A midwife in rural Vermont is wrongly accused of murder in the death of one of her patients by the woman's husband.

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(novel) (as Chris Bohjalian), (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sibyl Danforth
...
Stephen Hastings
...
Rand Danforth
...
Constance 'Connie' Danforth
Peter Dvorsky
Paul Hecht
Susannah Hoffmann ...
Charlotte Bedford
Cliff Saunders ...
Asa Bedford
Elva Mai Hoover ...
OB Gyn Doctor
...
Cheryl Visco
...
Wanda Purington
Murray Oliver ...
Caleb Purington
Stephen Hunter ...
Leland Rhodes
Bruce McFee ...
Tuttle
Terry V. Hart ...
Richard Tilley
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Storyline

It's a cold and stormy night, and in a house in rural Vermont, midwife Sibyl Danforth is, together with the father and an assistant, in the middle of a homebirth. As time passes, the woman in labor meets with difficulties and Sibyl concludes that it would be preferable for the woman to deliver her baby in the hospital. Though a dead telephone line and bad weather prevents Sibyl from going anywhere. Black ice and a persisten snowstorm makes transportation an impossibility. Early in the morning, the woman dies from what they believe to be a stroke and in all the chaos, Sibyl promptly decides to do a C-section to save the baby. The baby survives, but the mother is dead and tragedy is obvious. Yet, it's only going to get worse for Sibyl as her assistant is certain that the woman was still alive when Sibyl performed the C-section. Sibyl is charged with manslaughter, brought before the court and her life is and will forever be changed. Written by Angelica

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She helps bring life into this world. Now she needs help with her own.

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Drama | Crime

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Release Date:

2 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apofasi zois  »

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1.33 : 1
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Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie previously co-starred in Stephen King's adaptation of Carrie (1976) together. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some professions are more dangerous than you think
17 September 2002 | by (La Rioja, Spain) – See all my reviews

The brakes fail on a dilapidated old bus full of schoolkids, forcing the driver to crash it, fortunately without any injuries to anyone - but the driver is held to account.

On a mountain hike a fourteen year old dare-devil falls down a small cliff and breaks a knee - the group's guide is held to account.

Far-fetched? No: these things have happened to me in my working life. And when I think of all the unforeseen complications which befall surgeons carrying out risky operations on their patients, for example, one can easily see that many people are in jobs where when something goes wrong, he or she can frequently become the scapegoat.

In `Midwives' Sissy Spacek plays out the part of a midwife who has the bad luck of having the young mother dying as she is trying to bring a baby into this world. Ms. Spacek is convincing, as much so as in any other of her films I have seen her in. She has come a long way since `Carrie' when she was just 27 years old, or her good interpretation in `Missing' exactly 20 years ago. In `Midwives' we see a mature Ms. Spacek proving she is a real actress, as this is indeed a difficult part, requiring much attention so as to make her rôle of midwife be realistic. How fortunate she was to have a very understanding and clear-headed fourteen year old daughter! Usually girls at such an age (in or out of films) are rather selfish bad-mannered little dears ...

Without being anything brilliant, `Midwives' is worth a watch, as besides being a thought-provoking story, Sissy Spacek offers an intelligent performance and helps keep the rest of the cast on course.


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