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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Excellent flick

Author: guilfisher-1 from New York City
8 October 2008

I seem to be outnumbered, but I found this a wonderfully acted movie. I knew of Jill Ireland and Charles Bronson from their films together, but not their personal story. I found it incredible and yet heartbreaking as to the final outcome of some of the characters.

Jill Clayburgh is a fine actress and she brings great histrionics to her role as Jill. She is back by an excellent cast and equally fine direction. I never read the book and can't compare as others do so I judge this on what I saw. Lance Henrikien as Bronson was a great match to Clayburgh's talent. They had some of the best moments in the movie. Neill Barry as the adopted son was nothing short of brilliant. He brought painful honesty to the role. Always believable. As his real life Mom, Elizabeth Ashley, was superb. It was good to see her back in films. You don't see much of her these days and she's a good actress. Then the brothers played by Jimmy McNichol and Clint Allen were very supportive in their efforts.

Lila Kaye, the English comedienne, and the late Jack Gwillim played Clayburgh's parents. They were a hoot. Gwillim was amazing in his acting the role of a man losing his facilities. Chalk up high marks for directing by Michal Ray Rhoades and you have an awesome movie for TV.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

one of those "could have been good" TV movies...

Author: chas77 from Los Angeles
14 June 1999

An outstanding performance by Lance Henrikson portraying Charles Bronson (Ireland's husband) fails to move this TV movie out of the mediocre pile, and that's too bad because this story is fascinating. Clayburgh tries hard as the doomed Ireland but there are some basic problems with her performance, namely she's not English (her accent is pretty bad) and she's not that good-looking. The real Ireland was a beautiful, fairly talented actress who gave up a marriage with popular Scottish actor David McCallum ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") to be with the fairly unknown Bronson. Within a couple of years, Bronson became one of the most popular actors in the world. Now if the producers would have only combined THAT aspect of her life into this so-so TV movie we'd have a superb story... (updated on 12/6/2016 to reflect the fact that McCallum is Scottish not British to make some tiresome baby-boy happy...this is for reviews, not whining about inconsequential rubbish - see the film if you want to comment, mate)

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Reason for Living? After watching this, why bother?

1/10
Author: maxeythecat from United States
30 July 2005

Jill Ireland was beautiful, talented, courageous and loving woman who fought to save a child that was beyond saving despite the fact that she was at death's door herself. Her story is an inspiration to us all, but frankly speaking this "film" is an insult to her memory. Aside from Lance Hendrikson, the casting is absolutely appalling, especially with Jill Clayburgh as Ireland. I've always liked her as an actress...I usually find her performances pretty spot on, but this, I'm afraid is an embarrassment. She does'nt even come close to capturing the character in looks OR manner and that factor alone is enough to submarine this celluloid work of frustration to the bowels of TV Movie Pergatory for all eternity. Do yourselves a favour...stick to the book and steer clear of the tele!!

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Life Wish

5/10
Author: Gatto Nero from United States
3 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I finally got to this Made-for-TV film! Being a fan of Charles Bronson, I followed the tragic ordeal of Jill Ireland as much as I could. Bronson was her main support during this difficult time in her life dealing with cancer. I had no idea on seeing the film that it would mainly focus on her dealing with their troubled adoptive son, Jason. But I can only imagine the whole ordeal they went through in trying to save this beyond help kid.

Well, let me break it down how I saw it. The late great Jill Clayburgh as Jill Ireland. She did an OK job. There were times she looked dead-on like Ireland and other times not at all. Her accent came and went but all in all she did a good job. Here she was playing a woman who was dying but wanted to save her adoptive son from the horrible drug addiction he was in. She made it her priority to do whatever she could for Jason.

Lance Henriksen as Charles Bronson: An irony of sorts. Here was one of my favorite actors playing one of my all time favorites! How could it miss? But for me it did. Henriksen as good as he truly was, is no Bronson. I felt he was miscast in the role. But he did a commendable job. Bronson was a real private person in real life and Henriksen did convey that several times in his portrayal. His scenes with Jill were convincing and thank goodness the film was more of Ireland & Jason than of Bronson. Because like I said, I felt Henriksen was miscast but did a good job nonetheless.

Neill Barry as Jason McCallum: Wow. This kid did for me an excellent job! He looked and acted like a young Billy Zane! Too bad Barry and Zane did not act together at the time. They could have played brothers in a different film. His scenes as the 'outsider" of the family really were well done. His scenes of the drug use were a little over the top but then again drugs are and can cause way over the top reactions.

Lila Kaye as Dorothy, Jill's mother: I remember Kaye from "American Werewolf in London". She was the bar maid in that one. She gave a very earnest and funny portrayal of Ireland's mother. Had the right energy for it. Nice job.

Jack Gwillim as Jill's father: Even though he had no speaking lines except but to moan or laugh, this great late actor did a nice funny portrayal as Ireland's dad who could not speak because he had suffered a stroke.

Elizabeth Ashley as Vicky: Wow. Ashley did a very great job playing Jason's real mom, Vicky. She only really had 2 scenes: one with Jason and the other with Ireland but man oh man . Was she good! I could almost believe she was Jason's real mom! They really did look somewhat alike! Nice.

Jimmy McNichol & Clint Allen as the McCallum brothers,Valentine & Paul: Really nice casting here. They actually did look very much like the real McCallum brothers! Too bad these two young actors did not do much after this. I felt they had something.

Byron Allen as Himself (TV interviewer) It was nice to see Allen just playing himself, interviewing Ireland on his talk show. Nice little bit for him.

The movie played like a hallmark movie and I thought they were gonna show the demise of both Ireland and Jason but they kept it in words only in the end credits. This movie does deserve at least a one watch viewing. it's good for that.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Jill Clayburgh Gives a Good Performance

7/10
Author: dennisleecleven from United States
22 October 2011

Jill Clayburgh may not look like Jill Ireland, but I do feel she was good as a mother with a son addicted to heroin. Jill Clayburgh is a fine actress and she is at the center of this film along with Neill Barry who is her troubled adopted son. The facts of addiction are realistically portrayed. I was taken back that no mention was made that the adopted son was from a marriage to David McCallum. It was not until looking up information on Jill Ireland that I learned of the adopted son being from Jill Ireland's son from a marriage prior to her marriage to Charles Bronson. I found that to be an annoying gap in this film. Elizabeth Ashley was a real asset to this film. Because this was a TV film, I am giving it seven stars for a realistic portrayal of heroin addiction and the fine performances by Jill Clayburgh, Neill Barry, and Elizabeth Ashley. Though, I must say, Jill Clayburgh did struggle with a British accent. I can overlook that fact.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing story of an incredible woman

Author: Verau from United States
6 December 2006

I was very disappointed in this movie for the same reasons the two reviewers above gave. Jill Clayburgh was just terribly miscast as Jill Ireland. It distracted me throughout the movie. While Ms. Ireland's real-life struggle to save her adopted son from drug addiction was admirable, eventually I started hoping for her son to hurry up and O.D. and get it over with it already, instead of having to watch the plot wander through the same territory again and again. It was difficult to work up much sympathy for him. I know that frequent relapses are symptomatic of drug use, but the movie had an obligation to entertain as well as inform. Unfortunately, it didn't do either very well.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Correction.

Author: CavalorCumano from United Kingdom
14 June 2007

I have not seen this movie, but I would like to correct previous poster chas77. David McCallum is Scottish not English. He was born in Glasgow which is in Scotland and Scotland is one quarter of Britain not England. I do wish that people from around the world would remember this and not automatically think that everything pertaining to the British and the United Kingdom is English. If it weren't for a Scot by the name of John Logie Baird, television would not exist and neither would the IMDb.

Please take note of my comment.

Thank you.

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