Down 17,280 this week

The Broken Cord (1992)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama  |  3 February 1992 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 100 users  
Reviews: 8 user

David Norwell, an anthropology professor, wants to adopt a child even though he is single. He is finally given a Native American child who might be slightly different from other children. ... See full summary »



(book), (teleplay)
0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 425 titles
created 12 Oct 2011
a list of 723 titles
created 09 Dec 2013
a list of 246 titles
created 8 months ago
list image
a list of 4741 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Broken Cord" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Broken Cord (TV Movie 1992)

The Broken Cord (TV Movie 1992) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Broken Cord.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Marshal Law (TV Movie 1996)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

In the hills not far from Los Angeles, a new, fresh, secure housing area has been built by former U.S. Marshal Jack Coleman and a friend. An escaped convict, Cougar and a band of ten ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Cornwell
Stars: Jimmy Smits, James Le Gros, Kristy Swanson
Vital Signs (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

This movie follows the lives of medical students who are in their third year, which is the time that they have to decide what they intend to specialize in. At the center is Michael Chatham ... See full summary »

Director: Marisa Silver
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Diane Lane, Jack Gwaltney
Fires Within (1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Released after years as a political prisoner, a Cuban rejoins his wife and daughter in Miami.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Greta Scacchi, Vincent D'Onofrio
The Activist (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A political thriller during the Wounded Knee insurrection in 1973. Two activist are arrested and maintain in custody in a sheriff's office. They will meet a Nixon advisor, a lawyer, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cyril Morin
Stars: Chadwick Brown, Tonantzin Carmelo, Michael Spears
Imprint I (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Shayla Stonefeather, a Native American attorney prosecuting a Lakota teen in a controversial murder trial, returns to the reservation to say goodbye to her dying father. After the teen is ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Linn
Stars: Tonantzin Carmelo, Carla-Rae, Michael Spears
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An imaginative teenage girl, living in a mystical and dangerous community built on a deserted drive-in movie lot along the Texas/Oklahoma border, struggles to realize her potential, and escape the world she was born into.

Director: William Robert Carey
Stars: Alicia Silverstone, AJ Michalka, Billy Burke
Glitz (TV Movie 1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Vincent Marra is a Miami cop on medical leave in Puerto Rico, where he's being stalked by a sex offender he testified against. Vincent's girlfriend leaves him for a job as a "hostess" in an... See full summary »

Director: Sandor Stern
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Markie Post, John Diehl


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Norwell
Adam, as a boy
Fredrick Leader-Charge ...
Adam as a teen
Deborah Duchene ...
Allison Chapman
Emil Bear Heart
Billy Merasty ...
Frank Cree
Keith Dinicol ...
Harris McPhee
Duane Buckanagee
Frank Burning ...
Adam #3
Chapelle Jaffe ...
Judy Jensen
Elizabeth Leigh-Milne ...
Sonya Simmonds
Judith Orban ...
Lead Teacher
Judy Sinclair ...
Mrs. Miller


David Norwell, an anthropology professor, wants to adopt a child even though he is single. He is finally given a Native American child who might be slightly different from other children. In fact, Adam, the child, soon starts showing signs of mental illness. Through the years, David tries to help his son overcome his disability but he finds it difficult when Adam won't help himself. It is later discovered that Adam was born from an alcoholic mother and is the cause of his problems. Written by Steve Richer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der lange Weg ins Leben  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fictionalized account of writer Michael Dorris' life and adoption of a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

13 May 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The film gives an accurate picture of the problems faced by parents of FAS children.

The movie is based on the autobiographical story by the same name, which dealt with Michael Dorris' adoption of his son Abel. When Abel was adopted little was known about FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and Michael Dorris learned after the fact that Abel suffered from FAS.

FAS children display a range of physical, mental, and psychological characteristics, more or less pronounced depending on the amount of exposure and when they were exposed during gestation. While Downs Syndrome children can often excel in school and jobs, FAS children, due to diminished cognition, judgment, and poor impulse control, amongst other things, generally cannot adapt to independent living.

Dorris adopted three FAS children and his efforts almost singlehandedly brought into existence a national movement against fetal alcohol syndrome. Sadly, Abel was killed in 1991, at age 23, by a hit and run driver, and Michael Dorris committed suicide April 11, 1997.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
how to get a copy of this tameroa
Discuss The Broken Cord (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: