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 <email@example.com>
Truly remarkable on so many levels, and worth repeated viewings because it's easy to miss some things the first time around. For example, notice who is in the background when Caroline's father laments "I don't even know my own daughter," or the book the adult Winston picks up when speaking to Hilary. The acting is exceptional all around, but especially by Shawn Phelan as young Winston and Jenny Jacobs as Heidi- yes, Jenny Jacobs really does have a disability in real life, and I wouldn't be surprised if the woman who played Hilary also does, as well. Stephanie Zimbalist is luminous as Caroline, and the scenes between her and Patricia Neal (as the headmistress who doesn't believe she's really Caroline) virtually crackle with tension. The ending always puts a lump in my throat, but this is a rare movie that actually earns it's tears. It originally aired on CBS against the Jim Bakker story, which all the critics thought would destroy Caroline in the ratings, but it was the other way around! I've read the book as well and while I liked it, the movie in my opinion is better, because the actors bring the characters to life in a way that the written word can't.
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