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Out of Darkness (1994)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  16 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 243 users  
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A paranoid schizophrenia woman finds the treatment to her mental illness after 18 years.



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Title: Out of Darkness (TV Movie 1994)

Out of Darkness (TV Movie 1994) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Paulie Cooper
Ann Weldon
Mrs. Cooper
Chasiti Hampton ...
Kim Donaldson
Rusty Gray ...
Bartender (as Rusty Schmidt)
Patricia Idlette ...
Barbara Howard ...
Triage Officer
Cathy Raymond ...
Angelina Fiordellisi ...
Social Worker


This is story of Paulie Cooper, a former med student who becomes ill with paranoid schizophrenia and loses 18 years of her life due to the sickness. After her release from a mental ward Paulie struggles to rebuild her life with help from doctors, nurses and a new experimental medicine drug that would help aid her back to health. She spends the rest of her life re-adjusting to life outside of the institution and to a world that had misunderstood and shunned her. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She struggled with mental illness for a big part of her life. Now, she has to find her way back to the years she lost.


Biography | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Out of Darkness  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In an attempt to improvise the "walk" of a homeless indigent, Diana Ross discreetly placed an orange between her skirted thighs and proceeded to hobble along on cue. The effort required to keep the concealed orange in place without using her hands, effected a gait so uncanny that Ross's director, Larry Elikann, later quizzed her about how she walked the "walk." According to Ross, herself, as related to the audience on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) (19 February 2006), she never did disclose the simplicity of her little ruse. See more »


Paulie Cooper: Well, it feels like being in a dream... and it feels like a really important dream. But it's not a dream, because you're not asleep. And because you're not asleep you can't wake up.
See more »


Featured in The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

For anyone interested in realistic portrayal of schizophrenia; very well done...
26 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film was very well presented, with good performances. It is sad, and does not distort or exaggerate as many other films have, regarding mental and/or emotional disorders.

Diana Ross is very good as Paulie, a once brilliant pre-med student, who can no longer function due to paranoid schizophrenia.

Rhonda Stubbins-White is also very good as the sister, who wishes everything would just "get back to normal". The actress who portrays Ross' mother is also very good. There is also a cameo with Lindsay Crouse, who attempts to help Paulie in a new day treatment program.

Some of the scenes are disturbing, and anyone who may have experienced situations like this in real life may find it close to the truth. Ross gives the audience an excellent portrayal of the disorder, living in her own world, and enduring many medications and hospitalizations.

Finally, she is given a new medication which actually works. The scenes are very well-done, as she is sitting outside the medical school, suddenly feeling like she wants to live life again.

What I particularly appreciated about the message in this film was that, Paulie recovers in her own time; at age 44, she must learn to re-live the rest of her life, even though she lost 18 years in the hospital, due to the illness. The film does not condescend or fault the patient, she is merely doing the best she can to cope with a destructive illness.

At the conclusion, we see Paulie as she is functioning, ready to finish school. On the way, she sees a homeless woman. She leaves her some food, reflecting on how alienated some people are, and how fortunate she was, to have received effective treatment. 9/10.

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