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The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2008)

A father separates his son from his twin sister at birth to prevent him and the mother from knowing she was born with Down syndrome. Based on the novel by Kim Edwards.



(teleplay), (novel)

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From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. David Henry
Norah Henry
Emma Colbert ...
Phoebe 6 years
Paul 13 years
Paul 18-22 years
Owen Pattison ...
Paul 6 years
Gay Hauser ...
Department Store Clerk
Bruce Murphy ...
Checkout Clerk
Lita Llewellyn ...
The Minister


On a snowy winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry rushes his pregnant wife Norah to the hospital, where, with help from her husband and nurse Caroline Gill, she delivers their son Paul. However, Dr. Henry discovers that his wife was carrying twins, and helps her deliver the second child, a baby girl named Phoebe. Shortly after Phoebe's birth, he finds that she has Down Syndrome, and hands her over to Nurse Caroline, explaining that the death of his ill sister nearly destroyed their mother and he doesn't want Norah to go through that. Instead, he instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to a nearby institution for the mentally ill, figuring the child won't live much longer, and tells Norah that Phoebe was a stillborn. However, after visiting the institution and seeing the state of the other patients, Caroline takes the baby home with her, stopping along the way to buy formula and diapers. With help from a truck driver named Al, Caroline begins to raise the baby as her own, while Dr. Henry ... Written by scorpionqueenofhearts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

12 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El guardián de la memoria  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Caroline is placing the money that she had received from David in the cookie jar, the twenty dollar bill that she puts in was actually produced in 2006 and would not have been available during that time. See more »


Nora Henry: [burning the pictures from the darkroom and referring to David] Bastard! That bastard!
See more »


Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

not enough tension
30 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

It's 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. David Henry (Dermot Mulroney) drive his pregnant wife Norah (Gretchen Mol) to the hospital. He and nurse Caroline Gil (Emily Watson) deliver healthy son Paul. They are surprised by twin Phoebe who turns out to have Down Syndrome. He lies to Norah that she died and gives the baby to nurse Gil. He instructs Gil to put her in an institution expecting her to die but Gil decides to raise the baby herself due to witnessing the draconian conditions.

It's a Lifetime TV movie. It tackles an interesting subject and a girl with Down Syndrome gets to act. These are solid actors but the story doesn't have enough tension. I don't find the Henrys that compelling. Their part of the story feels meandering. I like Gil's side better but that isn't the most dramatic either. I would rather have a bigger time skip like 12 years later. The story could easily pick up when the two sides reconnect. It's more compelling that way because the danger of discovery is heightened.

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Ugh Lexiii67
Why did David tell Nora that she had a baby girl? Twkc
is this movie based on a true story? justletgo7
Movie Vs. Book rockonbabe291
Caroline's husband Al? DJSLEELEE
Norah and Phoebe spartanwife
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