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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(book), (teleplay)
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4,628 ( 519)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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 ...
Herself
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Her children got in the way of her love

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blick in den Abgrund  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 7,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Frank Joziak: [after delivering a telling argument against Diane's version of the story] A child, Shauna, was killed. A little girl who isn't here anymore. For what? For Diane Down's warped sense of values. Robbie won't walk, Karen won't have the use of her arm the way it was.
[His voice wavers]
Frank Joziak: These children will *never* be the same.
[Begins to erupt in rage]
Frank Joziak: And look, Diane Downs-! For once, you're not going to lie your way out of this situation, it just doesn't cut it! You're a murderer! A cold-blooded, ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kids of Killers (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Farrah's Powerhouse Performance makes this one work...
22 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Farrah Fawcett's Emmy-nominated performance is the centerpiece of SMALL SACRIFICES, a riveting, ABC mini-series based on the true story of Diane Downs, a cold-blooded woman who was sent to jail for murdering two of her three children. This teleplay presents Downs as the lonely, divorced working mother of three who appears on the outside to be a devoted and loving mother but as no qualms about putting her own needs first when the opportunity presents itself. While working at a post office, Diane begins a romance with one of her co-workers, Lew Lewiston (Ryan O'Neal)and things are going well until Diane learns that Lew doesn't like kids and has no desire to be a stepfather so Diane decides to kill her children. Fortunately, her daughter, somehow survives the brutal shooting and is taken into protective custody not only to protect her from further harm by her mother but to use her to help build a case to convict her mother. Fawcett gives the performance of her career...an icy, heartless bitch who shouts of her innocence throughout the proceedings, even though all evidence points to her and has the nerve to be baffled by the fact that her daughter wants nothing to do with her. O'Neal's role here is more in the way of stunt casting as he was Fawcett's real life romance at the time and is wasted in a thankless role, but there are two solid performances from John Shea and Gordon Clapp as the two police detectives caught in the deadly cat and mouse game of trying to slip Diane up in order to nail her for this horrendous crime. Despite it's almost three-hour length, I found this movie fascinating from start to finish, thanks primarily to a powerhouse performance from Farrah Fawcett who got the role of her career and ran with it.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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