A mysterious woman claiming to be the deceased daughter of a rich man tries to solve the problems of his untrusting son and supposedly mentally handicaped daughter. But one question stands in her way: is she really Caroline?
A woman named Caroline reappears after a 14-year absence, during which time she was thought to have died in a plane crash. Claiming to be the daughter of wealthy Paul Carmichael from his first marriage, she explains that she didn't board the plane, and had used the chance to flee her shallow debutante lifestyle. Paul's new wife, Grace, is deeply suspicious of the woman's story -- especially since Caroline stands to inherit a fortune.Written by
Truly remarkable on so many levels, and worth repeated viewings because it's easy to miss some things the first time around. For example, notice who is in the background when Caroline's father laments "I don't even know my own daughter," or the book the adult Winston picks up when speaking to Hilary. The acting is exceptional all around, but especially by Shawn Phelan as young Winston and Jenny Jacobs as Heidi- yes, Jenny Jacobs really does have a disability in real life, and I wouldn't be surprised if the woman who played Hilary also does, as well. Stephanie Zimbalist is luminous as Caroline, and the scenes between her and Patricia Neal (as the headmistress who doesn't believe she's really Caroline) virtually crackle with tension. The ending always puts a lump in my throat, but this is a rare movie that actually earns it's tears. It originally aired on CBS against the Jim Bakker story, which all the critics thought would destroy Caroline in the ratings, but it was the other way around! I've read the book as well and while I liked it, the movie in my opinion is better, because the actors bring the characters to life in a way that the written word can't.
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