6.8/10
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When She Was Bad... (1979)

Stressed by a recent move and being a stay-at-home mom, Teeny takes out her bottled-up rage on her daughter Robbie. Only the help of her friends, family and counselors can stop her from harming Robbie and herself.

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Betina 'Teeny' Morgan
... Bob Morgan
... Mary Jensen
... Jack Wilson
Marcia Lewis ... Gloria
... Dr. Gilbert
... Robbie Morgan
Roxanne Gregory ... Jack's Wife
Michael Flanagan ... Dr. Giles
Paul Larson ... Harrison
Judy Kiern ... Jan
J.P. Bumstead ... Man
... Nurse
Bill Stayers ... Sam
... Himself
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Storyline

After moving into a new home, couple Bobby and Teeny begin constant arguing. Bobby is busy with his new job at a local factory, and Teeny, who has a bad past with her daughter Robbie, is left in charge of the household, leading her to take out her stress on Robbie until the intervention of a helpful and caring woman named Mary gets Teeny's attention. But is it already too late? Written by GasMaskProductionsBooks

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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25 November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A New Start  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Actually, if this was my kid, I might be tempted to slap her....as well as the husband.
22 September 2016 | by See all my reviews

Betina Morgan (Cheryl Ladd) appears to have a great life--a new home in the suburbs, a cute kid and a handsome husband. However, beneath the surface, she's a woman who is on the verge of cracking up. She is worried that she'll cause serious harm to her daughter but her husband isn't the least bit supportive and discourages her from getting professional help. This combined with her need for the 'perfect life' and her daughter being a bit of a brat make her very high risk to abuse the child....and Betina knows she needs help. However, she seeks help without telling her husband and is scared to tell him. And, once she does tell him, he seems to often try to undermine her in her efforts...indicating that their marital problems are incredibly serious. Will she get the help she needs or will her child end up seriously injured...or worse? And, the more you watch the film, the more it looks like it might just become 'or worse'.

This is a made for TV movie that is meant to entertain and teach the home viewers about the dangers of stress, marital discord and child abuse. And, as you watch and hear all the stress in Betina's life, you can understand much of the problem...you, too, would feel stressed in this environment! My summary was NOT intended to encourage child abuse...but with this sort of stress, ANY person could become violent unless they get help and it's easy to empathize with Betina and her many, many problems. The script did a great job in setting all this up in the film. The only big mistake I saw was the scene with the social worker (Eileen Brennan) where the social worker grabbed Betina and forced her to face her fears--this was very unprofessional and dangerous (she might have gotten herself decked). Otherwise, a very well made little film that has stood the test of time.

By the way, I saw this on YouTube and, oddly, the voices are a tiny bit higher pitched than they should be. If you aren't familiar with Ladd and Urich you might not notice that they just don't sound quite right.


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