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In the Best Interest of the Children (1992)

Fact-based story of a legal battle fought over custody of five siblings.


Michael Ray Rhodes


Peter Nelson (story), Peter Nelson (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
2,830 ( 8,910)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Callie Cain
Sally Struthers ... Patty Pepper
Lexi Randall ... Jessica Cain
Gary Graham ... John Birney
Susan Barnes Susan Barnes ... Donna Evans
Jayne Atkinson ... Wanda Birney
John Dennis Johnston ... Harlan Pepper
Tom Hodges ... Ray Jacobs
Elizabeth Ashley ... Carla Scott
Jessica Campbell ... Julie Cain
Lacey Guyon Lacey Guyon ... Susan Cain
Amanda Laughlin Amanda Laughlin ... Cindy Cain (at 5)
Molly Laughlin Molly Laughlin ... Cindy Cain (at 3)
Harry Lennix ... Tim Coffey
Sonny Stinnett Sonny Stinnett ... Baby Jason Cain


This story is about the five Cain children whose mother suffers from mental instability. When she is finally committed to an institution, the children are fostered by a childless couple who soon grow to love them as their own. Just as they are settling down to their new lives and enjoying the affection and warmth that they have never had, Callie re-appears in their life and decides she wants them back. The children's lives are in danger of being torn apart as they are caught up in a desperate tug of war between the mother they have learned to fear and the foster parents they have grown to love. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Did You Know?


When Callie Cain runs out to her boyfriend's car screaming at him, she is carrying her baby Jason in her arms. As she kicks and lunges at the car you can see, in some scenes, that she is carrying a doll and not a real baby. See more »


Patty Pepper: [First meets the Cain Children] Well Hi.
Jason Cain: [Waving] Hi!
Patty Pepper: Hi I'm Patty Pepper and this is my Husband Harland. Now who do we have here?
Donna Evans: Well this is Jessie, and this is baby Jason, Julie, Susie and Cindy.
Patty Pepper: Well aren't you a bunch of cuties! You must be exhausted. Are you hungry? I bet you are.
Jason Cain: [Giving a big cute smile]
Patty Pepper: What a little dream boat. Here why don't you let me take him for you?
Jessica: It's OK I can do it.
See more »


Referenced in Best in Show (2000) See more »

User Reviews

A good plain tearjerker!
11 December 2003 | by Darlawood80See all my reviews

This movie makes me cry everytime. I truly wish the children's court would look beyond "for the best interest of the children" and look from a child's point of view. I know people who were in child protective custodies as children and who have not fully recovered from being shipped from home to home. Some who ended up with messed up lives, and some who came clean. This movie I think was very good. It reminds me alot of the book "Homecomming" which about four children trying to run away from the system and end up living in their grandmother's home, but this movie has a sad ending. If I were the kids, I'd keep on running to that loving home that every child dreams about.

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Release Date:

16 February 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A gyerekek érdekében See more »

Filming Locations:

Iowa, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

NBC Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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