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Small Sacrifices (1989)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  12 November 1989 (USA)
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On the 19th of May 1983 Diane Downs stops at the McKenzie-Williamette-Hospital and cries for help. She is wounded on her arm and her three children are also wounded seriously. She says that... See full summary »



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Title: Small Sacrifices (TV Movie 1989)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Doug Welch
Lew Lewiston
Frank Joziak
Karen Downs
Boyd Paul Downs (as Gary Chalk)
Ken James ...
Daryl Chapman
Sean McCann ...
Russell Wells
Matt Jensen (Part 2)
Elan Ross Gibson ...
Rosalind Dyring
Lynne Cormack ...
Lola Joziak
Evelyn Slaven
Christopher Caravalho ...
Robbie Downs
Anne Bradley Jaeger ...


On the 19th of May 1983 Diane Downs stops at the McKenzie-Williamette-Hospital and cries for help. She is wounded on her arm and her three children are also wounded seriously. She says that a stranger shot at them but the investigation of detective Welch bring out that Diane is a liar. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her children got in the way of her love



Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blick in den Abgrund  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 7,300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Not only were Farrah fawcett (diane downs) and Ryan o'neal (lee Lewiston) lovers in the movie. They've been together since 1980 and have a child together. See more »


When Diane brings a pizza over to her mailman friend Matt Jensen's house, she asks him if he likes mushrooms on his pizza while holding the pizza out to him. He says yes. But the pizza has no mushrooms on it, it is clearly plain. See more »


Frank Joziak: [Trying to calm Karen on the stand] Just stay with me, Karen; do you remember when you were shot?
Karen Downs: [Distraught] Yeah...!
Frank Joziak: [Gingerly] Who shot you?
Karen Downs: [Sobs as she glances in fear at her mother] My mom.
[Cut to Diane, hiding her face in her hands]
Frank Joziak: And do you love your mom, Karen?
Karen Downs: [Crying] Yes...!
See more »


Referenced in Kids of Killers (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent True Crime movie about a woman who tries to kill her kids to get a man.
2 September 2001 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Here's TV doing true crime the way it should be done--slowly unfolding plot through character, threading the cops and perps stories together, good courtroom drama--it's spellbinding. Farrah Fawcett is exceptional as Diane Downs, the woman who manages to kill one out of three kids. The two surviving kids are also stand-outs, especially the small daughter who must choose whether or not to testify against the monstrously narcissistic Downs. John Shea is also good as the D.A. A must-see for crime buffs.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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