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Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice (1982)

This made-for-television movie is a dramatization of the life of the founder of Los Angeles's first alcoholic recovery center for women, Beatrice O'Reilly.



Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Beatrice O'Reilly
... Johnny O'Reilly
... Rita
... Captain Charley Rawlins
... Captain Burnsite
... Abbie
Rose Arrick ... Kay
Sarina C. Grant ... Mary Lou Brown
... Tom
... Beatrice's Father
... Beatrice's Mother
... Dr. Samuels
... Mrs. Cunningham
... Jessie
Eve McVeagh ... Mrs. Rugolo


This made-for-television movie is a dramatization of the life of the founder of Los Angeles's first alcoholic recovery center for women, Beatrice O'Reilly.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama





Release Date:

29 September 1982 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the character Carol Burnett plays, Beatrice O'Reilly, is presented as a real-life person, the character is indeed fictional. See more »


In a scene set in the early 1940's, a large Holiday Inn motel - a chain that didn't go into business until 1952 - can be seen at the end of an amusement pier. See more »

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User Reviews

Not a bad movie for the time period it depicts....
10 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

I would be curious to know more about the true story of Beatrice, and will probably have to research it a bit more to get the facts. Perhaps it is a positive thing,that seeing a film like this can make the audience interested in something they normally wouldn't think about.

Carol Burnett is good in the title role, and while I am not partial to her as an actor, she does a good job. Geoffrey Lewis portrays the police captain, who was her friend, and helped her to start a halfway house for women with alcohol problems. It is sort of like a different version of "My Name is Bill W."(An excellent film, by the way, with Brian Dennehy and James S. Woods).

At any rate, the story is a bit slow at times, but portrays the true story of Beatrice. It is a bit whitewashed, as there could have been more incidents which occurred, and the audience could have learned from. Marian Mercer has a role as Beatrice's friend, who introduces her to A.A.

Overall, the court scenes were stilted, but the overall theme is projected; a film like this may be due for a re-make; Perhaps Lifetime could write an updated version, with more contemporary actors.

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