A mysterious woman claiming to be the deceased daughter of a rich man tries to solve the problems of his untrusting son and supposedly mentally handicaped daughter. But one question stands in her way: is she really Caroline?
Set in the 1950's, a woman (Zimbalist) appears 14 years after supposedly dying in a plane crash. She claims she never boarded the plane and simply used the crash as a means to escape her debutante life. Now she is ready to rejoin the rest of the family, except everyone is skeptical particularly as she has shown up just in time to inherit a fortune from a recently deceased grandmother (Dorothy McGuire shown in flashbacks). Contains nothing that would be offensive to anyone, but is probably too adult in theme for small children. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Stunningly original tv-drama is bold and brilliant
Discovering "Caroline?" in a flea market video stall bin for a buck and being less than curious by its uninspired packaging, this video seemed doomed for re-recording. Having missed its original airing on NBC in 1990 I was completely unprepared for the luminous screenplay of this partial thriller/part human-interest tale of a young girl who claims to be the daughter of a wealthy Atlanta businessman who had allegedly been killed in a plane crash 15 year prior. What unfolds is an exciting, tautly directed (emmy winner Joseph Sargent) and uniformly brilliant performances by a beautifully cast emsemble. Pamela Reed, as the businessman's second wife (consistently great and underappreciated George Grizzard) delivers a masterpiece of character- a complex woman of cruelty, compassion and fear. Reed is stunning! Ditto Stephanie Zimbalist, heretofore taken for granted as a flavor-of-the-month is astoundingly smart and a real revelation in her only decent non-tv series role of her career. What a shame. The children are a joy, especially 15-year old Shawn Phelan playing a spoiled but delightfully dutiful son . What a horrific tragedy to discover his godawful death in 1997 in an auto accident. It puts a damper on this thrilling achievement. "Caroline?" is a sleeper and a gem and has the guts to abandon its mystery plot pretense to reveal a wonderful tale of philanthropy. Ms. McGuire and Ms. Neal add another dose of class in critical cameos. Easily Hallmark's best and bravest production of the '90's. Jake
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