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Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 11 February 1975
This movie is a teaching tool about a teenage girl struggling with alcoholism to cope with her feelings of insecurity and usual problems of adolescence.


Richard Donner


Esther Shapiro, Richard Alan Shapiro (as Richard Shapiro)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Blair ... Sarah Travis
Larry Hagman ... Jerry Travis
Verna Bloom ... Jean Hodges
William Daniels ... Matt Hodges
Michael Lerner ... Dr. Marvin Kittredge
Mark Hamill ... Ken Newkirk
Eric Olson Eric Olson ... Bobby
Laurette Spang ... Nancy
M. Emmet Walsh ... Mr. Peterson
Steve Benedict Steve Benedict ... Ray Peterson
Richard Roat ... Fred Tyler
Marian Collier ... Mrs. Peterson
Hilda Haynes Hilda Haynes ... Margaret
Jessica Rains Jessica Rains ... Mrs. Tyler
Sheila Larken ... Vice Principal


Finding herself unable to cope with the divorce of her parents and the stress of daily life, 15-year-old Sarah Travis starts drinking in secret. At first, alcohol provides comfort and release. Then it sends her life spiraling out of control. Written by Reid Taylor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only his love could give her the hope of a normal life. See more »




Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Richard Donner, who later directed Superman (1978), went on the talk show circuit to discuss his blockbuster and was asked questions about his early directorial work. However, he couldn't remember the name of this film. He ended up calling it Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976), which was directed by Randal Kleiser. See more »


Sarah Travis: Look, I take a drink every one in a while because it makes me feel good. It makes all this hassles about my parents and the stuff in school go down just a little bit easier.
Ken Newkirk: Why do you have to drink when you're with me?
Sarah Travis: I don't have to drink! I can quit any tine I feel like it. I just don't feel like it.
See more »


It's Too Late
Written by Carole King and Toni Stern
Sung by Linda Blair
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User Reviews

Linda Blair vehicle with all the stops pulled out
18 December 2003 | by sjcobertSee all my reviews

This movie was a vehicle for Linda Blair - but don't let that deter you from checking it out.

Linda plays Sarah Travis, who as the movie begins already has a problem with alcohol. Her parents' recent divorce (and her mother's remarriage) and her move to a new school are not helping things. Slowly everything in her life slides right down the hill and into her river of alcohol. Some of the movie is custom-made for Linda Blair - she gets to sing at a party, her boyfriend has his own horses and lets her groom them (Linda LOVED horses, the teen magazines dutifully reported) - but the message of the movie rings clear. Remarkably powerful scene: Linda goes to an AA meeting, and little Bobby (Eric Olsen, then starring in "Apple's Way") steps forward and shares that his alcoholism made him "so damn disgusted with myself" that he knew he had to get help.

It's not accurate to say Sarah hits rock bottom. She THINKS she hits rock bottom, and then learns the hardest way possible just how much further she could fall.

A powerful movie, HIGHLY recommended.

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Release Date:

11 February 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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