7.0/10
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32 user 7 critic

If These Walls Could Talk (1996)

The movie examines the abortion issue through three stories set in different eras: 1952, 1974 and 1996.

Directors:

Cher, Nancy Savoca

Writers:

Pamela Wallace (story), Earl W. Wallace (story) | 7 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Demi Moore ... Claire Donnelly (segment "1952")
Shirley Knight ... Mary Donnelly (segment "1952")
Catherine Keener ... Becky Donnelly (segment "1952")
Jason London ... Kevin Donnelly (segment "1952")
CCH Pounder ... Nurse Jenny Ford (segment "1952")
Kevin Cooney ... Dr. Kramer (segment "1952")
Robin Gammell ... Jim Donnelly (segment "1952")
Phyllis Lyons ... Audrey (segment "1952")
Aaron Lustig ... Tom (segment "1952")
Dena Burton ... Young Nurse (segment "1952")
Marie DeCicco Marie DeCicco ... Nurse Annie Ross (segment "1952")
Lorna Scott ... Louise (segment "1952")
Mary Portser ... Margaret (segment "1952")
Annie Weldon Annie Weldon ... Nurse (segment "1952")
Vaughn Armstrong ... Painter (segment "1952")
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Storyline

A trilogy of stories set in the same house, but with different occupants and spanning over 40 years, deals with various women and moral crisis over unexpected pregnancies and their choice of abortion. In 1952, when abortion was illegal, a nurse deals with her unexpected pregnancy and takes drastic measures to get one. In 1974 a family housewife with four children discovers that she's pregnant and decides she can't handle another child to raise. In 1996, a pregnant college student decides on an abortion, but doesn't realize the means to go through to get one. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's one question only a woman can answer See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for realistic depiction of abortions, a graphic shooting and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If These Walls Could Talk See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Dolby Surround)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe) (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Holds the record as HBO's highest-rated original movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video version was cut by 3 secs to reduce multiple gunshots during the hospital shooting scene. See more »

Connections

Features The Montel Williams Show (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Stoned Soul Picnic
Written and Performed by Laura Nyro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exceptionally Realistic
14 February 2003 | by fellicitySee all my reviews

I have just seen 'If These Walls Could Talk' for the first time, and I am completely in awe. This film should be mandatory viewing material for any person who thinks that abortion is an easy choice or that women faced with an unplanned pregnancy should have their right to choose taken away from them.

Sissy Spacek did a wonderful job portraying the most overlooked unplanned pregnancy demographic: the aging career mother who must choose whether or not to make the sacrifice of raising another child. In this story I truly appreciated the message that choosing to have a child is also pro-choice. Anne Heche's role in the final story was the most 'typical' of the three: the single college student who must struggle with her own moral and personal issues when making a choice about her pregnancy. While she portrayed the most common demographic of women who face an unplanned pregnancy, her role was beautifully and honestly acted. But the most riveting and heartbreaking of the three stories featured Demi Moore as a young widow who must make the hardest decision in her life-- to risk not only her career and reputation but the relationship of her in-laws who have taken her in as one of their own by carrying to term the baby of her dead husband's brother, or to risk her life by choosing what was once a barbaric and incredibly dangerous procedure due to the illegality of abortion. Her struggle is disturbing, and any woman who remembers the dark days before Roe v. Wade will feel her character's pain, fear, and especially her desperation. This story in particular showcases why keeping abortion safe and legal is so very necessary.

What struck me most about this film was not only the realism in all three situations, but how each one of the stories showed that "Pro-Choice" is not always "Pro-Abortion"; a fact that those of us who support a woman's right to chose will be all too glad to point out while those of the stauncher anti-choice fold may be a little slow to admit. The struggle that each woman faces in this film is unique, and while another reviewer mistakenly commented that each instance was merely 'cliché', I will argue that each instance was REAL. Rape and incest are not the causes for most unplanned pregnancies, and a great number of women who choose abortion are of legal age to do so. This film would have been 'cliché' if every actor had portrayed a low-income person of color, which is clearly unrealistic. And while violence against abortion providers isn't an every day occurrence, there are people in our society who wish that were the case-- and including this scene in the film shows us, in graphic detail, the hypocrisy of that opinion.

I was surprised that this film, especially the final story, didn't tackle other reproductive choice-related issues such as birth control. However, I was extremely pleased with how the final story educated viewers on the realities of the abortion procedure (mandatory counseling and all)-- a reality which couldn't be further from the horrific depictions offered up by many in the anti-choice camp. Speaking of which: I was grateful for this film showing that not all people who oppose abortion are stereotypical, out of control lunatics, but that the most radical in this faction tend to be, ironically, male. And one comment made by a character regarding adoption truly hit home for me as I once worked in a residential facility for abandoned and abused children that was, like so many others in this country, bursting at the seams: "The last time I checked, there wasn't a shortage of little black babies".

This film needs to be aired during prime time and piped into the Bush White House, if for no other reason than to show that abortion is not a black and white issue, that the argument surrounding it cannot be settled through protest, violence or prohibition, and that restricting a woman's legal right to reproductive choice will only complicate matters further but will not be an end to abortion. Anyone who has ever been faced with an unplanned pregnancy will agree, and anyone who hasn't will learn that their opinion can be subject to change depending on their circumstances.


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