22 user 4 critic

The Brooke Ellison Story (2004)

1:50 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

Rendered a quadriplegic since a child from a near-fatal neck injury, a young girl fights against all odds to succeed in life from grade school to her acceptance into college under the assistance of her loyal and dedicated mother.



(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
4,271 ( 111)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (TV Movie 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When her father and step-mother die in an accident, a college student is given custody of her 7 year old half-sister.

Director: Steven Robman
Stars: Lacey Chabert, Sammi Hanratty, Wendie Malick
Gracie's Choice (TV Movie 2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A teenage girl tries to raise her three half-brothers and one half-sister on her own after their drug-addicted mother is sent to jail.

Director: Peter Werner
Stars: Kristen Bell, Diane Ladd, Shedrack Anderson III
Dawn Anna (TV Movie 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The true story of a single mom who overcomes many of life's obstacles.

Director: Arliss Howard
Stars: Debra Winger, Alex Van, Sam Howard
A Place for Annie (TV Movie 1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Baby Annie is HIV positive and has been left in the clinic by her drug addicted mother. To prevent that she's deported to a home where they'd just wait for her to die, nurse Susan takes ... See full summary »

Director: John Gray
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Mary-Louise Parker, S. Epatha Merkerson
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Domingo Santos is a well to do man and a pillar of his community. But on the day of his wedding anniversary, a long-held secret threatens to drive his daughter Luciana away forever, and ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Bernard
Stars: Bertila Damas, Chalo González, Vanessa Marano
In the Gloaming (TV Movie 1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Danny, dying of Aids, returns home for his last months. Always close to his mother, they share moments of openness that tend to shut out Danny's father and his sister.

Director: Christopher Reeve
Stars: Glenn Close, Bridget Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg
A Friend to Die For (TV Movie 1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When popular and beautiful cheerleader Stacey is stabbed to death, who could have done it? It could have been asocial Goth girl Monica, it could've been angst-ridden Jill - or maybe it was the plain girl nobody suspected.

Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Kellie Martin, Tori Spelling, James Avery
Someone She Knows (TV Movie 1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A desperate mother becomes detective to solve her 5 year-old daughter's death. The authorities suspect that the girl has been killed by a well-known person of the family.

Director: Eric Laneuville
Stars: Markie Post, Gerald McRaney, Jeffrey Nordling
Hunger Point (TV Movie 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A family is pushed to its limits when one of the daughters' lives is blighted by an eating disorder.

Director: Joan Micklin Silver
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Christina Hendricks, Susan May Pratt
The Princess & the Marine (TV Movie 2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on a true story about the forbidden love between Jason Johnson, a U.S. Marine, and Meriam Al-Khalifa, a Bahraini princess.

Director: Mike Robe
Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Marisol Nichols, Keith Robinson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Director: Doug Atchison
Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young, attractive and successful publisher has a hidden secret. She is adopted and originally from Pinecrest. When she gets the job to visit an author in the small town of Pinecrest she ... See full summary »

Director: Rick Jacobson
Stars: Terry Farrell, Jim Davidson, Mimi Kennedy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Ellison
Ed Ellison
Jenson Goins ...
Ryan P. Hudson ...
Reed Ellison (as Ryan Hudson)
Jan Djilas
Terrence Gibney ...
Mr. Barnes (as Terence Gibney)
Jerry Lee Leighton ...
Mr. Linski
Ramona Tyler ...
Bobbi (as Ramona Tyler)
Melinda Walsh ...
Judy Leavell ...


Rendered a quadriplegic since a child from a near-fatal neck injury, a young girl fights against all odds to succeed in life from grade school to her acceptance into college under the assistance of her loyal and dedicated mother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A História de Brooke Ellison  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was filmed at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA which fills in for film's supposed setting, Harvard University. See more »


After Brooke enters the classroom for the first time in her wheelchair, you can see her right hand move, possibly to control the wheelchair while she turned it around. See more »


Referenced in Heart of a Hero: A Tribute to Christopher Reeve (2006) See more »


It's Gonna Be Okay
Performed by Theresa Andersson
Written by Anders Osborne and Joshua Ragsdale
Courtesy of Basin Street Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Brooke Ellison Story
11 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) was an actor best known for his starring roles in the Superman movies and the tragic horse riding accident in 1995 that left him quadriplegic for the rest of his life. Besides acting, he also did some directing, notably The Brooke Ellison Story, a TV movie based on the life of a real person of the same name.

The story begins at around 1990 when the Ellisons, a suburban family of five, receive sad news about their young daughter Brooke (Vanessa Marano as a kid; Lacey Chabert as a young adult): she has been severely injured after being hit by a car. It soon becomes clear that she will remain paralyzed from neck down and need a breathing apparatus for the rest of her life. The resilient Brooke is not someone to give up easily though and insists on continuing her schoolwork, eventually graduating from high school and entering a prestigious college, all the while being assisted by her loving mother Jean (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and supported by her father Ed (John Slattery), as well as her siblings Kysten and Reed (played by Jenson Goins and Devon Gearhart as kids; Lauren Barrett and Ryan Hudson as young adults).

As can be guessed, a lot of crying and sentimental music is to be expected, like in any inspirational story of this type. It is easy to imagine this having been a very personal project for Reeve who died before the film was aired, but unfortunately it doesn't try to provide anything very impressive or to expand the boundaries of the "inspirational biopic" genre. Brooke herself is portrayed as so perfect and eager to keep living that it is difficult to see any real tragedy about her; it is well known that human flaws are what make people and fictional characters fascinating, but sadly Brooke seems to have very few of them. Likewise, the other most interesting aspects of the story are barely hinted at: the frustration of Brooke and her self-sacrificing mother, the stress on the parents' marriage, the budding depression of the big sister Kysten... There would have been potential for decent drama, but perhaps the insistence to make Brooke's story a positive example prevented the writers from handling the darker details in a worthwhile way.

The overflowing positivity and inspirational message are probably best suited for viewers who are parents themselves and thus extra-sensitive to tragedies involving children. Anyone looking for decent dramatic writing is most likely going to be disappointed, but I guess this type of movies have their own devoted audience as well. The Brooke Ellison Story doesn't bring anything unexpected to the table, but if that is a good thing to you, you may well end up liking it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A question about Brooke's fears DearRicky
My college was mentioned! sjcsue
The Beginning...What happened to Brooke? AngelFace42991
WOW! caramelbabez53
When Aired??????????? judles57
Name of song myachin123
Discuss The Brooke Ellison Story (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: