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Sanctuary (2001)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  28 February 2001 (USA)
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A famous photographer, Jo Ellen Hathaway, has been being stalked for quite some time. She returns to the island she grew up on in an effort to get away from the stalker and get some ... See full summary »



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Title: Sanctuary (TV Movie 2001)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jo Ellen Hathaway
Brian Hathaway (as Chris Martin)
Kirby Fitzsimmons
Aunt Kate
David Delaney
Annabelle Hathaway
Booth Savage ...
Sheriff Bill Duer
James Bulliard ...
Hayley Lochner ...
Jo Ellen at age 10
Jo Ellen at age 7
Skylar Pollack ...
David at age 15


A famous photographer, Jo Ellen Hathaway, has been being stalked for quite some time. She returns to the island she grew up on in an effort to get away from the stalker and get some well-needed relaxation time. On the island, she meets up with old friends and boyfriends and works on relationships with her family. However, she can't shake the feeling that she's still being watched. Written by KannD86

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passion or obsession? Jo Hathaway thought she knew the difference... she was dead wrong.





Release Date:

28 February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nora Roberts' Sanctuary  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A bit weak and a bit tedious - not a strong combination
2 June 2008 | by (Tulsa OK) – See all my reviews

I didn't get to view this opus continuously from beginning to end - but a number of interruptions didn't matter much.

Basically, Melissa Gilbert's character travels from the big city, back to her home on a remote island, to evade someone apparently stalking her.

After some banter with the townsfolk, some flashbacks, etc. - none too dramatic or interesting, but with a bit of "Blair Witch"-type photography, indicating either someone may be tracking her, or she thinks they are (I didn't really care much which it might be), finally she runs into the actor playing Nathan.

Thinking he was the stalker, taking photos of her, she flees. He catches her, and she hysterically demands he destroy his film, despite his indication he was simply photographing the lake. She doesn't recognize him; he mentions he had been in one of the cabins 18 years prior. She then instantly remembers him, and even girlishly references that he had, back then, rendered her first kiss. She inquires about his father, and when told he has died, expresses deep sympathy and says she wishes she'd known, and they proceed to chat as if they were old friends instead of persons who had met briefly, nearly two decades ago -- he apparently a teenager (she is later indicated as having been 12) both about one-third las old as they are now. She, though, feels compelled to indicate she has no interest in any development of a relationship with him, while he (weirdly) acts as if his interest in her had never waned, despite her being a pre-teen then. (One of the silliest aspects of this type film is the characters moving from eerie, chilling, frightened demeanor, to chatting like Lucy and Ethel, without missing a beat. Likewise, not recognizing someone after many years, and then expressing opinions and concerns, again, as if they had been in-touch all these years without interruption.)

Later, either that evening at the next, there's a beach party, where Nathan kisses her again, and provides her with some amateur psychoanalysis.

Melissa continues to worry about the stalker, and as she shows her aunt the computer images of the stalker's photos of her, and - even though she's an apparent world-class Chicago-based photog herself - seems perpetually perplexed as to how stalker had succeeded in photographing her --- "Auntie" in the ominous tone of a dark film foreshadowing, gasps that the one pic of her nude (tastefully) in actually HER MOTHER!!!! (Auntie's sister).

This scene looked to me like something two of the gals on SNL might have done in a cornball sketch.

The two prime characters continued on; throughout Melissa looked like she might have had one too many shots of caffeine, and "Nathan" like he could use some.

As these two and the attendant support cast continued to the film's conclusion, with their romantic interactions and mysterious overtones, it all was simply a pedestrian presentation of the same type of fiction which Nora Roberts and other authors of her genre produce for the "reading?" public. Melissa's constant prattling about the mysterious pictures from her stalker was, overall, more tedious and even boring, rather than providing the mystery of suspense intended. And the film was replete with dialog of the small-town islanders criticizing Melissa for her having fled to the big city, and wondering why anyone would want to leave. This is an oft appearing feature of this type of film and its base novel.

The "romantic" interludes between the lead couple made one hanker for Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger, or Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.

Even the big "revelations" aren't that interesting or startling; this one should be a weak 2*, but add one since the scenery and filming is better than most TV flicks.

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

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