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Claire Madison
...
Margo
Joshua Harris ...
Ben Madison
...
George
Gary Bayer ...
Dr. Gladstone
...
Sally
...
Jeff
...
Zack
Mitchell Allen ...
Brian
...
Greg Madison
Brian Lando ...
Keith
Ryan McWhorter ...
Randy
Jack Tate ...
Rick
...
...
Joe
Edit

Storyline

A young couple faces the realities of life with their child who is diagnosed with AIDS.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Go to the Light  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The cabin seen in the beginning, when they are at the family reunion is the same cabin used in Friday the 13th the Final Chapter. See more »

Quotes

Greg Madison: When you're born, your spirit slips into your body like a glove. It's your spirit that moves your body and gives you your thoughts and feelings. Look here.
[Greg waves his hand]
Greg Madison: Here's your spirit and when you're born, your spirit slips into your body like that.
[Greg slips his hand into a glove]
Greg Madison: And then for your whole life long, your spirit and your body act as one. Now, when the time comes for the spirit to leave this world, when you die, your spirit slips out of your body the same way.
[...]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The saddest movie of my life
11 January 2006 | by (Klagenfurt, Austria) – See all my reviews

Go Toward the Light is one of the most powerful movies I know. It circles around one major theme, and it gains all its strength and emotional power from the tragedy it elaborates on.

Go Toward the Light is the true story of Claire and Greg Madison (Linda Hamilton and Richard Thomas) and their struggle with the knowledge that their oldest son, Ben, has contracted AIDS. This hits the family with almost destructive brutality. According to the doctors, Ben has less than a year to live. As painful as it is, Claire and Greg have to accept Ben's unalterable fate. They have to put aside their own overwhelming grief and fears and prepare Ben to face his approaching death with the same love and courage with which they had been preparing him for life.

It is pretty obvious from the premise itself that this movie is emotionally very affecting. The entire movie deals with nothing but Ben's approaching death. At the very beginning the audience is introduced to the family. All three boys of the Madisons are hemophiliacs. This alone is a challenge, but Claire and Greg have always tried very hard to raise their boys as normally as possible. When Ben is diagnosed with AIDS, the emotional impact on the parents is vast, almost destructive. The main part of the movie deals with Ben himself, how his physical condition increasingly deteriorates, how he gradually loses all his vitality and strength, and how he emotionally deals with the knowledge of being destined to die in a few months.

There is nothing more painful than witnessing a child's death. This alone is tremendously depressing. Just because it is not right. It is simply not right. It must have been a very challenging task for Joshua Harris to play Ben. A kid his age does not reflect a lot about death and pain. A kid his age is supposed to live a happy, adventurous and vivid life. When you stop and think about what Ben will never experience, how much he will never do and see, you feel so sorry for him and his family. The movie drags you into the inner circle of the family and makes the emotional suffering and the pervading grief so authentic and painful that I had the feeling of icy fingers embracing my heart.

Linda Hamilton and Richard Thomas do justice to the movie's theme and the emotional challenge for them as Ben's parents. We occasionally get to hear Claire's thoughts, which belong to the saddest but also the wisest inner monologues I have ever heard. This inside look into her mind adds substantial depth to the movie and makes it even more convincing. Greg, Ben's father, deals with the whole tragedy on a different level; he denies it much longer than Claire. In the end he feels like dying himself and gets panic attacks, as the emotional pressure intensifies.

The movie's heart and soul though is Joshua Harris' portrayal of Ben. As I have already indicated, this role is very demanding for such a young actor. It is awful to watch him physically deteriorate. Every shot, every camera glimpse, every minute he gets more fragile and pale. He is handling his character with so much genuine commitment that his struggle becomes even more painful and so authentic that you feel for him every single time you see his handsome face, his weary eyes and his emaciated body. When he asks his mom if he would die, his facial expressions are subtle but outstandingly genuine, as is his entire performance.

This movie is the saddest I have ever seen in my life so far. It centers around this single tragedy. Its transformation is thoroughly convincing. The effects on the family, on Claire and Greg, on Ben's brothers and on his grandparents are implemented with masterly sensitivity and smashing subtlety. It focuses around death and how a young couple has to face the ultimate test of their love and strength. Seeing your boy die and holding him in your hands when he goes towards the light – being with him when he leaves this world as you were with him when he made his first breath – this is the most painful experience for any parent. Because it is not right. This landmark drama, like none before, based on a real family's experience, brings this emotionally challenging issue to the fore – with dear compassion and remarkable wisdom that will leave you emotionally scarred.


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?