IMDb > Desperate Choices: To Save My Child (1992) (TV)

Desperate Choices: To Save My Child (1992) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Sandra Jennings (story)
Sandra Jennings (teleplay) ...
View company contact information for Desperate Choices: To Save My Child on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 October 1992 (USA) See more »
To save the life of their daughter, they will have to risk the life of their son. See more »
When a young girl is diagnosed with leukemia, her father and stepmother must decide if they should risk their son's life by exploring his potentiality as a bone marrow donor. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A rather intense and well-depicted TV drama See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Joanna Kerns ... Mel Robbins

Bruce Davison ... Richard Robbins

Joseph Mazzello ... Willy Robbins (as Joe Mazzello)

Jeremy Sisto ... Josh Ryan

Bruce McGill ... Dan Ryan

Steven Gilborn ... Dr. Andrews

Rondi Reed

Ron Canada

Reese Witherspoon ... Cassie Robbins

J.D. Hall ... Coach Watson
Phillip Curry ... Judge Bloom
William Newman ... Dr. Edwards
Debby Shively ... Angela Vincente

Larry Brandenburg ... Ed Foster

Shaun Duke ... Benny (as Duke Moosekian)
Mary Kohnert ... Mrs. Hefner
Huck Liggett ... Danny

Bryan Anthony ... Tough Kid
Mark Davenport ... Mark
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Dean Scofield ... John Schuyler (uncredited)

Directed by
Andy Tennant 
Writing credits
Sandra Jennings (story)

Sandra Jennings (teleplay) and
Maggie Kleinman (teleplay)

Produced by
Andrew Adelson .... executive producer
Original Music by
John M. Keane 
Cinematography by
Peter Stein 
Film Editing by
Debra Neil-Fisher  (as Debra Neil)
Casting by
Holly Powell 
Production Design by
Chester Kaczenski 
Set Decoration by
Judi Sandin 
Costume Design by
Debra McGuire 
Makeup Department
Dee Mansano .... special makeup effects artist
Kelvin R. Trahan .... hair stylist
Kelvin R. Trahan .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Scott Printz .... first assistant director
Jeff Rafner .... second assistant director
Art Department
Tom Craig .... on-set dresser
Elan Papa .... swing
Angelo Sotereanos .... swing gang
Sound Department
Michael C. Gutierrez .... supervising sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Alex Hennech .... camera production assistant
Tom Nichols .... key grip
Bill H. Roberts Jr. .... second assistant camera (a camera)
Charles M. Smallwood .... dolly grip
Tony Varuola .... lighting technician
Casting Department
Kim Everett .... casting associate
Editorial Department
Scott Janush .... assistant editor
Transportation Department
Billy G. Arter .... transportation coordinator
Chris Basso .... driver: production van
Other crew
Bundy Chanock .... set medic
Karen May .... script supervisor
Margi Newquist .... production coordinator
Geoffrey Ryan .... location manager


Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min | Germany:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A rather intense and well-depicted TV drama, 5 November 2006
Author: Mel J from Dundee, Scotland

'Solomon's Choice' is a heart-warming film about how a child's illness has all sorts of ramifications for all the family and the rights of parents and children.

The film centres on Cassie Robbins, an energetic sixteen-year-old who has a close relationship with her father Richard and stepmother Mel and dotes on her six-year-old half-brother Willy. But when she is diagnosed with leukaemia and chemotherapy fails, a bone-marrow transplant remains her only hope of survival. And this is when Richard and Mel clash as Willy could be a potential match but his mother isn't willing to risk the procedure since the little boy had a bad reaction to anaesthetic when he was last operated on. Richard reacts harshly when he sees Mel's reluctance to test their son as an example of her protecting her 'real' child over her step-daughter. As their family starts to collapse, Willy himself becomes increasingly aware that he holds the key to saving his sister.

The quality of acting in the film surpassed what is usually expected in made-for-television dramas. Cassie, played by a teenage Reece Witherspoon, was excellent as a likable girl coping with the turmoil of possible terminal illness and who is willing to die if that's what it takes to protect her little brother. Bruce Davison, as Richard, and Joanna Kerns, as Mel, give strong performances as parents who fiercely love their children but have to defend their differing views under such gut-wrenching circumstances. And a small Joseph Mazzello (better known as Tim in 'Jurassic Park'), in the role of Willy, gives a very endearing portrayal of a little boy caught in a situation he doesn't understand yet determined to support his sister.

The story is depicted in a manner that is quite realistic, with parents lashing out-- sometimes violently-- in the face of their child's possible death and children struggling to cope with illness and what is happening to their previously happy family. The film does well in showing a rather balanced view of both Richard and Mel's views, without turning the latter into a wicked stepmother hoarding her natural son to herself and instead she is just shown to be a worried mother. That said, personally, it was hard to agree with her and it would have been interesting to have seen the consequences to the Robbins' marriage and to an older Willy had Cassie died without the transplant.

'Solomon's Choice' is still one of the better TV dramas out there and is certainly worth catching if it's ever on.

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