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Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase (1990)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  20 May 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 119 users  
Reviews: 13 user

A woman who suffers from multiple personality disorder is found during therapy to have suffered child abuse in this fact-based story.



(autobiography The Troops for Truddi Chase),
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Title: Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase (TV Movie 1990)

Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase (TV Movie 1990) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Credited cast:
Truddi Chase
Doctor 'Stanley' Phillips
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tiffany Ballenger ...
Truddi at 8
Jon Beshara ...
Val Bettin ...
Kelly Brookman ...
Page at 8
Irina Cashen ...
Truddi at 6
Frank Converse ...
Peter Morgan
Manuel DePina ...
Brendan Dillon ...
Dale Dunham ...


The story of a woman with multiple personalities. Her abused childhood fragmented her psyche into her "army" of 22 separate personalities. By the time her therapy has finished it is revealed that 70 more are within her struggling to break free. Written by Steve Crook <>

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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La femme blessée  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


While fighting with Truddi, Norman threatens to fly to Scotland to "dig up Robert Lewis Stevenson." But Robert Lewis Stevenson died and was buried in Samoa. See more »

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User Reviews

Terrible film about a fascinating lady.
15 January 2004 | by (Auckland, New Zealand.) – See all my reviews

There seems to be some unwritten rule that stories about obscure illnesses, true crime and cults have to be made into really bad tv movies. I think this is a real shame. Stories such as these would make great 'real' movies, especially if they were put into competent hands.

12 years ago I was wandering through a second hand book shop and came across a strange looking paperback called when rabbits howl. I found the contents to be even stranger than the cover. Ever since I have been fascinated by multiple personality disorder and have read many books about it since.

In my review of Sybil, I give a brief history about multiple personality disorder and challenge its existence. So if you want some more info on the disorder please read my review. The problem with this case is that Chase actually went to a seminar where Dr Wilbur and Sybil discussed MPD. Many people claiming to have alters have already been exposed to the disorder so they know how the disorder is meant to work. This is problematic, because as we know from Kenneth Bianchi, the disorder can be acted out convincingly. Bianchi studied the tv movie Sybil to pretend he had the disorder. Thankfully it didn't work.

The question always surfaces, 'does this disorder actually exist?' Or, is it just used by manipulative individuals who want to escape responsibility for their actions? Or to get attention? The other problem I have with Chase is that she and her therapist claim that she has 99-120 personalities. This is stretching credibility. Remember back in the eighties, as cases of MPD were increasingly being diagnosed, the number of alters inside the subject were also increasing. To me this sounds off warning bells that the disorder is socially induced and is not a natural phenomenon. One therapist even claimed their patient had 4, 500 alters!

Despite the problematic nature of the disorder it is amazing that Truddi Chase managed to survive her childhood. Chase in her book states extreme abuse in great detail and it is full of the sexual perversions of her stepfather. Her stepfather was a cruel, sick, sexual sadist. Her mother was a religious weirdo that was physically and emotionally abusive. What I have always wondered is what happened to her siblings? Didn't she have a brother?

This is where the film falls down. If you were to make the film from the book it would have a R18 rating. Because this is a bad tv movie it totally avoids the abuse. Only implying 1/10th of the horror that Chase had to live through. To compensate for this the director has turned the film into crap. Johnson does not have the balls to represent the material accurately. I would call this film cowardly because it avoids the material to fit a rating. The fact that Chase herself is part of the writing team is depressing. Didn't her troops realize that they were making crap? The film should be renamed 'a multiple in the world of the young and the restless!'

It's really irritating because all the viewer observes for the majority of the film is Shelley Long working, seducing, arguing, shouting and generally being really annoying. Most of this is focused at her husband. By the time that her therapist learns that she is a multiple, the movie sort of glosses over it. Very little time is spent analysing the material or even discussing it. Maybe the director just did not comprehend the material.

An aspect of the film that did amuse me is that it is so eighties. Too eighties for words and Long has some of the worst dresses since Full House.

There is one part of the film that really bugs me. The therapist states that after learning of Chase's abusive history and her disorder that at the very least she should be a whore! Excuse me? Just because someone has been abused does not mean they are going to be sexually promiscuous for money or anything else. Who wrote this? It disgusts me.

Shelly Long is hopelessly miscast. She is a bad actress and I just cannot separate her from the character 'Diane' from Cheers. In fact, all of the acting is terrible. Not that Long or the other actors have much to work with. I can't think of one good performance in this horror of a film.

However, the main problem with the film is that it lacks any psychological depth. Chase writes of a horribly abusive family that is totally dysfunctional. The actual relationships between family members are never explored in the film. In fact, there is very little time spent in Chase's childhood. Most of it consists of Long being overly dramatic in New York. You also don't learn anything about the disorder and you don't learn anything about Chase. The film is completely pointless and tells the viewer nothing. MPD needs to be demystified and this film does not help.

It is all a terrible shame. Chase deserves to have her story told and the viewer can learn about what the horrors of child abuse can cause. The director of this film is a hack and did not seem at all concerned about the material.

A horribly wasted opportunity of a really interesting book. If you want to know about Chase then read her book. Avoid this film because it sucks and is about as deep as any soap opera on television. Please Shelly long, stay away from acting. I give this film a 1 out of 10 for being gutless. Even Sybil, which suffered from the same problem had more balls than this film and dared to explore the psychological factors in a deeper fashion. I give it 1 out of 10. I hope that one day a good director will film the book.

Also if there is anyone out there who knows what ever happened to Chase and the rest of her family. Send an e-mail my way.

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