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Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story (2003)

Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school.



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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Liz Murray
Robert Bockstael ...
Makyla Smith ...
Jean Murray
Jennifer Pisana ...
Young Liz
Marla McLean ...
Marguerite McNeil ...
Amber Godfrey ...
Seamus Morrison ...
John Fulton ...
Old Irish Cop
Rejean Cournoyer ...
Young Irish Cop
Mauralea Austin ...
Miss Wanda


Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When there was nothing to believe in, she believed in herself.


Biography | Drama

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

7 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abbandonata Dal Destino  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?


Based on the true story of Elizabeth "Liz" Murray. The real Liz appeared in the movie as a social worker and was also a co-producer for the production. See more »


Liz Murray: I was 15 when I went out in the world. What's a home anyway? A roof? A bed? A place where when you go there, they have to take you? If so, then I was 15 when I became homeless.
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Referenced in The Murder Pact (2015) See more »


Performed by Joanna Pacitti
Taken from the album "This Crazy Life"
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User Reviews

19 April 2003 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Generally, made for television movies are on a level below theatrical endeavors. However, `Homeless To Harvard' is a surprising and welcome exception. Without question it is one of the best made for television movies ever produced. This true story of Liz Murray continually strikes your primal emotional chord throughout the movie. The story is told in a stark realistically convincing manner. Excellent performances are turned in by Jennifer Pisana and Thora Birch as Liz at slightly different ages and by Kelly Lynch as Liz's alcoholic and drug addicted mother Jean. Unfortunately, the world has an ample supply of dysfunctional parents. Most often, their own children use them as an excuse to be equally dysfunctional. How uplifting to have a child use their parent's dysfunctional behavior, not as an excuse to sink into oblivion, but rather as a reason to not follow in their footsteps. This movie is all about choices. Anyone of any age who watches this movie will be left with absolutely no excuse to wallow in self pity. While this movie is a remarkable endeavor, it could have been even better. Understandably you can only fit so much content into a movie. Moreover, I'm certain that the writers included all of the key elements of Liz's life. However, this movie would have stood in a class by itself if only they had delved into Liz's true character. They did an exceptional job of depicting the decadent life that she was subject to, her reactions to it, and her existence within it. However, you don't get to see inside of Liz to actually know what she's all about. In addition, I sensed that we were shown a slightly whitewashed portrait of Liz in contrast to her true self. I suspect that she was in fact a little less innocent and a little more tarnished and troublesome than she was portrayed to be. If there's one unanswered question lingering on viewer's minds, it has to be: Why, after overcoming such insurmountable adversity, did she end up leaving Harvard? All that aside, 'Homeless To Harvard' is truly a triumph of the human spirit movie. This will be a treasured prize for your DVD/VHS collection when it becomes available.

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